There are several ways to manage tech debt and one such is the inclusion of it in iteration level activities. It is important that code coverage is a done and it should not be focused for catching defects only. You should try to find out all the information about the intended behavior of each code beforehand. You will see that the testing path will reveal several and excessive complexities in the code along with several other patterns of tech debt. Your prime focus should be on having the coverage trend upwards always over time and therefore you should track code coverage after each iteration and at all times try to avoid specific and absolute goals set for test coverage.
Cost And Overhead
You should also measure the amount of overhead cost that tech debt will impose on each iteration. Things like the percentage of unproductive time spend for managing tech debt in a code will help you to visualize tech debt and also its impact on the code, the productivity and functionality of your code as well as the business on the whole. Tech debts make things harder for the development teams. As a part of regular overheads when time constraints starts to follow to implement new stories, addressing to issues become very hard for the team. When you have such percentage of the cost of overhead, you can make a rough estimate on how hard it is to address.
It becomes every hard for the development team to implement new stories due to tech debt which affects the velocity of the code. Rough estimation can be made on how easier ways can be used to implement new stories while addressing tech debt and how much time it will take. If the estimate of a story comes down to 8 story points instead of 13 when you work on code duplication and eliminate it and other handling issues that plagues the code, the velocity is increased.
Provide Developer Happiness
You should also find out to measure how happy people are working on a code base and find ways to make them happier with tech debt free codes, as much as possible. It will increase the effectiveness and also the productivity of the code. Efforts for any refactoring should be included while estimating stories for the code. This can be done when you allocate a percentage of the velocity of the team for such tech debt stories. You should therefore consider maintaining enough slack for the developers who can use it for refactoring.
Retrospection And Static Code Analysis
Time should also be set aside for educating other teams and developers to prevent tech debt. Introduce mob programming for deeper discussions, identification of the flow so that all can work on any code and you do not have to depend on a specific developer. With implementation of static code analysis you can check the overall progress of the code and retrospect on tech debt to find its impact, review ideas and address it to reduce tech debt in a code.
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