Enhancing Software Development Efficiency with Technical Debt Management, 2013-


Ville Leppänen
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Johannes Holvitie

Technical debt is a term used for communicating the outcome of trade-offs made between development driving aspects. In software development, the most common trade-off barters internal quality for expedited delivery. Similarly to financial debt, this short-term gain - in one dimension - is an advantage if the organization is capable of managing the accompanying debt - in other dimensions. While negligence results to incurring interest payments in the form of declining efficiency and finally unsustainable development.

Explicit management of technical debt is rather a new research area. It is primarily interested in integrating technical debt management into software development via making related information and appropriate procedures available to existing processes. In order to achieve this, a number of obstacles need to be moved. From these, the greatest one concerns technical debt information production: how to derive up-to-date, appropriate and distinct information about technical debt in an efficient manner.

This project concentrates on to the research of possible technical debt management enhancements for existing software development practices. A development method independent possibility and the current focus of endeavors is in making technical debt explicit for the software implementation process. This work has resulted into the creation of a tool called DebtFlag. The DebtFlag is a plug-in for the Eclipse environment and it uses a propagation model coupled with rule sets to both capture and present technical debt at the implementation level while also acting as an integration point for higher level management approaches.



Refereed Workshop Papers (1)

[1]DebtFlag: Technical Debt Management with a Development Environment Integrated Tool (, ), In 2013 4th International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt (MTD) (Philippe Kruchten, Robert Nord, Ipek Ozkaya, eds.), IEEE, . [bibtex]

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