December 6, 2005
Agile MaintenanceNot all projects start with a clean slate: in fact, few do. More often than not, your starting with some existing code that is - how shall I put this politely - a little less than ideal.
The quality of the code you're building on will have a direct impact on your productivity, and when the quality is poor, you're not exactly going to get off to a sprinting start.
Technical debt accrues as your code gradually rots, and with many legacy systems this debt is very high. But it still needs to be paid off, or serviced at the very least. Just as it's a good idea to reduce your debts before you book that caribbean cruise, it's a good idea to pay off a significant chunk of the technical debt before you think about adding new features.
How long that will take, and how much effort will be required, depends on the size of the debt. You can use Agile SPI techniques to plan maintenance and track progress on reducing the debt.
Members of the Agile SPI Yahoo! group can download a presentation on Agile Maintenance from the Files section.
Posted 15 years, 8 months ago on December 6, 2005