The Agile Alliance Technical Debt Initiative: First deliverables

A little bit more than one year ago, I get the opportunity to lead an Agile Alliance Program focused on Technical Debt. The purpose of the program (also called Initiative) is to provide practical recommendations and answers to questions like:
• What is Technical Debt?
• How do I make informed decisions on when and how to address it?
• How can I start to manage Technical Debt

We formed a group of six people and we had a kick-off meeting in May 2015 to organize our work on different objectives. Then, we collaborate mostly by Hangouts, as we are located in different countries on both sides of the ocean. We also had a workshop in July 2015 in Washington DC, to present and discuss our first results and share ideas and thoughts.

Some of the first results (available here) of our work have just been published on the Agile Alliance website. This is :
• An introduction to the concept of Technical Debt
• A set of recommendations: Project Management and Technical Debt
• The Agile Alliance Debt Analysis Model (A2DAM)

The last item is a very basic set of code related rules which should be the minimum to comply with in order to produce “right code”. This is not a large inventory of best practices, of requirements to comply with. As the opposite, it is a short and simple “ground level” set of good practices to help teams to start. All the rules are characterized by fields like impact, remediation model etc.

An initial version has been built by the AA Program Team. This initial list has been sent for review to experts in 16 companies developing static code analysis tools. 11 of them have provided their feedback about the relevance and clarity of the practices, the associated thresholds and their tool implementation. Their feedback has been taken into account for delivering the final version.
Now that this list is public, we welcome all kind of feedback (in order to improve and enhance it on a regular basis) and we hope that it will help the community to better manage technical debt.

These are our first deliverables. There will be more this year.