Managing Software Debt Agile Bazaar

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From March 4, 2010 presentation at the Agile Bazaar in Waltham, MA.

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Managing Software Debt Agile Bazaar

  1. 1. Managing Software Debt Continued Delivery of High Value as Systems Age Chris Sterling Technology Consultant / Agile Coach / Certified Scrum Trainer Sterling Barton, LLC Web: www.SterlingBarton.com Email: chris@sterlingbarton.com Blog: www.GettingAgile.com Follow Me on Twitter: @csterwa Hash Tag for Presentation: #swdebt Thursday, March 4, 2010 1
  2. 2. Topics Being Covered Problems Found with Aging Software Software Debt Explained Technical Debt Quality Debt Configuration Management Debt Design Debt Platform Experience Debt The Wrap Up A Story of What is Possible © 2009-2010, 2 Thursday, March 4, 2010 2
  3. 3. Problems Found with Aging Software Software gets difficult to add features to as it ages Business expectations do not lessen as software ages Software must remain maintainable and changeable to meet needs of business over time © 2009-2010, 3 Thursday, March 4, 2010 3
  4. 4. Lack of emphasis on software quality attributes contributes to decay © 2009-2010, 4 Thursday, March 4, 2010 4
  5. 5. Like-to-Like Migrations “It will be easy since we worked on the original version” - although we understand the domain we will be fighting with new features, technology, tools, and processes “We don’t have any other options” - Refactoring and test automation are potential alternatives to like-to-like migrations. © 2009-2010, 5 Thursday, March 4, 2010 5
  6. 6. Limited Platform Expertise Risk and costs increase as expertise becomes more limited for aging software platforms. © 2009-2010, 6 Thursday, March 4, 2010 6
  7. 7. Costs for Release Stabilization Increase Over Time 500000 375000 250000 125000 Release 6 Release 5 Release 4 0 Release 3 Release 2 Release 1 Cost of Fixing Defects Cost for Feature Dev © 2009-2010, Thursday, March 4, 2010 7
  8. 8. Regression Costs - Manual vs. Automated © 2009-2010, 8 Thursday, March 4, 2010 8
  9. 9. Extreme Specialization Knowledge and capability to maintain legacy software decays with time Costs to maintain rarely used software platforms are higher Leads to waiting for people in specialized roles to finish their tasks in support of development effort © 2009-2010, 9 Thursday, March 4, 2010 9
  10. 10. Software Debt Creeps into software slowly and leaves organizations with liabilities 10 Thursday, March 4, 2010 10
  11. 11. Software Debt Creeps In Shows a relatively new system with little software debt accrued. © 2009-2010, 11 Thursday, March 4, 2010 11
  12. 12. Software Debt Creeps In An aging software system slowly incurs significant debt in multiple functional areas. © 2009-2010, 12 Thursday, March 4, 2010 12
  13. 13. Software Debt Creeps In An older system has accrued significant debt in all functional areas and components. © 2009-2010, 13 Thursday, March 4, 2010 13
  14. 14. Managing Software Debt – an Overview © 2009-2010, 14 Thursday, March 4, 2010 14
  15. 15. Managing Software Debt It is impossible to stop software debt from creeping into our software Managing debt in software is based on putting frequent feedback mechanisms in place for code, quality assurance, configuration management, design, and organization of people on project team Feedback mechanisms should be frequent, automated, and easy to use to support their continued use or modified to new needs © 2009-2010, 15 Thursday, March 4, 2010 15
  16. 16. Types of Software Debt Technical Debt Quality Debt Configuration Management Debt Design Debt Platform Experience Debt © 2009-2010, 16 Thursday, March 4, 2010 16
  17. 17. Technical Debt Issues in software implementation that will impede future development if left unresolved 17 Thursday, March 4, 2010 17
  18. 18. * Ward Cunningham on “Technical Debt” Technical Debt includes those internal things that you choose not to do now, but which will impede future development if left undone. This includes deferred refactoring. Technical Debt doesn’t include deferred functionality, except possibly in edge cases where delivered functionality is “good enough” for the customer, but doesn’t satisfy some standard (e.g., a UI element that isn’t fully compliant with some UI standard). * Ward Cunningham - “Technical Debt” - http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TechnicalDebt © 2009-2010, 18 Thursday, March 4, 2010 18
  19. 19. My Definition of “Technical Debt” “Technical debt is the decay of component and inter-component behavior when the application functionality meets a minimum standard of satisfaction for the customer.” © 2009-2010, 19 Thursday, March 4, 2010 19
  20. 20. Quality Debt A lack of quality, either technical or functional, will lessen value per feature added over time 20 Thursday, March 4, 2010 20
  21. 21. Accrual of Quality Debt with Releases © 2009-2010, 21 Thursday, March 4, 2010 21
  22. 22. Break/Fix Only Prolongs the Agony © 2009-2010, 22 Thursday, March 4, 2010 22
  23. 23. Effect of Project Constraints on Quality © 2009-2010, 23 Thursday, March 4, 2010 23
  24. 24. Effect of Project Constraints on Quality © 2009-2010, 23 Thursday, March 4, 2010 23
  25. 25. Acceptance Test-Driven Development © 2009-2010, 24 Thursday, March 4, 2010 24
  26. 26. A Fit Case Study Cost reduction using Fit for test automation and data conversion 25 Thursday, March 4, 2010 25
  27. 27. Manual Regression Testing Testing was taking 75 person hours during 2 full test runs consisting of: Comprehensive manual regression testing Data conversion and validation Cost for testing was $17,000 each iteration © 2009-2010, 26 Thursday, March 4, 2010 26
  28. 28. Introducing Fit into Testing Process After 8 iterations team had introduced healthy amount of Fit fixtures and automated tests Reduced 70+ hour test runtime down to 6 hours which now included: Fit automated regression testing Data conversion and validation automated with Fit fixtures Reduced cost of testing each iteration from $17,000 to $7,000 © 2009-2010, 27 Thursday, March 4, 2010 27
  29. 29. Configuration Management Debt Creating unpredictable and error-prone release management 28 Thursday, March 4, 2010 28
  30. 30. Traditional Source Control Management © 2009-2010, 29 Thursday, March 4, 2010 29
  31. 31. Traditional Source Control Management Main Branch © 2009-2010, 29 Thursday, March 4, 2010 29
  32. 32. Traditional Source Control Management Code Complete Version 1 Integrate for Branch Version 2 Main Branch © 2009-2010, 29 Thursday, March 4, 2010 29
  33. 33. Traditional Source Control Management Code Complete Version 1 Integrate for Branch Version 2 Debt Main Branch Death March © 2009-2010, 29 Thursday, March 4, 2010 29
  34. 34. Traditional Source Control Management Code Complete Version 1 Integrate for Branch Version 2 Debt Main Branch Death March { Debt accrues quickly within stabilization periods © 2009-2010, 29 Thursday, March 4, 2010 29
  35. 35. Flexible Source Control Management © 2009-2010, 30 Thursday, March 4, 2010 30
  36. 36. Flexible Source Control Management Main Branch © 2009-2010, 30 Thursday, March 4, 2010 30
  37. 37. Flexible Source Control Management Version 1 Main Branch © 2009-2010, 30 Thursday, March 4, 2010 30
  38. 38. Flexible Source Control Management Version 1 Version 2 Main Branch © 2009-2010, 30 Thursday, March 4, 2010 30
  39. 39. Flexible Source Control Management Version 1 Version 2 Main Branch { Not Easy! Must have proper infrastructure to do this. © 2009-2010, 30 Thursday, March 4, 2010 30
  40. 40. Continuous Integration © 2009-2010, 31 Thursday, March 4, 2010 31
  41. 41. Scaling to Multiple Integrations © 2009-2010, 32 Thursday, March 4, 2010 32
  42. 42. Design Debt Design decays when not attended to so design your software continually 33 Thursday, March 4, 2010 33
  43. 43. * Abuse User Stories Implement Security for User Information * From “User Stories Applied” presented by Mike Cohn Agile 2006 © 2009-2010, 34 Thursday, March 4, 2010 34
  44. 44. * Abuse User Stories Implement Security As a Malicious Hacker I for User Information want to steal credit card information so that I can make fraudulent charges * From “User Stories Applied” presented by Mike Cohn Agile 2006 © 2009-2010, 34 Thursday, March 4, 2010 34
  45. 45. Platform Experience Debt Silos of knowledge and increased specialization will increase cost of maintenance over time 35 Thursday, March 4, 2010 35
  46. 46. How to Combat Platform Experience Debt Ignore it (I do not suggest this!) Surround existing functionality with automated functional tests ~OR~ Wrap platform interfaces with adapters Transfer knowledge of platform to more people Rewrite on more current platform Move thin slices of functionality to newer platform Start platform upgrade discussions and rearrange teams into known effective team © 2009-2010, 36 Thursday, March 4, 2010 36
  47. 47. Team Configuration Patterns Virtual Architect Pattern Integration Team Pattern Component Shepherd Pattern Team Architect Pattern © 2009-2010, 37 Thursday, March 4, 2010 37
  48. 48. Virtual Architect Pattern Enterprise Planning © 2009-2010, 38 Thursday, March 4, 2010 38
  49. 49. Virtual Architect Pattern Pros Share architecture ideas and needs across teams Based on verbal communication Cons Usually singles out special Team Member role Could lead to top-down architecture decisions IT may gain extensive influence and begin to run Product Backlog prioritization for architecture needs © 2009-2010, 39 Thursday, March 4, 2010 39
  50. 50. Integration Team Pattern All features are Integrate implemented Features and integrated every iteration Feature Development © 2009-2010, 40 Thursday, March 4, 2010 40
  51. 51. Integration Team Pattern Pros Reduces complexity on Feature Teams Forces delivery from Integration Team instead of interface and deployment designs Cons Perpetuates specialized roles Don’t always work on highest value Product Backlog items © 2009-2010, 41 Thursday, March 4, 2010 41
  52. 52. Component Shepherd Pattern © 2009-2010, 42 Thursday, March 4, 2010 42
  53. 53. Component Shepherd Pattern Pros Share more knowledge within organization to minimize platform experience debt Work on highest value Product Backlog items Cons Not always optimal as using individual knowledge Difficult to learn multiple systems across Teams © 2009-2010, 43 Thursday, March 4, 2010 43
  54. 54. Team Architect Pattern © 2009-2010, 44 Thursday, March 4, 2010 44
  55. 55. Team Architect Pattern Pros Team owns architecture decisions Decisions are made close to implementation concerns Cons May not have appropriate experience on Team Team could get “stuck” on architecture decisions © 2009-2010, 45 Thursday, March 4, 2010 45
  56. 56. What is possible? High quality can be attained and should enable accelerated feature delivery at same time. 46 Thursday, March 4, 2010 46
  57. 57. A Story: Field Support Application 2000+ users access application each day Application supports multiple perspectives and workflows from Field Support Operations to Customer Service Team of 5 people delivering features on existing Cold Fusion platform implementation Migrating to Spring/Hibernate in slices while delivering valuable features 36 2-week Sprints, 33 production releases, and only 1 defect found in production So, what was the defect you say? Let me tell you… © 2009-2010, 47 Thursday, March 4, 2010 47
  58. 58. Lets wrap this up... What should I take away from this? 48 Thursday, March 4, 2010 48
  59. 59. Principles for Managing Software Debt Maintain one list of work Emphasize quality Evolve tools and infrastructure continually Improve system design always Share knowledge across the organization And most importantly, get the right people to work on your software! © 2009-2010, 49 Thursday, March 4, 2010 49
  60. 60. Thank you Questions and Answers 50 Thursday, March 4, 2010 50
  61. 61. Chris Sterling – Sterling Barton, LLC Technology Consultant, Agile Consultant and Certified Scrum Trainer Consults on software technology, Agile technical practices, Scrum, and effective management techniques Innovation Games® Trained Facilitator Open Source Developer Software architecture consulting for Agile Teams: Continuous Integration Email: chris@sterlingbarton.com Web: http://www.sterlingbarton.com Source Code Monitoring Blog: http://www.gettingagile.com Release Management Follow me on Twitter: @csterwa Design techniques © 2009-2010, 51 Thursday, March 4, 2010 51
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