Challenge Case: Technical Debt

Technical debt is filling our backlog, hurting quality, and burdening the team.

Our product launched more than a decade ago, and it runs on an platform several versions old. It’s hard to find people willing to work on the old version of the platform, and even the vendor doesn’t support it any longer other than for emergency security fixes.

The system is hard to understand. It was created by people who are no longer with the company, and it doesn’t follow today’s accepted design patterns. There are no reliable automated pre-release tests, and when we make any non-trivial change, we face a high risk that we break something we don’t even know about until our customers complain.

The members of the team say they want to be able to innovate and learn some of the newer technologies and technical disciplines, and they feel held back by the condition of the system they have to work with every day.

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