Technical debt: why fix what isn’t broken?

Every IT project is punctuated by decisions to speed up the delivery of the features that users expect. Sometimes, these decisions turn into compromises, which in turn lead to the implementation of solutions with degraded quality and functional coverage. Business requirements and emergencies are generally at the root of these decisions. The result, throughout successive development versions, is an additional workload (and cost) which impacts both technical and business teams, and can weigh on the smooth running of the organization. This additional workload is known as technical debt.

Technical debt is unavoidable, and may even be incurred for tactical or strategic reasons, in order to speed up delivery. However, it must be kept to a minimum, and paid off regularly. Indeed, the accumulation of technical debt can be extremely troublesome, as it reduces the ability of development teams to deliver business value. In extreme cases, technical debt can even paralyze projects. It is therefore essential to manage it so that it becomes an ally rather than an enemy. Even if the system works well for the time being…