by Resourcing People
Business owners will never proudly proclaim their debts, building a culture of miscommunications and misunderstanding. As Technical Debt can have devastating consequences, technology companies need to have internal conversations in order to manage and eliminate causes within their organizations. Technical Debt has largely been attributed to increasing client expectations, fast-paced environments, and shorter deadlines: resulting in mistakes being made, corners being cut, and staff barely hanging on to the edge of their workload - letting it control them, rather than the other way round.
In Part 1 of our series, we covered consequences, and how you can calculate and measure Technical Debt in order to predict costs and increase business chances at survival. In Part 2, we’ll cover some key ways you can manage pre-existing Technical Debt, and also give you tips to entirely eliminate the threat.
How Can I Manage My Technical Debt?
Managing Technical Debt is the same as staying on top of any diagnosis - you need to act fast. As a business owner, your job is to ensure that the cost of Technical Debt doesn’t stack onto current projects.
How? By hiring new staff to manage workloads. Giving your employees a “chance to breathe” is essential to managing your Technical Debt. Look out for the main signifiers of Technical Debt (covered in Part 1), so when work bounces back from clients you can immediately respond by investing in assistance from external sources.
Working with freelance, casual, or part-time Software Developers and Engineers can help to manage new projects from start to finish (so you don’t have to turn work away) whilst assigning your in-house Software Engineers and Development teams to revisit mistakes they’ve made - both as a learning experience and in order keep coding modules coherent and consistent.
What Are Some Solutions For Technical Debt?
Technical Debt can cause financial risk as a consequence of unhappy clients. The core focuses of any Development company facing Technical Debt should be:
1. Integrating Time for Testing Metrics into Work-Deadlines: The main factor of projects incurring Technical Debt is pressurized deadlines forcing staff to cut corners. Testing metrics should never be skipped, and it’s essential to schedule the time employees need to run full diagnostic tests. This will reduce the likelihood of sending clients unfinished projects that will bounce back in the future.
2. Increasing Communication Between Staff: Typically, Technical Debt can arise from multi-person projects because of differences in style and intentions. The best bet for your company is to narrow down which employees work on individual projects and negotiate for longer deadlines from the get-go. Improving communication channels and using team building exercises to keep teams working in sync will help you manage ongoing Technical Debt as well as remove the risk of generating more.
3. Reframing Your Software Development Strategy: Enterprisers Project wrote a great article talking about the importance of companies revisiting Software Development Strategies after incurring Technical Debt. They suggested that “reviewing the initial development strategy [would help] identify the weak points that forced your team to take on technical debt, and fill in the gaps.”
How Can I Avoid Creating Technical Debt?
As Technical Debt primarily stems from human error and struggling staff - there are two easy solutions to securing long-term growth:
1. Recruiting extra employees &
2. Maintaining internal staff wellbeing.
Recruiting Extra Employees
Increasing staff availability is essential to reducing expected overtime and employee stress, helping you avoid costly mistakes. Low employee wellbeing often causes high turnover: a nightmare for any company struggling with Technical Debt. Avoid creating Technical Debt by measuring your growth in revenue and hiring extra staff in response - don’t wait until the last minute.
Maintaining Internal Staff Wellbeing
Additionally, maintaining staff wellbeing within your workplace will help you balance workloads and increase individual productivity. We suggest:
Promoting Mental Health Awareness
Working mindfulness into your company culture encourages employees to take short breaks from their desks, embrace good mental health practices (like yoga), and proves that you care. This is likely to reduce barriers to communication and allow them to feel more comfortable speaking with you about growing workloads.
Benefits like extra holiday dates and longer breaks are key to enabling staff to take control of their mental health. Use extra holiday dates as a reward for staff who have been putting in extra hours at work, or have been going the extra mile for your clients. Recognition will help encourage self-motivation and they will return from their breaks feeling refreshed and excited to work.
Providing Extra Training
Extra training is a brilliant tool for any growing company. Helping your staff increase their skills and abilities will allow for faster, stronger results. Additionally, workshops on workload management will help them balance multiple projects at once and seemingly give each client their full attention - improving your customer service and allowing Software Engineers to maintain workloads.
Designing new software within your company to increase Robotic Process Automation will help increase staff availability to work on what matters. AI and software handling admin tasks increases employee time management and allows them to focus entirely on assigned projects, reducing the risk of mistakes.
Working with external recruitment companies will improve onboarding processes: allowing you to hire staff with a clear understanding of workload expectations, who have the right skills for working with your company. An outside, unbiased view will help you provide your teams with what they truly need to succeed - allowing you to seize control of Technical Debt, and ensure your business survival. Additionally, pre-existing contacts will help external recruiters fill urgent gaps in your workforce, rather than allowing your developers to suffer.
If you’ve been looking for a change in your working environment, or are looking to understand how you can support the future of your Software Development teams, Resourcing People can help.
We can connect you with new opportunities or people for your business, putting control of Technical Debt in your hands. We are driven by tech, powered by people. Get in touch with us today.