Evaluating and managing technical debt in software development lifecycle

Increasing competition within software industry is forcing companies to develop their products faster to market in order to acquire customers. Balancing the idea of releasing poor-quality software early or high-quality after deadline is challenging for companies. Taking shortcuts and workarounds in development can give companies the needed speed to release their product in time.

However, if these shortcuts are never paid back, they might show up as omitted quality and extra costs in the future. This research is studying the challenges between development and deadlines that can also be called as ‘technical debt’. We are interested on the causes of the technical debt to the software development lifecycle and the effects occurring from it. Moreover, the focus in on evaluation and management strategies regarding controlling and reducing technical debt.

Our goal is to create a theoretical model about the evaluation and management of technical debt in software development lifecycle. We use grounded theory method for creating a theoretical model through several case studies and field interviews with profes-sionals from both technical and business background. As a result of the research, we will have a theoretical model of technical debt evaluation and management that can be applied to practice for improving companies internal and external processes that will help to create high-quality products on time and on budget.

Jesse Yli-Huumo, Andrey Maglyas (supervisor), Kari Smolander (supervisor) (Lappeenranta University of Technology): Evaluating and managing technical debt in software development lifecycle

Presented at PROFES 2014 Doctoral Symposium, Helsinki