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Managing Technical Debt in Agile Organizations

Technical Debt is a recent metaphor that is used to describe sub-optimal solutions that have a short-term benefit (taking the debt) but have a negative impact in the long run (paying the interest). Sub-optimal solutions may occur in software for various reasons, for example because of time pressure or because of the business evolution of the developed product.

Taking care of Technical Debt is of utmost importance for software organizations in order to assure continuous delivery of business value. We will show the last results from research, from the fact that Technical Debt is not completely avoidable, to the need of prioritizing the issues that are most dangerous for the organization. Then we will share the experiences from Ericsson: how the introduction of the Technical Debt metaphor has improved the understanding of the risks of implementing sub-optimal solutions and how it is possible to deal with Technical Debt in practice.

Antonio Martini, Chalmers University of Technology and Henrik Harmsen, Ericsson
Antonio Martini is a PhD candidate in Software Engineering and has spent the last four years in researching the Technical Debt phenomenon, in collaboration with Ericsson and other companies in the Software Center. Henrik Harmsen is a Software Architect at Ericsson, involved in dealing with Technical Debt in his organization.