Understanding and Managing Technical Debt

Course Number:



The Agile team – including developers, analysts, testers, Project/Product Managers, Scrum Masters and Product Owners – and anyone else in your organization that cares about improving performance and lowering cost.
Course Duration:
2 days


While previous training or Agile experience is not required, participants will benefit greatly from a solid understanding of Scrum or Lean ceremonies and task boards.

Course Objectives:
  • Understand what technical debt is and how to objectively recognize it
  • Can minimize technical debt in future iterations and projects
  • Know how to pay your technical debt down quickly and iteratively
  • Understand the importance of design and how it affects debt
  • Reduced escaped bugs
  • Improve your team’s velocity
Course Outline:
  • Classifying and Identifying Technical Debt


  • What is Technical Debt?
    • Partially Done Work
    • Poorly Written Code
    • Defects
    • Bad Design
    • Task Switching
    • Extra Features
    • Relearning
    • Waiting
    • Hand Offs
    • Unhealthy teams


  • Where Technical Debt Happens in Agile/Scrum
    • Early Planning
    • The Story Workshop
      • Identifying Just Enough Work
    • Defining Done
    • Recognizing Quality Code
    • Using the Task Board to Diagnose Debt
    • Variance Is the Enemy
    • Tuning the Cross Functional Team
    • Automate
      • TDD, BDD and More
    • Refactoring
      • What, How and When
    • Identify Causes of Debt: Measuring Done Each Iteration
      • How to Verify Design
      • The Tasks Tell Stories
      • Check Cross Functionality
      • Capacity vs Delivered Product
      • Code Quality


  • Data Driven Retrospectives
    • Fix What Matters


  • Creating an Action Plan
    • Leveraged Debt
    • Identifying the Biggest Wastes
    • Creating a Repayment Plan
    • See the Whole
    • Stop and Fix
    • Metrics to Watch
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