An investigation of Technical Debt in Automatic Production Systems
Paper in proceedings, 2017

Technical Debt is a recent concept, borrowed from the financial domain. It has been recently used in software development to describe technical sub-optimal solutions that have short-term benefits but long-term extra-costs. However, no body of literature investigates how Automatic Production Systems companies deal with Technical Debt. We investigated how Technical Debt is known, how much it hurts and how is managed in an automatic production systems company. Results from one in-depth investigation show that the automatic production systems company spend quite a lot of resources because of Technical Debt, both in the extra-costs (interest) and in its management. The company presents moderate awareness of what Technical Debt is and how much is present in its systems. However, the tracking level is quite low. We, therefore, claim that Technical Debt needs more research in this domain, as it is a source of substantial extra-costs and the current practices to manage it are not suitable.

Technical Debt


Automatic Production Systems



Terese Besker

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Antonio Martini

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Jan Bosch

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Matthias Tichy

University of Ulm

ACM International Conference Proceeding Series - 2017 XP Scientific Workshops, XP 2017, Cologne, Germany, 22-26 May 2017


Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Subject Categories

Software Engineering

Information Science





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