A portfolio approach to technical debt management

  • Guo Y
  • Seaman C
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Technical debt describes the effect of immature software artifacts on software maintenance - the potential of extra effort required in future as if paying interest for the incurred debt. The uncertainty of interest payment further complicates the problem of what debt should be incurred or repaid and when. To help software managers make informed decisions, a portfolio approach is proposed in this paper. The approach leverages the portfolio management theory in the finance domain to determine the optimal collection of technical debt items that should be incurred or held. We expect this approach could provide a new perspective for technical debt management.

Author-supplied keywords

  • decision making
  • portfolio
  • software maintenance
  • software risk
  • technical debt

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  • Yuepu Guo

  • Carolyn Seaman

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