As industry and government customers demand increasingly rapid innovation and the ability to adapt products and systems to emerging needs, the time frames for releasing new software capabilities continue to shorten. Likewise, Agile software development processes, with their emphasis on releasing new software capabilities rapidly, are increasing in popularity beyond their initial small team and project context. Practices intended to speed up the delivery of value to users, however, often result in high rework costs that ultimately offset the benefits of faster delivery, especially when good engineering practices are forgotten along the way. This rework and degrading quality often is referred to as technical debt.
This post by Ipek Ozkaya at the SEI blog describes SEI research on improving the overall value delivered to users by strategically managing technical debt, which involves decisions made to defer necessary work during the planning or execution of a software project.