It is hard to say which part of a code is good and which part is bad. Moreover, it may also be when a code may be useful for the business even with technical debt in it and therefore should not be refactored for the time being. You must focus and rework on only those codes that will bring sufficient gain and value to the business in the long run. You must know how to distinguish between such codes and know the ways to substantiate so that both your team and stakeholders believe and agree with you.
Know About The Cost
To make one belief, especially the stakeholders concerned with the cost and its return, you should know about the cost factor of such changes. It is the development team’s responsibility to budget the entire refactoring process on a code and tell you about the benefits that can be enjoyed through such refactoring and implementation of the important feature in the upcoming release. But technical debt cannot be measured or seen, and therefore you will have to use some tools and metrics for such budgeting. These tools also help monitor unnecessary beautification of codes, directly associate refactoring and requirement and much more.
Factors Considered For Estimation
Time taken to market a code is an important factor that is considered during estimation. On the other hand, the customers may also come to know about future changes that are required to make in the codes. This will enable you to prevent future refactoring necessity and the cost, which may be much more than the present cost of refactoring. When the development team faces issues with the specific code during the implementation of such changes and requirements, the real problems arise and should be considered carefully. Whether or not the code should be delivered within the time frame with all the functionality in it depends on the team.
Acceptance Of Tech Debt
All this estimation and refactoring are done only when you as a code owner, believe and accept tech debt and its existence. You must believe that tech debt is inevitable and has to be paid back with interest, just like any financial debt. Similar to when you have multiple debts and want credit card debt consolidation loan to pay them all off to prevent any further accumulation of interest and debt, tech debt must also be treated in the same way.
Reusable And Sustainable
When you pay off your financial debt, you restore your damaged credit score to make it reusable and sustainable for further financial transactions. Similarly, when you pay off tech debt of a specific code, you restore the reusability and sustainability. Therefore, refactoring after proper estimation is the key to survive in the business. You have to select the perfect option depending on the scenario and choose between refactoring, replacing or even ignoring tech debts if it is beneficial in the short term.