FFA logo wit
FFA logo wit
FFA logo wit

Food For Thought | Technical debt is forever

HomeFood For Thought | Technical debt is forever
Kalender
31 oktober 2023

Have you ever heard of the term Technical Debt? As a team have you ever placed a solution into production, which was built as a Proof of Concept (POC) on a platform that was not finalized yet? In both situations, you’ll end up with a solution that is not officially done and ready.

WHAT IS TECHNICAL DEBT?

Building something with Technical Debt is not a problem as long as it is removed, or improved, at a later moment in time. To be honest.., it rarely happens and remains forever. Let’s dive into what it is. Wikipedia defines it as:

“The implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy (limited) solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.”

Technical Debt and how it affects your team and solution

How it affects your team and solution

Technical Debt blocks you and your team from quickly adding new functionality. When implementing a POC or a Minimum Valuable Product (MVP) there is no shame in taking shortcuts. It is not necessarily a bad thing to get projects moving.

Bringing MVPs live earlier with Technical Debt can help determine the product/market fit sooner. It also helps to quickly receive feedback and you can meet the customer requirements faster. This is called Planned Technical Debt. In the end, if the solution delivers the main requirement, the customer is happy!

Next to this, there is also the concept of Inadvertent Technical Debt, which occurs when code is brought into production while engineers don’t fully understand the requirements, code review did not happen, or management is pushing. This  is a bigger problem since the main requirements are not delivered and the customer is not happy. Secondly, as it was not expected, there is no time planned soon to solve it.

"Although it does not add any business value at that moment, it will save you from problems afterwards."

In both cases, planned or inadvertent, the pain comes afterwards. Experience teaches us that once it is brought into production, the focus on resolving it is gone. At that moment other requirements will be prioritized.

*for more information on types see [1][2][3]

YOUR TEAM AND TECHNICAL DEBT?


In the realm of ongoing development, teams face an escalating cost associated with deferring the resolution of technical debt. The longer a team procrastinates, the higher the eventual cost. Delaying the addressing of it leads to an accumulation that jeopardizes project deadlines, making it progressively challenging to estimate the effort required for resolution.

Surprisingly, substantial technical debt can be associated not only with Proof of Concept (POC) or Minimum Viable Product (MVP) phases but also with solutions actively running in production. As long as a solution operates without errors, the debt might persist indefinitely, hindering long-term sustainability.

Various factors contribute to the introduction of technical debt, making it imperative to focus on strategies for addressing and managing it within teams and solutions. Some teams adopt a dedicated approach, consistently refining existing solutions. However, it's common for solutioning teams to tackle their own debt, especially in smaller organizations. It's crucial to have senior engineers play a pivotal role in systematically enhancing the codebase, leveraging their comprehensive knowledge of the business domain and existing solutions.

Effective communication between teams is paramount to maintaining alignment. When solutioning teams take on the task of eliminating their technical debt, allocating dedicated time within the team becomes essential. Whether it's a full sprint within a specific period or a set number of scrum points per sprint in an Agile environment, ensuring consistent attention to addressing technical debt facilitates continuous improvement.

Encouraging teams to prioritize the resolution of technical debt in every sprint fosters a culture of frequent improvement. This practice enhances proficiency in code refactoring and serves as a preventive measure against the accumulation of technical debt in future projects. The mantra becomes, "Always address and improve technical debt rather than allowing it to persist unchanged."

CONCLUSION

Having Technical Debt in your solution is something that we all will encounter. At first thought, it is not that bad. However, you need to make it a habit to resolve it. Otherwise, it will remain forever and possibly degrade your awesome software.

Make sure to improve your team and solution continuously by allocating dedicated time for solving your Technical Debt. Although it does not add any business value directly, it will save you from problems in the future. It sounds simple, but it is hard sometimes, trust me!

Let us know what you think of this!

Reach out to us: info@foodforanalytics.com

Or join us: workatffa.com

Sjors Otten
Management

“Insights without action is worthless”

Sjors Otten is a pragmatic and passionate data & analytics architect. He excels in leveraging the untapped potential of your organization’s data. Sjors has a solid background in Business Informatics and Software Development.

With his years of experience on all levels of IT, Sjors is the go-to-person for breaking down business- and IT-strategies in workable and understandable data & analytics solutions for all levels within your organization whilst maintaining alignment with the defined corporate strategies.

Related blogs

Food for Thought | Data Model-Driven Strategy

Data Model-Driven Strategy

Read more
Food For Thought | Data-Driven Pricing Strategies

Data-Driven Pricing in the Food Industry

Read more
Food For Thought | Food Traceability with Blockchain

How blockchain improves Food Traceability

Read more

Ready to become a titan in the food industry?

Get your own Titan
Food For Analytics © 2024 All rights reserved
Chamber of Commerce 73586218
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram