The sources and approaches to management of technical debt: A case study of two product lines in a middle-size Finnish software company

Jesse Yli-Huumo*, Andrey Maglyas, Kari Smolander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fierce competition in the software market forces companies to release their product under tough time constraints. The competition makes companies reactive and they need to release new versions often. To achieve this need for speed, companies take shortcuts to reach deadlines. These shortcuts and resulting omitted quality are called technical debt. We investigated one middle-size Finnish software company with two independent product lines and interviewed 12 persons in different positions to understand the causes and effects of technical debt. We were also interested in specific strategies and practices for managing technical debt. The results showed that technical debt is mostly formed as a result of intentional decisions made during the project to reach deadlines. Customer satisfaction was identified as the main reason for taking technical debt in short-term but it turned to economic consequences and quality issues in the longer perspective. Interestingly, neither of the product lines had any specific management plan for reducing technical debt but several practices have been identified.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProdiuct-Focused Software Process Improvement
Subtitle of host publication15th International Conference, PROFES 2014, Helsinki, Finland, December 10-12, 2014, proceedings
EditorsAndreas Jedlitschka, Pasi Kuvaja, Marco Kuhrmann, Tomi Männistö, Jürgen Münch, Mikko Raatikainen
Pages93-107
Number of pages15
Volume8892
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-13835-0
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

Publication series

NameLecture notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer
Number8892
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Keywords

  • Case study
  • Software company
  • Software project management
  • Software quality
  • Technical debt

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