Interview About Pragmatic Ways to Manage Technical Debt

I had a great time recording an interview last week with Carolyn Seaman for OnTechnicalDebt.com. The interview is over at Pragmatic Ways for Your IT Team to Deal with Technical Debt. Alexandra queued us up. Carolyn and I had a great time discussing technical debt. I even managed to mention Chris Sterling’s book Managing Software …

Transition to Agile, Large Technical Debt, Small Project

Many months ago, Rebecca asked an interesting question about technical debt in projects. She asked, How to start when there’s a really big mess? In that case, small, just being a professional clean-up acts may not even make a dent. Of course, as with any good question, the answer is, “it depends.” And the biggest …

Thoughts on Infrastructure, Technical Debt, and Automated Test Framework

I’ve had several conversations in email and with clients recently that have all been about this question: “What do we do about our infrastructure?” Either the project or the program has to create/update/upgraded their architecture or automated test infrastructure, pay down technical debt, or somehow do something that’s not part of a story. And, that’s …

Technical Debt: Do Managers (Unintentionally) Force Bad Code?

I still have estimation on the mind. I saw The Impact of Accidental Complexity on Estimates and I was wondering about the effect of management on bad code. Do managers sometimes force developers to write bad code by allowing technical debt? Jay’s third point implicates technical debt as a cause: Introducing technical debt increases accidental …

Management Debt, Technical Debt, and Decision-Making

Dave and Bob have great comments on my post, Might Three Backlogs Be Better Than One?. Dave is describing situations where management is making reasonable decisions, not incurring management debt, and by extension, technical debt. Bob and I have experience with significant management debt. (Take a look at Musings About Management Debt for more information …

Expressing Technical Debt as User Stories Helps with ROI

I’m not a fan of ROI (Return on Investment) measures for software, except in the case where you have waste. Several of my clients have huge technical debt which creates waste for the development staff (not just developers, anyone involved with the development of the product). When you’re dealing with waste, user stories just might …