It is true that you must refactor tech debt as soon as possible, but you must also know that all debts are not worth addressing and determine them wisely. Therefore, do not equate refactoring need to the identification of tech debt but use some form of derived value to make such determination. You can use technical backlog when you want to address outstanding debt that needs to be refactored. You have to write stories about the specific requirements for refactoring specific code and also estimate the amount of work required and the time you would require to devote toward refactoring without any interference during clean up.
Transparent Tech stories
Just like any other feature story tech stories must also be transparent and understandable to both the stakeholders as well as the scrum team. Stakeholders measure everything with the value and would consider any change if it has a believable story which would measure the cost to value sensibly. You must also prioritize the product and mix technical work, and feature works well during refactoring it. For this purpose, you should also train the non-technical team so that they understand the value of the work. It is essential to explain the whole thing to them and not only say that refactoring the code would save time and effort in the future. This would enable clear and better work.
Testing Is A Great Way
Testing the codes regularly is, of course, is a great way to fish out all the problems in a code including tech debt, if any. There are different types of testing methods like unit testing, performance testing, feature testing, user interface testing, regression testing and much more. All these testing methods lay an important role in judging the quality of the code in question. Such comprehensive tests when done couple with fully automated regression would help you to detect the codes with poor quality and for this entire process, you require little manual effort.
Tools Play An Important Role
When you consider refactoring the areas in which you must concentrate are design debt, user interface, infrastructure, and data schema. Apart from that, all older codes must be taken seriously and remedied as they are more vulnerable than newer ones. For this entire process, tools play an important role in maintains code quality and refactoring. There are several useful tools like code analysis tool, test coverage tool, data model tools and much more which you can use to detect code vulnerability and analyze challenged codes.
Disciplined And Methodical Approach
Just like your financial debt you must take care of your tech debt too and pay it off with interest. You have found that disciplined and planned approaches with your credit card debt help a lot in fast and easy clearance, your technical team also must have disciplined and strategic approach as you must know that using a variety of tools for the purpose of refactoring is not enough. Also make sure to go for bill consolidation loans if needed in your case. Therefore, have a strategy, maintain good work culture, and hold the right person accountable and responsible so that you know whether or not to pay it off now or later.