Whilst technical debt and innovation take place side by side, there are other sources of challenges to consider in order to achieve good product management. You might wish to deliver new things to your clients while the developers wish to design new features. The QA section might be all pepped to test the new specifications, and the marketing and sales team are all pumped up to speak about the new features in their promotional campaign. In short, while the end is to deliver a quality product to your customers, there are too many things to consider and take care of before you can do so.
With the addition of a new feature, along with it comes a complexity expense. It is yet another thing to be added to the testing matrix. It is another inclusion which can either enhance or set-back dependencies. It is another addition which requires maintenance and could be a resource of tech debt in the future.
Complexity cost is the debt that occurs by complication of technology or features while solving problems. An app which performs twenty tasks is tougher to re-factor in comparison to the app which does one thing. Thus, changing of code in this will take longer. Often complexity is a basic expense but only companies which completely internalize the idea can hope to secure such spending. With the maturity of the product, new functionality calls up for a higher risk. When you aren’t just improving a present item, you’re kind of adding up a new widget which can bring down the value proposition, bug up your sales exertions, confuse users and suck sources away from the basic elements of your app.
And, when there is this natural tendency to just add features, it can easily cause feature bloating.
In reality, financial debt may come handy in purchasing necessities or paying rent or mortgage, especially when one is struggling to make both ends meet. Financial debt may sometimes work to one’s advantage, but may also be a cause of problem when left unchecked. In the same manner, tech debt may be beneficial but may also pause major danger for software engineering and development firms.
Deal With It Like Financial Debt
You must deal with tech debt the same way you would financial debt as they both have the same cause and effects. In tech debt metaphor, it is the result of a quick and dirty way of coding process which is similar to financial debt where you behave impulsively and spend on things without much thinking. Like financial debts, tech debts also result in payments of interest which are in the form of extra effort given for the reworking, refactoring and addressing of the faulty codes. It is also the time and effort that you have to give for the future development that you have to make to eliminate any further quick and dirty designing.
When your development team runs out of time or funding in the late hours of any project, they end up making a compromise with the quality of the project and release defective codes which later leads to technical debt. The best practices of software craftsmanship are foregone, and your deliverables come out in the way in which you would have least expected. Tech debt occurs when there is no time to run tests on a project and is released for the users in the market and when codes are copied and pasted from previous ones without refactoring it properly. It is then that the requisites of a good code like script installation and technical standards are missing from the code.
Make Tech Debt Visible
It is better to make tech debt visible to your entire team who accepts compromises and is aware of what is going on with the code. You can make a big poster, write and tag stories which would enable everyone to see the debt items clearly. It must be shared across all your team members so that everyone is empowered to address these debt items. Make sure that they all can edit and augment all the debt items so that there are no barriers to documenting new items and address them. This would enable faster action and also the proper implementation of techniques.
Track Debt Items
It is also necessary to track debt items to resolution once the baseline for tech debt is captured and is made visible to all. It would enable better addressing of debt items by all the members of the team. You must also keep a regular track of a simple and quantitative metric system at the minimum and at a regular interval mentioning things like a total number of outstanding debt items as backlog each week. This is a useful way to track your team’s capability and skill in the development process, and you can be sure that there is a lack of alignment if at any point your team finds it necessary to add new tech items in the middle of their effort to close a particular debt item.
Group Your Debt Items
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