Negotiating With Tech Debt Is Necessary Just Like Any Other Debt
When you have a personal debt or any other debt for that matter and want desperately to come out of the debt trap then all you have to do is negotiate with your creditors to find a better way out in addressing the problem. Similarly, in technical debt too, when you know that you have accumulated quite a considerable amount of it, then it is also required to be addressed and negotiated. In a software development company such negotiations are done with the development team when you see that the balance is lost and the team has not been giving the maximum effort.
Negotiating With Pressure
While developing a code every development team has to face external dependencies and pressure. Such pressures are created by the unreasonable product managers who make unreasonable promises to the stakeholders apart from committing to impossible deadlines for delivery. To maintain pace along with such pressure, developers cut corners here and there and compromise with quality of the code. In such cases negotiations has to be made and it should not be limited to working hard for longer hours only. Negotiations should be regarding cutting corners and dropping of core practices just in order to move faster and never agreeing to it.
Adjusting The Expectations
With a little adjustment made to the expectations and at the earliest, an experienced team of developers know how to stand firm and not give in to such pressure. To make adjustments with the expectations a primary tool that is often used is scope management. When it is assumed that the team has put in a good effort to force in stories which can be decomposed maximally and roughly of similar size, then such adjustments can start. This is done by moving some of the stories out from the scope for the project which is danger of missing the stipulated deadline. Such conversations that lead to the moving of scope take form of a negotiation.
Round Of Analysis
A round of analysis may be done prior to negotiations if it is found that the stories are not decomposed effectively. But care should be taken that all these are done at the earliest and therefore grooming a story should not be a standalone activity. Someone vested with the responsibility of product management should also be responsible to groom the backlog on a regular basis. For further information of story grooming, you can click here. At no cost scope negotiations should be considered as a negative thing which happens only when a process or promise is broken. It is more of a partnership between the engineering team and the product management team.
Scope And Domain Expertise
The scope negotiation should be based on expertise of the domain as it ideally results in the seniority of the engineering team, both technically as well as for the business. This is due to the fact that they are able to analyze the value of the business based on different key results and metrics. This ultimate level of advancement in software engineering helps them to put all the gauges and measures in place to find out how much value they are giving to the business.