How to Manage Technical Debt

The “debt” metaphor for technical debt is particularly apt for startups, says Jacob Kaplan-Moss. “You’re incurring future work to get to market quicker. I’m all for it,” he says.

But, many organizations may be saddled with a “creaky codebase,” so what’s the solution? In this article, Kaplan-Moss details a practical approach for managing tech debt, including these steps:

  • Measure: There are no great measures for tech debt, but there are several serviceable ones. Pick one, be consistent, and track it over time.
  • Agree on a tech debt allocation: Determine a percentage of time that engineering will spend working on reducing tech debt.
  • Monitor and adjust regularly.

“Reducing tech debt works better when it’s a long-term, ongoing, incremental commitment” rather than a sprint, he notes.

Read more at Jacobian.

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