Technical Debt


What is Technical Debt

Technical debt refers to any build or testing work that is required as a carry over from previous sprint work.

So, it is essentially work that should have been completed in a previous sprint, but because it was not we must pay it back to return to net 0. As an example, let’s assume that based on some necessary shipping deadlines you have to put up a temporary architecture solution to ship the product on time. The work that is required to get the architecture fixed the right way is considered technical debt. The product is technically functioning, but the band aid solution needs to be remedied so these stories should be tagged and taken later on.

Why is the term important

Having 10%-20% of stories each sprint dedicated to doing technical debt so your architecture continually improves. Make sure that your product isn’t stacking mounds of technical debt, because what is right now a little clutter or inconsistency will grow to a mountainous and disastrous architecture over time. Nip it in the bud through continuous improvement and you can prevent this from happening.



About Author

Co-founder of, ex-Audible (Amazon), AmEx and TribalScale Product Management leader, currently living in Portugal leading product management of vertical expansion for automotive within OLX. Mike has built products and coached teams all over the world.

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