Managing Technical Debt
Managing Technical Debt

Technical debt seems just like another financial term, and that is precisely where this particular programming theory is based on. In terms of software development, it is believed that technical debt is actually the fundamental idea that a specific work gets delayed unnecessarily during the development process of any software project simply because you had to cater to some other deadline or deliverable. Technical debt is actually an application’s deviation from any nonfunctional needs.

Understanding Different Types of Technical Debt

Planned Technical Debt: This kind of a technical debt takes place when a company is involved in making an informed decision for generating some technical debt knowing fully-well about the associated consequences. In this type of a pre-planned technical debt, it is crucial to be as accurate and meticulous as possible while defining the specific compromises the company is willing to make. As these decisions could be accumulating fast over a period of time so, it is mandatory to maintain a meticulous record of these decisions. If you keep track and maintain records religiously, it would become more likely for technical debt to be addressed and proactive steps would be taken to pay down quickly.

Unintentional Technical Debt: This is actually an unplanned and obviously, unintentional technical debt which arises because of poor practices; for instance, a design approach that contains numerous errors or pitfalls. Unintentional technical debt usually occurs when there are a poor communication and lack of coordination within an organization or when the objectives of Operations and Development are not aligned together.

Unavoidable Technical Debt: This type of technical debt usually occurs when there are changes taking place in the business and technological progress over a period of time that come up with much-improved solutions. Unavoidable technical debt happens when scope alterations are requested mid-way through a project which leads to an immediate and additional cost like incorporating a new feature into an already existing design for facilitating mobile delivery. The crux of the matter is that technical debt occurs when new business needs are responsible for making old code obsolete.

Reasons for Technical Debt: Both Good & Bad

Technical debt is quite similar to financial debt and so there could be many good reasons for it and it is quite important to know and understand that beforehand so that technical debt does not end up retarding the progress and hampering future deliveries. In this context, you must know that you could seek professional assistance in case of all financial debts and seek perfect solutions by visiting Nationaldebtrelief.com.

One of the good reasons for technical debt is when smoothness of functionality and the intrinsic code cleanliness are not as crucial and important as a delivery. If a product is working fine for the user even though it is certainly not the cleanest or the best product then delivery is your company’s responsibility. But just in case, business requirements need perfect design; it is essential to take enough time for delivering a better and cleaner product.

One of the bad reasons for technical debt is simply because the team opted to put their focus on some other areas which were more interesting and more innovative but not that important.

Avoid Accumulation of Technical Debt

You must try your best to avoid racking up your organization’s technical debts. We know that financial debts could easily be tracked and monitored successfully. However, technical debt is not supposed to be intrinsically a metric. We know that with a little bit of tweaking, the fundamental technical debt theory could be easily translated to specific metrics like time to market as opposed to time working overtime for paying down interest. It may also, seem to be a team’s less productivity that is quite tough to measure.

Tracking Technical Debt Made Easy

Industry experts constantly put emphasis on tracking technical debt to ensure that things do not get totally out of your hands and your debts do not become extremely cumbersome. Since the debts could be surviving numerous development cycles, it becomes mandatory on your part to track technical debts. Here are some tips for tracking technical debts successfully in a few easy steps.

  • Create and maintain a list containing the technical debts.
  • List and categorize deferred tasks and responsibilities into workable units.
  • Note carefully the consequences of actually ignoring the units.
  • Keep the technical debt list visible.
  • Inform teams which are relying on delivery releases such as sales and marketing about the fact that you would be working on the technical debts to ensure that the new releases do not incorporate exclusively new features.
  • Schedule frequent and regular time for paying off technical debt.

Minimizing Technical Debt by Implementing Agile Practices

In Agile environments, we know that the iterations of work would often be delivered to the users, enhancing bugs and improving issues which seem to develop in every release. Agile actually depends on minimizing the scope of any release for ensuring quality work as compared to promoting numerous functions involved in a release. Remember Agile actually embraces iterations and increments rather than finished projects.

You must understand that implementing agile theories is surely an effective way of staying on top of your business’s technical debt. When you are thinking in terms of short spurts of work, it makes things easier and simpler for IT teams to successfully handle technical debts in smaller groups in a truly ongoing manner. You could work toward the alleviation of technical debt by implementing agile methodologies such as Continuous Integration and Test Automation. Agile teams would be able to effectively clean up outdated assumptions and data thanks to weekly sprints. When these theories are implemented religiously, experts are of the impression that technical debt could be minimized or even avoided entirely eventually.

Conclusion

The most effective way of reducing technical debt in all the upcoming projects is simply by including technical debt in your conversation right at the initial stages. You would be then successful in accounting for the ultimate effect of all the short-term decisions on specifically long-term Return on Investment or ROI and accordingly, chalk out a strategy to effectively pay off technical debt at the start of a project. You must keep in mind that a technical debt, just like a financial debt would be getting more expensive if you hold it for longer. The intention is to effectively minimize or even eliminate technical debt for your team to cut down risk drastically, boost agility, and also, deliver top-class outcomes in the present-day competitive digital economy.

Author Bio

Marina Thomas is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as a content developer with many years of experience. She helps clients in long-term wealth plans. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including business debt consolidation and start-ups.