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Preventing Technical Debt by Technical Debt Aware Project Management

by   Marion Wiese, et al.

Technical Debts (TD) are problems of the internal software quality. They are often contracted due to tight project deadlines, for example quick fixes and workarounds, and can make future changes more costly or impossible. TD prevention should be more important than TD repayment, because subsequent refactoring and reengineering is usually more expensive than building the right solution from the beginning. While there are numerous works on TD repayment, solutions for TD prevention are understudied. This paper evaluates a framework that focuses on both TD prevention and TD repayment. It was developed by and applied in an IT unit of a publishing house. The unique contribution of this framework is the integration of TD management into project management. The evaluation was carried out by a study based on ticket statistics and a structured survey with participants from the observed IT unit and a comparison unit. The evaluation shows that the adoption of this framework leads to a raised awareness for the contraction of TD. This results in benefits like more rational discussions and decisions, TD prevention and timelier repayment of TD tickets.


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