Digital Nudging for Technical Debt Management: Insights from a Technology-driven Organization

Buchmann, Lorena
Haki, Kazem
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Today’s fast-growing and ever-changing business environments force software development teams to release high-quality software on a tight schedule. The notion of technical debt (TD) captures the technical compromises wherein software quality is sacrificed for short-term goals. One of the most significant challenges for technical debt management (TDM) is time as a factor of complexity. TD arises from decisions that are favorable in the short term but cause a need for complex and costly actions in the long term. Building on the applications of nudges – the use of small design modifications in choice environments to guide people’s behavior – and on their psychological effects, in this design science research we develop and evaluate design elements of a Technical Debt Management Label (as a TDM nudge) in a technology-driven organization. The TDM label aims to guide software developers’ decisions towards adopting TDM activities that are favorable in the long term.
Behavioral Economics in the Digital Economy: Digital Nudging and Interface Design, choice architecture, design science research, digital nudging, technical debt management
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