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Managing Technical Debt: Identify Technical Debt Items

September 2022 Fact Sheet

This fact sheet describes how an organization can create an inventory of technical debt items, assess them for impact, and plan how to manage them effectively.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

Abstract

When a design or construction approach is efficient in the short term but increases complexity and cost in the long term, technical debt occurs.  It is important for an organization to understand where its technical debt originates, how it magnifies, and what consequences it has. The SEI recommends that project teams build an inventory of all technical debt across the system and record the consequences of accumulating debt. This process helps to identify concrete items of technical debt, consider their impact over time, evaluate the lifecycle cost associated with them, and plan how to manage them.