To deal with tech debt you have to first identify the issues and the codes that needs to be refactored. It is elementary and essential that you must refactor the problematic codes as soon as possible so that it does give the maximum value in return. Improper codes will not only lose business but will also result in in its premature death. You must use some form of derived value for such identification and for that you can use technical backlog to find the debts that needs to be refactored. There are other jobs to do as well while you refactor the code so that you can release the clean code as soon as possible to get the return.
Write Technical Stories
You will have to write specific stories for specific requirements to refactor a particular code. Apart from that, you will have to estimate the amount of work and time required by the development team to devote for the particular refactoring and clean up job without much interference. All the stories written should be transparent, easy to understand for both the technical as well as the non-technical team. It must also be conveyed to the stakeholders who measure everything with its value. Therefore, the technical story must be believable to them so that they can value the cost easily and allow the budget for it.
Prioritize The Product
During refactoring it is also necessary to prioritize the product and mix feature work and technical work properly. For effective result it is required to train the non-technical team as well so that they understand the necessity for refactoring, the importance of the work and the value that it will provide. It is paramount that you explain the entire process in detail and should not focus on the saving of time and effort. This way you will facilitate better cleaning of the code along with proper refactoring which will make the code reusable for a very long time in the future.
Test The Code
Regular testing of the code especially after refactoring is a great way to know about its functionality and level of performance. It will enable to identify any potential and existing issues with the code right at the very beginning so that much time is not wasted on unnecessary and frequent refactoring process. You can use any one of the different testing methods that are available like for example performance testing, unit testing, user interface testing, regression testing, feature testing and so many more. All these tests will enable you to know about the quality of the code with little manual labor required.
Need Disciplined Approach
Just like you treat a financial debt with a well disciplined and methodical approach you should treat technical debt in the same way as well. The way you consider taking the best credit card consolidation loan or best egg loan to repay the financial debt, you should also repay technical debt with refactoring. Strategic approach along with the use of proper tools coupled with good work culture will enable you to have error free codes.