Extending the Metaphor : Technical Debt in General Product Development
Abstract: It is arguably an important matter to track and eliminate poor quality. One way of doing this within software development is by applying the technical debt metaphor and using it as a basis when estimating the quality level. There was interest expressed in investigating whether this metaphor could be extended to the development of non-software products and use it as a starting point for developing features in a PLM (product lifecycle management) system able to track and help monitor technical debt throughout the lifecycle of a product. Thus, a case study based on a literature review and interviews analysed qualitatively were conducted. The result consists of the knowledge that similar notions as found in the technical debt research could successfully be applied to other development processes and phenomena as well, a framework consisting of types of technical debt and a “sketch” for how to measure it, and that in a technical debt-tracking feature it could be beneficial with functionality for implementing models for debt quantification, for allowing the organisation to set up rules, and for crawling through the product taxonomy in the PLM system, detecting deviances from aforementioned rules.
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