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5 Recommendations to Help Your Organization Manage Technical Debt.

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Version 2 2024-03-27, 17:09
Version 1 2024-03-27, 17:05
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posted on 2024-03-27, 17:09 authored by Ipek OzkayaIpek Ozkaya, Brigid O'HearnBrigid O'Hearn

The fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Section 835, “Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems,” required the Secretary of Defense to engage a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) “to study technical debt in software-intensive systems.” To satisfy this requirement and lead this work, the Department of Defense (DoD) selected the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Software Engineering Institute (SEI), which is a recognized leader in the practice of managing technical debt. According to NDAA Section 835, the purpose of the study was to provide, among other things, analyses and recommendations on quantitative measures for assessing technical debt, current and best practices for measuring and managing technical debt and its associated costs, and practices for reducing technical debt. Our team spent more than a year conducting the independent study. The report we produced describes the conduct of the study, summarizes the technical trends observed, and presents the resulting recommendations. In this SEI Blog post, we summarize several recommendations that apply to the DoD and other development organizations seeking to analyze, manage, and reduce technical debt. You can find a complete discussion of the study methodology, findings, and recommendations in the SEI’s Report to the Congressional Defense Committees on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 Section 835 Independent Study on Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems.  


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This material is based upon work funded and supported by the Department of Defense under Contract No. FA8702-15-D-0002 with Carnegie Mellon University for the operation of the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research and development center. The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this material are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Government position, policy, or decision, unless designated by other documentation. References herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Carnegie Mellon University or its Software Engineering Institute. This report was prepared for the SEI Administrative Agent AFLCMC/AZS 5 Eglin Street Hanscom AFB, MA 01731-2100. NO WARRANTY. THIS CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY AND SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INSTITUTE MATERIAL IS FURNISHED ON AN "AS-IS" BASIS. CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY MAKES NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO ANY MATTER INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR PURPOSE OR MERCHANTABILITY, EXCLUSIVITY, OR RESULTS OBTAINED FROM USE OF THE MATERIAL. CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY DOES NOT MAKE ANY WARRANTY OF ANY KIND WITH RESPECT TO FREEDOM FROM PATENT, TRADEMARK, OR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. [DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A] This material has been approved for public release and unlimited distribution. Please see Copyright notice for non-US Government use and distribution.

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