Types of Technical Debt and How To Manage Them
Struggling with technical debt in your project? Know below the types of technical debt and the effective ways to manage them.
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Technical debt is complicated to handle and has no specific metrics attached to it. Moreover, quantifying the principal debt amount from the point the shortcut was first taken and estimating the accurate resources needed to pay off the interest and the principal is no easy job. It is equally difficult to predict the expenditure of resources on technical debt over the years.
All this uncertainty around the quantification of technical debt eventually leads to ignorance. For starters, as there is no definite loss associated with it, you will ignore it for as long as you can. However, there’s only so much time you can go before the debt becomes a burden you can no longer carry. The repercussions of unattended technical debt are visible at all levels within the company. There are 3 types of debts that organizations experience:-
- Accidental technical debt - As systems undergo modifications and evolve according to changing user requirements, development teams often realize that the earlier functionality does not work. As a result, refactoring the application becomes a priority, and while balancing every aspect of the development process, your teams may accidentally build technical debt on the way.
- Deliberate technical debt - A common debt that development teams choose to grow due to tight deadlines or unexpected work pressure. In this scenario, the teams have the required knowledge of what can be improved but intentionally overlook it to achieve on-time product delivery.
- Bit rot technical debt - This type of debt occurs over time as developers frequent changes in the system. The original components are modified without considering the initial application design.
How Does Technical Debt Affect the Organization Tree?
Technical Debt and Developers
Developers are the first ones to experience the downsides of technical debt as it impacts their productivity and obstructs the forward motion in the development lifecycle. Firstly, fixing problems in the existing codebase is challenging, and spending a more significant chunk of time paying off technical debt can affect their morale. As a result, developers want to join organizations with a cleaner codebase, and too much technical debt makes your organization less appealing for potential candidates and current employees.
Technical Debt and Sales and Marketing
The primary source of commissions for the sales teams depends on promoting the advanced software features based on the user's needs. Moreover, marketing campaigns require upfront planning and precise information of specific feature launches. However, with technical debt, you lose the predictability of your products and thereby jeopardize the promotional campaigns for the teams.
Technical Debt and Engineering Teams
The poor predictability affects the velocity, and workflows take a significant hit. As a result, getting back from the rut of technical debt becomes even more difficult as the entire team experiences low morale.
Technical Debt and the Organization
Eventually, the technical debt begins affecting the entire company’s performance. Adding value to the software product and introducing new and existing products becomes a nightmare. It blocks the revenue stream and makes removing the technical debt even more difficult.
3 Effective Ways To Manage Technical Debt
- Following the approach of gradually repaying financial debt can apply to technical debt as well. Although it requires consistent efforts from the development teams, it is beneficial in reducing overall costs.
- Plan ahead to refactor systems annually or when the application is performing steadily. This approach will help you significantly cut down technical debt accumulated over several years.
- Team leads should set aside time to resolve the technical debt periodically. This practice will help accommodate the frequently changing user requirements without affecting the app performance.
The front-end technical debt passes on the anomalies fastest to the customer side, which can eventually affect your business. Therefore, you must grasp how technical debt accumulates at the front end and the necessary steps you can ensure to keep it under control.
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