During my consulting engagements within…

During my consulting engagements within large organization, I meet senior managers and exchange with them on the topic of technical debt. I would like to share with you:
• The questions that are quite systematically raised by my contacts
• My current answers to their questions.
• My suggestions, my proposal about what needs to be done to make progress?

Question 3:
What can I do with all the Technical Debt accumulated in my legacy applications?

My current answer:
As you do not have the entire necessary budget to pay off your debt, you have to compromise. I propose to them an approach based on the use of two types of data for each application.

  • 2 external data: the estimated relative added value level and the estimated annual maintenance charge.

-2 internal data: The amount of technical debt and interest as measured by a tool that implements the SQALE method.

The principle is simple. If an application has a low added value and has no maintenance activity, then its technical debt has no impact and improving its debt is not necessary.
If an application provide high added value and has a high maintenance activity then its technical debt should be very low. This application must be given priority in the allocation of budget for improvement. This approach is applied successfully for some time by very large organizations. I have explained it in more detail in a recent article published in the Cutter IT Journal.
Here is a copy (please don’t distribute or copy for copyright reasons)of this article.

I will be happy to present (and demonstrate) this approach with more detail during our seminar.