Most CIOs have at least heard the term technical debt. And if you’re from a programming background, you might know all too well what technical debt is. But technical debt extends far beyond programming. Technical debt is often a major source of strain in your IT departments and lead to major inefficiencies and lost opportunities.
Especially with the rise of DevOps, some CIOs have come to the conclusion that technical debt is inevitable, because they believe in a false choice between agility and engineering that avoids debt, but is cumbersome and time-consuming. That’s a false dichotomy: The problem of technical debt doesn’t stem from cutting a few corners to enable quick implementation. It comes from failing to go back and modify the result to bring it into alignment with best practices.
In this article, I discuss five root causes of technical debt, and six best practices to manage it going forward.