Today we will share with you the top three signs that your software is in the red or, in other words, the top three signs of technical debt. Undoubtedly, it’s hard to argue that technical debt usually comes out as a symptom, and one of the symptoms of technical debt is defects trending poorly in the wrong direction.
Defects trending poorly
So defects that will get fixed and keep coming back could be defects, in general, showing an upward trend. Or it could be that the time to fix defects keeps increasing, which could imply that you can’t find it or find the tools to deal with it. And if you can’t find it, the question becomes, “Why can’t you locate the problem?”. Therefore, all these things lead to defects not being able to be fixed quickly.
The second indicator of technical debt or signs that your software is in the red are calls to technical support.
Calls to technical support trending up
Calls to technical support can show an upward trend for a few reasons. One of them could be that the users don’t understand a new feature you have delivered. Maybe something that was working before is broken. Or it could be that the new feature is incomplete, has something missing, or you don’t understand a key aspect of the software. Consequently, all these aspects lead to technical support showing an upward trend and technical debt increasing.
The last thing to think about in terms of technical debt and understanding it is time being spent in the wrong places at the wrong time.
Time spent in the wrong places
That shows up in many ways. For example, the first one is unplanned work. Indeed, things that somehow pop into the sprint or an iteration as an emergency. The question then becomes, “What is the cause of these emergencies?”. It could also be that overtime is going in the wrong direction. This, of course, leads to defects as people working a lot of overtime make mistakes.
Other indicators of unplanned work increase are miscellaneous or other buckets. And if that continues to get larger and larger, then you don’t understand where your time is going.
The second and third causes related to time spent in the wrong places is consistently underestimating. For example, you often underestimate the time to complete some tasks. You have to think about why you are underestimating time. It could be because you don’t understand what it takes to implement a feature or have not grasped the amount of work that’s being done in total in an iteration.
And lastly, spending more time on fixing defects than working on new features is also an indication that technical debt is on the rise and that your software is in red.