Let’s Call It What It Is: Complexity Debt

Technical debt get deprioritized too often because business sees the word, “technical.” It doesn’t matter what the true meaning is. And it’s a big problem. It really needs proper governance to make it a priority.

“Lack of governance over technical debt is also a problem.”

Michelle Leroux Bustamante, .NET Rocks!

Reading through The Unicorn Project, which is a newly released companion to The Phoenix Project, I came across this great nugget that might help others view technical debt properly.

“I’ve started calling all of these things ‘complexity debt,’ because they’re not just technical issues—they’re business issues. And it’s always a choice,” he says. “You can choose to build new features or you can choose to pay down complexity debt.”

Gene Kim, The Unicorn Project

Yes! When we replace the word “technical” with “complexity” we reframe the discussion. That may help discussions about what to prioritize and getting what we call technical debt paid off in a more timely fashion.

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