Once again, IT people thinking we're all unique and special flowers.
Call center rearranges the cubes to fit eight more people in. They don't have power or LAN drops where they need them. They can rip out the drop-cieling and start over, or they can splice like mad and have them in by Monday. But when you want *another* eight drops, you're screwed because you'd be overloading a circuit. That's technical debt.
There's a pothole on the bridge. You know that patching it means it will leak water into the superstructure, causing rust and premature failure. But patching it takes two hours, resurfacing the bridge takes two months. That's technical debt.
The fryolator has a busted alarm. Fixing it could cost a few hundred dollars. Or you can tell the fry guy to keep an eye on it and try not to burn too many fries. That's technical debt.
I'm not agreeing with the OP that technical debt doesn't exist. Just saying there's nothing at all unique about it. Choosing to let it build up doesn't make your boss an idiot.
-- Some guy on the JoelOnSoftware Forum
Schedule and Events
March 26-29, 2012, Software Test Professionals Conference, New Orleans
July, 14-15, 2012 - Test Coach Camp, San Jose, California
July, 16-18, 2012 - Conference for the Association for Software Testing (CAST 2012), San Jose, California
August 2012+ - At Liberty; available. Contact me by email: Matt.Heusser@gmail.com