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Report to the Congressional Defense Committees on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 Section 835 Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems

Technical Report
This independent study of technical debt in software-intensive systems was sent to Congress in December 2023 to satisfy the requirements of NDAA Section 835.
Publisher

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number
CMU/SEI-2023-TR-003
DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
10.1184/R1/24043392

Abstract

A team from Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) conducted an independent study to satisfy the requirements of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Section 835, Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems.

This report describes the conduct of the study, summarizes the technical trends observed, and presents the resulting recommendations. The study methodology includes a literature review, a review of SEI reports developed for program stakeholders, deep dives on program data from SEI engagements with Department of Defense (DoD) programs, and interviews conducted using the 10 study elements specified in Section 835(b).

The study concludes that programs are aware of the importance of managing technical debt. Furthermore, a number of DoD programs have established practices to actively manage technical debt. During this study, the DoD published several guidance documents that begin to include technical debt and technical debt management as an essential practice for successful software development. Study recommendations include that the DoD must continue to update policy/guidance and empower programs to incorporate technical debt practices as part of their software development activities while enabling research in improved tool support and data collection.

Cite This Technical Report

Ozkaya, I., Shull, F., Cohen, J., & O'Hearn, B. (2023, December 7). Report to the Congressional Defense Committees on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 Section 835 Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems. (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2023-TR-003). Retrieved February 23, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/24043392.

@techreport{ozkaya_2023,
author={Ozkaya, Ipek and Shull, Forrest and Cohen, Julie and O'Hearn, Brigid},
title={Report to the Congressional Defense Committees on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 Section 835 Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems},
month={Dec},
year={2023},
number={CMU/SEI-2023-TR-003},
howpublished={Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library},
url={https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/24043392},
note={Accessed: 2024-Feb-23}
}

Ozkaya, Ipek, Forrest Shull, Julie Cohen, and Brigid O'Hearn. "Report to the Congressional Defense Committees on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 Section 835 Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems." (CMU/SEI-2023-TR-003). Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library. Software Engineering Institute, December 7, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/24043392.

I. Ozkaya, F. Shull, J. Cohen, and B. O'Hearn, "Report to the Congressional Defense Committees on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 Section 835 Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems," Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library. Software Engineering Institute, Technical Report CMU/SEI-2023-TR-003, 7-Dec-2023 [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/24043392. [Accessed: 23-Feb-2024].

Ozkaya, Ipek, Forrest Shull, Julie Cohen, and Brigid O'Hearn. "Report to the Congressional Defense Committees on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 Section 835 Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems." (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2023-TR-003). Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library, Software Engineering Institute, 7 Dec. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/24043392. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Ozkaya, Ipek; Shull, Forrest; Cohen, Julie; & O'Hearn, Brigid. Report to the Congressional Defense Committees on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 Section 835 Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems. CMU/SEI-2023-TR-003. Software Engineering Institute. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/24043392