Great product. Smart Product Owner. Great marketing and sales. So why are you slowly losing market share over the last few years?
It’s like credit card debt – you can pay me now or pay me later, but you’ll pay a lot more later. And if you’re like most companies, you’re paying a lot more than you should.
How did it happen? Well, every time we pushed an unrealistic deadline, the programmers made short-cuts and used some quick-and-dirty hacks to get something working quickly, with the promise that “we’ll come back and clean it up later.” And later never came because there’s no slow down in work.
But now every time that area of the system is touched or added to or modified, it takes longer because it’s messier and spread all over and is more likely to break, slowing product development. It’s like finding a book in a library that doesn’t use the Dewey Decimal System or searching for something in that one catch-all drawer in the kitchen versus getting a fork from the silverware drawer.
Roman Pichler, the author of two books on product development and strategy, wrote on technical debt:
“It directly impacts your ability to achieve strategic product goals and make your products successful: Technical debt makes it hard to experiment with new ideas, release new features, and quickly respond to user feedback.”
I admired one leader recently who committed to 50% of development time to reduce technical debt to begin to take care of that anchor that is slowing product development. Or, as a Product Owner once said, “We’re going to slow down to speed up.”
So, when are you going to start?
For a great exposure to all the tools, attend our hands-on workshop on the dev practices to address technical debt, such as Test Driven Development, test automation, mobbing and pair programming. Register now for our Certified Scrum Developer workshop with Paul Moore and Cody Fletcher, two of the best technical coaches in Southern California.
With the right people in your corner, you can begin leading this change now.