Friday, May 29, 2015

Risk Management & Agile Debt (Technical & Functional Debt)

To contain risk, there are four types of responses are possible:
  • Mitigate;
  • Avoid;
  • Contain; &
  • Evade.
Each of these responses has high probability of assuming Agile Debt (Technical as well as Functional Debts).  While managing risk in any project, Scrum Team as well as stakeholders should be aware that risk response most likely result in some debt. As a good citizen, also have plan to pay debt.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Agile Debt – Functional Debt and Technical Debt

In Agile, we talk about Technical Debt, but what about debt with respect to functionality.
Let’s build few scenarios.
  1. Team is building a product sprint by sprint at startup.  Sales team rope in a marquee prospect which demands a feature which is not in product vision (at least at this point of time).  Startup needs this customer to survive. Higher Management makes a decision to incorporate the feature demanded by this prospect with understanding that in future versions, this feature will not be present or this feature will not be sold to any other customer.  Is there any technical debt?
  2. In a well-established enterprise team is developing an application for internal use. This application will be replacing existing application. The existing application supports some processes which soon to be obsolete but will be required in application in development. Is there any technical debt?
Certainly there is no technical debt involve in these scenarios but a debt. I prefer to call it Functional Debt.

“Functional Debt is type of Agile Debt which has its origin in functional aspects of the product.  Functional Debt has nothing to do with technical aspects of the product.”

Here, I also introduced a new umbrella term, Agile Debt.

“Agile Debt is a debt taken by product to fulfill immediate need (by choice or by ignorance) under Agile methodology.”

I hope, this little explanation on Agile Debt will be helpful.