Technical Debt - Definition, Causes and Managing Technical Debt
We’ve grown accustomed to seeing technology as the major driver of development. However, there’s another side to the coin: if early bad technological decisions aren’t pruned, they might become a source of technical debt. Budget cuts, extended time-to-market, and decreased productivity are all signs of unsolved technology difficulties. But how can you flip the script and have your systems work for you rather than against you? The first step is to understand what technical debt is.
What is Technical Debt?
Technical debt is in software development and execution decisions clash with business objectives and timelines, which is why, it is almost unavoidable in any firm. If you don’t release your software or project till every line of code is flawless, your project may never get off the ground, and your company will most likely be close to the end. Software engineering and technical staff are frequently under pressure to work on tight schedules. To achieve these timelines, many developers have taken shortcuts when it comes to producing clean code, providing clear instructions, and producing clean data sources.
What Causes Technical Debt?
Following are some of the most prevalent sources of technical debt:
Business needs frequently get in the way of application development. Teams are under pressure to provide things more quickly for less cost. Consequently, the dynamic needs of projects lead to a huge surge in expenses.
It is common for what made sense for the first time to no longer hold true. It’s possible that you’ll need to update your tech stack/tools, or that the technology you’re using has just become obsolete. Making sudden shifts to different technologies might be an overwhelming idea and hence create an imbalance in the development environment thus leading to unforeseen technical debts.
The gap in internal communication:
When an idea isn’t properly documented, it might lead to technical debt. People become perplexed as to how it should have been accomplished and why it should be accomplished. It’s not about playing the blame game or criticizing individuals; it’s about figuring out how to improve human resource management. You’re certain to fall into difficulties with technical debt if you don’t have enough experienced engineers, inadequate communication across remote teams, or resources that don’t just scale.
How to Manage Technical Debt?
Technical debt management necessitates striking a balance between quality – for a user-friendly experience, and speed – to meet business deadlines. While technical debt may appear to be innocuous at first glance if left uncontrolled, speed and agility will become obsolete. The threat of technical debt grows when businesses focus on reducing time-to-market and allowing non-professional programmers (citizen developers) to create commercial programs on their own. Junior developers may lack expertise and be prone to disregard debt until it has grown out of control. Quick solutions may allow you to fulfil your goals but beware of the cost. Alternatively, it may be difficult to identify and remediate. In any event, there are methods for reducing and managing technical debt.
5 Techniques for Managing and Reducing Technical Debt
Make sure you constantly take other actions to decrease your technical debt as quickly as you become conscious of it. According to McKinsey, firms who are diligent with technical debt management can lower their TD by 75% to 25%. As a result, you should take action as well! The following are the most popular methods for dealing with technical debt.
1. Recognize your technical debt.
Companies frequently accumulate technical debt without recognizing it thus becoming an unpleasant issue that creates several problems. The sooner you recognize it, the easier it will be to pay off your technical debt.
2. Determine your level of adoption.
You may have to reach your technology adoption stage based on the level of technical debt you have. It will almost certainly dictate the strategy for settling technical debt. Here are a two strategies to reduce technical debt which are as follows:
- Replace the entire system. Sometimes legacy systems are overly complex, and you can’t resolve them by applying patches or addressing only specific problems. It’s a time-consuming and costly procedure, and it’s sometimes the only viable option.
- Try to refactor in stages (commitment to investing). By focusing on each sprint, you may decrease technical debt using this technique. It may be costly at first, but it will pay off in the long term.
3. Employ Agile Software Development Techniques.
Paying off technical debt on a constant schedule every scoot is more helpful in mitigating it. Furthermore, agile software development techniques assist the team in continuously delivering a level of quality in short durations of time. These tasks should be included in the product backlog in agile, which makes monitoring easy.
4. Make an effort to repay your technical debt regularly.
Technical leaders must continually collaborate with stakeholders to incorporate technical debt assessment into the agenda and to plan repair sprints as needed. Be careful to add related jobs in your schedule to avoid them sliding through the gaps and getting forgotten. Technical debt is best managed when it is measured continually.
How does low-code reduce technical debt?
Low-code allows for new ways of thinking. It enables businesses to swiftly develop powerful apps while relieving IT staff of the burden of continuous maintenance, enabling them to focus on the creativity that propels the company ahead. Low-code is a new approach to application development. Instead of writing lines of code, programmers use visual, intent-driven development tools to construct apps. Adopting low-code allows businesses to get rid of their technological debt. Low-code keeps track of technical debt at every stage of the process: planning, implementation, integration, and maintenance.
1. Low-code facilitates collaboration between business and IT.
The main cause of the technical debt discussed above was the miscommunication between the team/employee involved. When business users and developers collaborate to create apps, the best results are achieved. Low-code facilitates cooperation and enables business users to provide clear regular input. Instead of feature development taking place in isolation, end users may shape the program as it develops in front of their eyes. Users may provide input on mockups and in-progress versions, guaranteeing that development teams have a clear grasp of what’s required. This ensures that the business and IT team are on the same page. Thus, reducing any misunderstanding between the team and as in turn reducing technical debt.
2. Low-code reduces the time to build an application while maintaining its power and quality.
Another cause of technical debt is an imbalance between time and quality. The development of low-code applications is up to twenty times faster than conventional development methods. With low code, IT teams can concentrate on creating the best solution while the platform handles the programming.
3. Low-code solves the integration challenge by lowering the expense and maintenance.
When the process is not properly documented and noted down, it results in technical debt. Skilled workers, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotic process automation (RPA), as well as outside tools, legacy software, and data, are all brought together in a single workflow by robust low-code automated platforms that maintain data in a single place. This helps businesses to rapidly and easily connect apps and automate processes, even those that are complicated which automatically reduces technical debt.
4. Low-code apps are much easier to keep up with.
When apps are launched, they instantly include the most recent UI, security standards, and operate on the most recent mobile devices and cloud platforms thus reducing the need to adapt apps for different settings and software platforms. Low-code apps do not contribute to the pile of technical debt that is overburdening IT departments. Updates, security certifications, legislative inspections, and performance concerns are all managed automatically by the system, simplifying maintenance needs.
Why is Kissflow Low-Code platform the best option for managing technical debt?
Kissflow Low-Code has the following features which when combined can eliminate the technical debt.
1. App Builder:
Kissflow Low-code design tailor made app from scratch cutting down the time without sacrificing the qualities. Thus reducing the technical debt.
2. Application Deployment:
With Kissflow Low-code you can develop applications and move them to the subsequent stages of their lifecycle such as testing and deployment on this unified platform. You can also seemingly deploy apps with modifications. You don’t have to take down the updates.
3. Drag and Drop:
Aside from speeding up development cycles with minimum coding, your low-code platforms should also feature an easy drag-and-drop visual model that allows business users and domain experts to quickly convert their ideas into apps without exhausting IT personnel and thus decreasing the technical debt.
4. Data Integration:
Data Integration solution with Kissflow Low-Code allows developers to drag and drop connectors and logical structures to create integration flow with minimal coding. Ideally, low-code development should only require text encoding in simple formulas or expressions. Low-code support refers to the availability of reusable integration artifacts such as cloud streaming and pre-packaged integration processes in the form of templates.