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Using Mikado Method to Eliminate Technical Debt

· DevOps Zone

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The Mikado Method is a process for surfacing the dependencies in a codebase so that you can systematically eliminate technical debt. It gets its name from a simple game commonly known as “pick-up sticks,” in which you try to remove the Mikado stick without disturbing the others. The game is a great metaphor for eliminating technical debt by carefully extracting each intertwined dependency until you’re able to successfully resolve the central issue and move on.

The Mikado Method, a book by the creators of this process, presents a step-by-step system for identifying the scope and nature of your technical debt, mapping the key dependencies, and determining the safest way to approach the Mikado–your goal. A natural byproduct of this process is the Mikado Graph, a minimalistic, relevant, just-in-time roadmap and information radiator that reflects deep understanding of how your system works.


  • Understand your technical debt
  • Surface the dependencies in legacy systems
  • Isolate and resolve core concerns while creating minimal disruption
  • Create a roadmap for your changes

This book builds on agile processes, such as refachttp://onlysoftware.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=478&action=edittoring, TDD, and rapid feedback. It requires no special hardware or software and can be practiced by both small and large teams.

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Published at DZone with permission of Patroklos Papapetrou, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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