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Architectural Technical Debt Library

Collection
Delivering increasingly complex software-reliant systems demands better ways to manage the long-term effects of short-term expedients known as technical debt.
Publisher

Software Engineering Institute

Abstract

Getting Started

Delivering increasingly complex software-reliant systems demands better ways to manage the long-term effects of short-term expedients. The technical debt metaphor is gaining significant traction as a way to understand and communicate these issues. Often when a particular symptom in a system is described as technical debt, it's not just the code quality that is bad, but it's also accumulating problems that happen in terms of architectural changes that have occurred throughout the system's development. We see increasing industry interest and the emergence of related practices in an effort to handle maintainability, degrading quality, and strategic time-to market tradeoffs that the technical debt metaphor reifies.

SEI Blog

Highlight: "Managing the Consequences of Technical Debt: 5 Stories from the Field"

http://blog.sei.cmu.edu/archives.cfm/category/technical-debt

Integrating Technical Debt Management with Software Development Practice

Industry and government stakeholders continue to demand increasingly rapid innovation and the ability to adjust products and systems to emerging needs. Amidst all the enthusiasm towards meeting these needs, the critical role of the underlying architecture is often overlooked. These articles focus on the architecture principles and practices that support rapid delivery while managing technical debt.

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Technical Debt Research Agenda

The SEI focuses on managing debt as an agile software architecture strategy. Specifically, SEI researchers are focusing on identifying any implications to the cost of architectural changes. Architectural technical debt is a design or construction approach that's expedient in the short term, but that creates a technical context in which the same work requires architectural rework and costs more to do later than it would cost to do now (including increased cost over time). A unifying perspective is emerging of technical debt as the invisible results of past decisions about software that affect its future. The effect can be negative in the form of poorly managed risks, but if properly managed can be seen in a positive light to add value in the form of deferred investment opportunities. A gap in the existing approaches and tools is a way to extract architectural metrics that can assist understanding the accumulating rework and degrading quality.

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Collection Items

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Managing Technical Debt: Credit Check

Fact Sheet
By

This fact sheet outlines the costs of technical debt and explains how a Technical Debt Credit Check reveals the causes of technical debt and how to manage it.

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