Technical debt : the cost of doing nothing
Author(s)Page, Austin M.(Austin Markley)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program.
System Design and Management Program.
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The Air Force is currently paying a cost for the mismanagement of its software development activities. Software-intensive systems are consistently plagued with cost, schedule, and performance issues, which in the current fiscal environment is unsustainable. There has been much research on the benefits of process improvement, yet the concept of product health is largely ignored. Technical debt - the consequence of making short-term design decisions at the expense of long-term health - has been accumulating within code bases as developers and managers struggle to identify, quantify, and manage it properly. In this thesis, an extensive literature search is performed to define technical debt, explain its implications, and highlight methods to quantify and visualize it so organizations can address it explicitly. Through the use of architectural health analysis tools, a set of metrics is defined and used in case studies to highlight the extent to which the Air Force has lost control of its software and the price it has to pay because of it. Ultimately, eleven recommendations are given on how to incorporate architectural health analysis tools into software development activities to prevent, identify, manage, and reduce the amount of technical debt across product lifecycles.
Thesis: S.M. in Engineering and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Design and Management Program, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. Vita.Includes bibliographical references (pages 93-96).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering and Management Program; System Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering and Management Program., System Design and Management Program.