Chapter 7 of Software in 30 Days, by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, provides very useful insights into technical debt.
The following excerpt alone might make some managers wake up in cold sweats during the night…
“Quality reduction has traditionally been a variable in software development. Systems are completed with minimum slippage if quality is reduced. However, quality reduction actually reduces productivity, increases cost, and causes more date slippage. Teams are burdened with additional work to fix the compounded defects and bugs. The only difference is that the reason for the slippage and cost increases is invisible to you. […] Technical debt progressively increases product fragility and shortens its expected life.”
Speaking of which, a quote from Peopleware, by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister, also comes to my mind:
“People under time pressure don’t work better—they just work faster. In order to work faster, they may have to sacrifice the quality of the product and of their own work experience.”
Nothing else to say.
Sweet dreams, technical debt managers! 😉