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In a very transparent lingo, technical debt is defined as the result of taking shortcuts when developing a software. It’s the accumulation of technical issues within a software system over time. Unfortunately, Tech-debt is a common problem faced by companies of all sizes and in all industries. Reasons vary from speed of feature delivery, budget limitations, to technical skills shortage. Unaddressed debts can slow development, raise maintenance costs, and lower software quality. However, the good news is that I have come up with 5 secret tips for tackling technical debt! 

Let me walk you through!

A survey by Vanson Bourne found that 90% of IT leaders believe Tech-debt is a barrier to innovation. Also, 88% of developers believe it impacts their ability to respond to changing business needs. So, addressing it becomes essential to ensure the long-term health and viability of the software. Confused? Don’t worry, Allow me to explain thoroughly. So, Imagine you’re building a house, and you’re short on time and resources. You need to finish quickly, so you take some shortcuts along the way. It can be like using cheaper, lower-quality materials or skiping some important steps in the construction process. Sure, it helps you finish faster and save money, but what happens in the long run? 

So, it is just like a house built on shaky foundations. Apparently, it can lead to long-term problems that can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. Therefore, Tackling Tech-debt is crucial to ensure the overall health and sustainability of software.

Talking of which, I discussed about the Technical Debt and Ways to Manage it – in one of TheCodeWork’s previous blogs. In case you haven’t read it, please have a look to understand this blog better!

So, now that we are done with the introduction to the topic, let’s get started…

Understanding the Technical Debt and it’s Impact

Here’s to the basic understanding –

The rise of technical debt has become a major issue for companies in the long term. The accumulation of such debt leads to a fragile production. Additionally, it causes development period to increase along with maintenance costs. In some cases, it leads to system failures or security breaches, resulting in significant damage to a business’s reputation. 

Now, let me share you some additional pointers on the consequences of such Debts:

  • Degrades software quality: It will lead to poor software quality, including bugs, glitches, and crashes. Enough to damage a company’s reputation.
  • Decreases scalability and flexibility: Makes it difficult to scale and meet increasing demand to changing business requirements. 
  • Reduces innovation: Such debts can limit your ability to innovate. As developers may be spending more time addressing debts than exploring new ideas.
  • Creates internal conflict: create conflict within development teams and between developers and management. As different groups prioritize different aspects of the product development process.
  • Increases risk: Increases overall risk! as it can be difficult to predict and manage the impact of issues on business outcomes.

But you don’t have to worry anymore! Afterall, I have the solution that you have been waiting for. Reach out to TheCodeWork to know more on this.

Tips for Tackling Technical Debt: 5 Essential Tips

By understanding the scope of Tech-debt and establishing a plan for addressing it, you can effectively manage it. Also, you can ensure that your software systems remain healthy. All you have to do is to provide value over time. And you will be set to go! 

Now, let me present you the 5 tips for tackling Technical Debt.

1. Prioritize Technical Debt

Technical Debt

Prioritizing Tech-debt is the first crucial step in finding an effective solution. Not all Tech-debt is equal; some issues can have a more significant impact on the project than others. So it is mandatory to prioritize it and focus on the most critical issues first.

According to a Deloitte survey: 62% of IT leaders prioritize debts based on their business needs. On the other hand, only 38% prioritize it based on technical limitations.  

Now, here are some ways for you to prioritize your Tech-debt:

  • Identify high-risk areas: Start by identifying the areas of your project that are most critical. These may include areas that are vital to the overall functionality of the software. 
  • Consider Severity: Prioritize issues based on severity, giving higher priority to those with greater impact.
  • Consult with stakeholders: It’s essential to involve stakeholders in the prioritization process. They may provide valuable insights on issues that are prominent, and which can be addressed later.

This targeted approach allows developers to avoid wasting resources on minor issues and address critical requirements. By prioritizing, you can optimize your development process and deliver fine value to your users.

Need some tech assistance in identifying debts? What are we here for? 

Reach out to us at TheCodeWork for a free consultation call.

2. Create a Debt Reduction Plan

Debt Reduction Plan

Having a plan in place is crucial! 

Creating a debt reduction plan will help developers to establish a clear roadmap. It will also ensure that they are progressing towards their goals. The plan should outline the specific steps and strategies that the development team will take to address. 

Here are some key steps to consider when creating a Tech-debt reduction plan:

  • Set Measurable Goals: Define specific, measuring goals that you want to achieve with your debt reduction plan. This includes the reduction of high-priority issues or improving coding quality. For example, work on reducing product defects by 20% in the next six months
  • Define tasks and timelines: Break down specific tasks and assign them to team members. Set timelines for each task to ensure progress towards your goal.
  • Monitor progress: Regularly monitor progress towards your goal and adjust the plan as per requirement. It will allow you to stay on track and identify any issues that slow down progress.

And do you know? Gartner predicted that 50% of organizations, will have Tech-debt reduction plans by 2025. 

So, it is now evidently clear that having a debt reduction plan in place is a must. As it not only provides a clear roadmap to your goals. But also keeps your team accountable for their action.

3. Involve stakeholders


Involving stakeholders should not be avoided when tackling Tech-debt. It ensures that their needs are met, and the most important issues are addressed. Taking the help of stakeholders can ensure that debt reduction efforts are aligned with the business needs. 

Stakeholders can provide valuable insight into the impact of debt on the system’s functionality. They can also help you to prioritize your issues based on their specific requirements.

Now, here are some prominent ways to involve your stakeholders:

  • Identify stakeholders: Start by identifying the stakeholders who will be impacted by your debt reduction efforts. You can include end-users, product managers, executives, and development team members. 
  • Communicate: Explain to stakeholders on Tech-debt and how it impacts the project’s success.  This  also builds support and ensures that stakeholders are engaged in the process.
  • Gather input: Ask for input from stakeholders to identify the issues that are most critical to them. Ensure that debt reduction efforts are focused on the issues that are crucial to them.
  • Communicate outcomes: Keep stakeholders informed of the outcomes. This will build trust and ensure that stakeholders are aware of the progress that you made.

Pro-tip: By involving stakeholders in the process, you can also increase their ownership and buy-in in the project. And together, you can build a stronger foundation for your project and deliver long-term value.

4. Improve Test and Code Quality

Test and Code Quality

Software testing and code quality are the pillars of success for a project. As it ensures that the software is reliable, maintainable, and will perform as expected. By improving testing practices and code quality, development teams can reduce debt. 

This also specifies that the software is easily maintainable and will improve further. This will lead to a faster development, higher-quality software, and happier end-users.   

Investing in code quality benefits: up to 20% reduction in maintenance and up to 50% reduction of cost, says Capgemini.

Also, if code and testing quality is a tad bit difficult task for you, why don’t you reach out to us? We are here for you!

Now, some key-steps to improving testing and code quality:

  • Implement code standards: Establish code standards and guidelines for your team to follow. This will ensure consistency and maintainability in the coding database.
  • Use Automated Testing: Implement automated testing to catch bugs and issues early in the development process. 
  • Invest in Good Coding Quality Tools: Use quality tools like analyzers, and code coverage tools to identify issues and enforce coding standards.
  • Prioritize testing and quality assurance: Ensure that testing and quality assurance are an integral part of the development process. 

Once you improve your testing and code quality, development teams can improve the overall quality of what they produce. Makes sense, right? It evidently opens up the horizon of increased productivity, reduced maintenance costs, and improved customer satisfaction.

5. Monitor and Measure Progress

Measure Progress

Now, Monitoring and measuring progress is the ultimate resolution. Without proper monitoring, it’s difficult to measure the effectiveness of your debt reduction plan. This also allows developers to make necessary adjustments to their plan as needed.

Also, McKinsey found that measuring Tech-debt allows them to make informed decisions on resource allocation. 

So, here are some pointers on how to monitor and measure progress when you are tackling Tech-debt:

  • Track progress: Regularly track progress towards your goals using metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). It will identify areas where progress is slow and where you need to focus. 
  • Use data to make decisions: Collect and analyze data to inform decisions about which issues to resolve first and how to allocate resources.
  • Celebrate successes: Celebrate successes along the way to keep your team’s motivation high. Do acknowledge the hard work done by the team to tackle the debt.
  • Adjust the plan as needed: If progress is slow or if you encounter unexpected roadblocks, then strategize accordingly. It will ensure that you are moving towards your goal, even if the path changes.

Precisely, it is proven that monitoring and measuring your progress ensures that your plan is on track. These metrics help you to achieve higher levels of code quality and stability over the long term.

Talk to our tech experts today! 

Case Studies: How Popular Companies Have Successfully Tackled Technical Debt?

In recent years, Tech-debt has become an increasingly important issue for many companies. As software systems are complex and business requirements evolved, Tech-debt has become a significant global factor. This has led many companies to make significant efforts to address their debt. 

Here are some examples:

  • Microsoft: They have a long history of dealing with Tech-debt. Recently, they focused on improving the quality of their codes, with programs likeOne Engineering System“.  It aims to standardize development tools and processes across the company. It is now easier for developers to write high-quality code and reduce debt. 
  • Google: Another tech giant that has been working hard to tackle debt. They developed several tools and processes. Also, they encouraged developers to take ownership of issues and to address it as part of their work.
  • Salesforce: A cloud-based software company that has made significant efforts to address Tech-debt in recent years. They invested in tools and processes that help developers to identify and fix debts, like “CodeScan“. The tool scans code for potential debts.

These companies and others like them have shown that tackling Tech-debt requires a sustained effort over time. With the right focus on developing tools and processes. They are successful in prioritizing and addressing debt as a key part of software development.

Bottom Line

So, you know now that Technical debt is a common challenge in the world of software. And it can have significant consequences if left unaddressed.

Remember, Tech-debt is not just a technical issue, but a broader challenge that impacts your entire project. So, the increased focus on Tech-debt reflects a growing recognition of the importance of your software’s quality. And by taking proactive steps, Developers can build a stronger foundation for your software projects. And you can continue to deliver value to your users over the long term.  

Remember, that TheCodeWork’s technical team is available to assist with any technological issues you may encounter. We’re always here to help!

TheCodeWork Team

Our Content Team at TheCodeWork believes in quality content. We write everything related to startups and products at large. We publish our blog every alternate Wednesday. Subscribe to our newsletter to get notified of our awesome content.

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