Technical debt can be harmful for an organization if left uncontrolled. Businesses should keep track of this debt so that they later face no issues. IT experts and business owners should always review the extent of technical debt and business loans that a company has to ensure it does not hamper the future progress of operations. However, before monitoring technical debt, they should be aware of the different kinds of technical debt that an organization can have. This post looks at the different types of technical debt and analyses whether they are good or bad for the development or progress of an organization.
What Are The Different Types Of Technical Debt?
The following are the different kinds of technical debt that an organization might incur-
1) Planned Technical Debt
Planned technical debt takes place when the company makes an informed choice to accommodate technical debt with a complete understanding of its risks and costs. Experts in the field say in the above case, it is prudent to be as precise as possible when it comes to the nature of the compromises the company has to make for technical debt. For instance, if a company needs to meet deadlines for a new release, it may postpone the writing of the unit tests setting them for a later date post-release. Experts again say that since the above decisions are always taken quickly, it is prudent to maintain a written record of them. This gesture increases the likelihood of the technical debt getting arrested soon and fully paid down faster. If the business does not record the debt, it will be forgotten soon, and this will cost the organization dear big time later in the long run.
2) Unintended Technical Debt
This is the second type of technical debt that companies face. This technical debt is the result of poor IT practices of the company. For instance, an approach to design might contain several errors. This kind of technical debt is the direct result of the lack of internal communication inside the organization. It takes place when the development process and the goals of the business are not in line with each other.
3) Technical Debt That Is Unavoidable
Unavoidable technical debt takes place when there are changes in the organization and technological progress with time provides improved solutions. The above arises when there are changes in the software done in the middle of the project. This leads to an increase in the immediate costs like the addition of new features to present design for supporting mobile delivery. In such a case, the technical debt is created when the business has new requirements making the old technological codes obsolete.
Is Technical Debt Good For An Organization Or Bad?
Technical debt can be either good for an organization or bad. Businesses should know about their presence in the organization so that it can be controlled and not go ahead of the team. This is needed for ensuring that the debt does not get out of hand and difficult for the future delivery of the product.
Most organizations generally justify technical debt saying that it is necessary for the end product delivery over the cleanness or the smoothness of the functionality of the code. If the end product is working for the consumer even though it is not the cleanest or the best product, its delivery should not hamper the progress of your company when it comes to costs, revenue, etc. However, if the company needs a clean code that should work the best and needs the perfect design, it should take its time to deliver a product that is better and cleaner.
There is however a very bad reason for choosing technical debt, and this is when the IT team chooses to focus on other areas that are interesting or more innovative however are less important to the company.
The business owner has to decide carefully on the above. Technical debt accrues, and this will not be favorable for the company in the long run. Debt settlement is the need of the day. With IT experts, the business owner needs to sit with them and discuss whether a bad technical debt should be chosen or not. Like in financial debts where settlement debts reviews are taken into consideration, the above needs to be taken into careful situation as well.
Good Technical Debt Versus Bad Technical Debt
Experts in the field say that if you have valid reasons for incurring technical debt, choosing the messy option is not a prudent take for the design. Later on, the IT team has to return to the design and make repairs to it for increasing its functionality. If the team waits too long for the issue, it gives rise to greater issues, and the problem gets deeply buried in the code. This is where the business needs to decide on the time- whether to fix the code now or face the consequences of technical debt in the future.
Experts say that the software development team should maintain a clear and balanced view. They should view several sides of the issue to determine the extent of technical debt they should incur and how much.
How Should You Avoid Increasing Technical Debt?
Business owners agree that financial debts are simple for them to track. However, this is not true with technical debt. The latter has no metric. However, there are a few ways via which a technical debt can be measured with metrics like deadlines in the market versus working overtime and paying down the interest of the loan. This technical debt may arise from an information technology team that is not productive as per expectations – this again is very hard for a business to monitor and track.
Experts say you should keep track of technical debt for the development and progress of the organization. Make a list of the technical debts and divide them into small segments that your business can work on. As a business owner, you should ensure they are paid off on schedule and on time.
Kelly Wilson is an experienced and skilled Business Consultant and Financial advisor in the USA. She helps clients both personal and professional in long-term wealth building plans. During her spare time, she loves to write on Business, Finance, Marketing, Social Media. She loves to share her knowledge and Experts tips with her readers.