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An Empirical Survey on the Prevalence of Technical Debt in Systems Engineering

EasyChair Preprint no. 11333

19 pagesDate: November 18, 2023


The technical debt metaphor is used within software engineering to describe technical concessions that produce a short-term benefit but result in long-term consequences. Systems engineering is subject to these concessions yet there is a limited amount of research associating technical debt with systems engineering. This paper provides the results of an empirical survey investigating the prevalence of technical debt in systems engineering, including the occurrence of technical debt, the use of the metaphor, and the occurrence of technical debt within the systems engineering lifecycle. The results of the survey show that while technical debt is common in systems engineering and occurs throughout the lifecycle, the metaphor and terminology of technical debt is not consistently applied. These results emphasize the need to enrich the usage of the technical debt metaphor within systems engineering to enable the management of technical debt and to reduce the risk of technical bankruptcy.

Keyphrases: empirical data, Systems Engineering, technical debt

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Howard Kleinwaks and Ann Batchelor and Thomas Bradley},
  title = {An Empirical Survey on the Prevalence of Technical Debt in Systems Engineering},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 11333},

  year = {EasyChair, 2023}}
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