By: Katie Hart, Program Director, CISQ
As seen in our 2022 Cost of Poor Software Quality Report, the U.S. spent over $2.41 trillion due to technical debt. At CISQ, our global experts work together to develop international software standards to reduce technical debt by automating code quality. CISQ standards enable organizations developing or acquiring software-intensive systems to measure the operational risk software poses to the business and estimate the cost of ownership. However, with the rise of technical debt, we’ve put together a quick blog on tackling technical debt due to poor software to ensure that your organization can move forward and prioritize critical risk areas.
- Identify the root cause of your technical debt: Before you can begin addressing it, you need to understand what it is and where it is coming from. This can involve conducting a technical audit or reviewing code and design documentation.
- Prioritize the debt: Not all technical debt is created equally, and it is vital to prioritize the most critical issues first. Consider the debt’s impact on your organization and the potential consequences of not addressing it.
- Plan: Once you have identified and prioritized the technical debt, you need to create a plan for addressing it. This plan should include specific steps for addressing each issue and a timeline for completion.
- Refactor code: One of the most effective ways to address technical debt is to refactor code, which involves restructuring existing code to make it more maintainable and scalable.
- Write clean code: As you work on new projects, focus on writing clean, maintainable code from the start. This will help to prevent the accumulation of additional technical debt.
- Automate testing: Automated testing can help identify code quality issues and reduce the risk of introducing new technical debt.
- Invest in training: Ensuring that your team has the necessary skills and knowledge can help to reduce the risk of technical debt. Consider investing in training and development programs for your team.
- Use design patterns: Using design patterns can help to ensure that your code is scalable, maintainable, and easy to understand.
- Use version control: Using version control systems, such as Git, can help to track changes to your codebase and make it easier to identify and fix issues.
- Secure executive commitment: Regularly set aside time at the executive level specifically for addressing technical debt. This can help to ensure that the debt does not get deprioritized or go unnoticed. Set and align organizational champion initiatives for getting technical debt policies in place and monitored.