Technical Debt

Managing Technical Debt Webinar

On June 17, 2012, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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Last month I was privileged to present a webinar hosted by the ITMPI on the topic of managing technical debt.  The presentation discussed the technical debt metaphor from its inception in 1992 when Ward Cunningham coined it to where it is today.  In addition to disecting the metaphor’s evolution, we discussed opportunities and challenges the [...]

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

On April 23, 2011, in Cloud Computing, Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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There has been quite a bit of press coverage regarding the  outage at Amazon this week.  Much of this coverage has focused on how the outage has brought down many popular web sites such as Reddit, Quora and Foursquare.  The point that seems to be getting missed here is that by failing to plan, these [...]

The Stakeholder Perspective – Conclusion

On March 13, 2011, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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In this final installment on the Stakeholder Perspective on Technical Debt, we talk through how organizations will benefit from having technology teams engaged in managing issues affecting intrinsic and extrinsic quality.  An expanded definitional framework of technical debt will be proposed along with detail describing why this expanded definition bridges many gaps that exist today. [...]

The Stakeholder Perspective – The Ecosystem

On February 16, 2011, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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This is the second article in a series about a recent paper our team submitted to the SEI arguing that technical debt should be defined from what we called “The Stakeholder Perspective.”  As we discussed in the introduction, there are many different perspectives from which quality can be evaluated.  Ward Cunningham proposed the most commonly [...]

The Stakeholder Perspective – Introduction

On February 13, 2011, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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I recently led a team of technology and risk management professionals in developing a paper for the Second Workshop on Managing Technical Debt.  The call for papers is organized by Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in preparation for the Workshop which will be held in Hawaii in May.  I proposed that we explore [...]

Technical Debt – Part 5: Governance

On December 26, 2010, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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Corporate governance programs have taken on a much more significant focus since the latest wave of high profile corporate failures. Companies with tremendous history and prestige like Bear Stearns, AIG, and Lehman Brothers collapsed practically overnight because the desire for short term performance overshadowed the need for prudent risk management.  There were governance and oversight [...]

Technical Debt – Part 4: Remediation

On December 19, 2010, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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In the first three parts of this series we discussed topics related to defining, identifying, and quantifying technical debt.  In this article we will discuss topics for consideration when planning a remediation initiative.  The first thing to recognize before planning a payback strategy is that it is an ongoing effort.  Paying back technical debt can [...]

Technical Debt – Part 3: Quantifying

On December 15, 2010, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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There are two key components to the technical debt equation: principal and interest.  Quantifying both the principal owed and the interest payments being made are critical.  Without a complete picture of the cost of the debt, calculating the return on investment (ROI) on resolving the debt is not possible.  Understanding ROI is necessary in order [...]

Technical Debt – Part 2: Identification

On December 6, 2010, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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We discussed the process of defining technical debt in a previous article which outlines some important items that should be considered before going about identifying it within an organization. Only after a clear vision of what technical debt means to the organization has been established should one go about the process of trying to find [...]

Technical Debt – Part 1: Definition

On November 12, 2010, in Technical Debt, by Ted Theodoropoulos
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Technical debt is a subject that is getting a lot of attention lately. Gartner estimates global technical debt at $500 Billion and projects it to reach $1 Trillion in five years. Surprisingly, however, technical debt is a concept that many people in business and technology fail to fully understand. The reason this lack of understanding [...]