When you know that tech debt exists in your project, you must also know the proper ways to quantify it as well. Tech debt is an abstract idea which occurs along the line of designing, testing, building and maintaining a system. There are several things to be considered and different decisions to be taken to make the project error free and more sustainable. Given such a condition, it would become even more difficult for you to maintain a project of you have more technical debt in it. You have to deal with it so that it does not accumulate over time and strangulates your business to death.
#1: Make Your Decision
This is the time when you need to decide whether or not to cope with the debt and allocate more time for other works in your business or to invest resources in terms of time and money to reduce the tech debt. You can spend your resource in reworking and refactor the code, improving the tests on it and then release it to the market knowing that it is absolutely error free and would also generate the required return on your investment. This decision is a difficult task to make just for the simple reason that you cannot see tech debt or calculate the actual amount required for its repayment like in any financial debts.
#2: Use the Metrics
There are some metrics which can come to your help while you want to quantify tech debt and repay it accordingly. These metrics would help you to evaluate the debt just like any other financial debt and make a proper plan to pay it off. It is easy to pay off financial debts as you know the amount of money you have to pay and design the best way to pay off credit cards dues. Among several such useful metrics, you can use to find the code coverage which would further help you to find out the percentage of the functions, lines and statements of the codes are covered by the unit test. You can even learn about prosper loans which might be useful for you some way or the other.
You can also map the system according to the requirements that are covered by a system level test. Use these metrics to find out codes which show low coupling and high cohesion to understand, read and test such codes well. You can easily report how much the amount of cohesion and coupling exists in a system. Problems during the method and function level can also be found out using such metrics as you can ascertain the cyclomatic complexity.
#4: Know Code Duplication
Most importantly, when you use code measuring tools, then you can find the amount of duplication in code as well. Duplicate codes result in the bug which may exist in multiple places and therefore requires rigorous refactoring. Remember that these metrics only focuses on the code and do not indicate the debt which may exist in the architecture of the system or product design. They are just a warning tool. It is eventually your judgment to find out whether a debt would create a problem later on.