Technical Debt Management: A Systematic Literature Review and Research Agenda for Digital Government

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Technical debt is created when software engineers knowingly or unknowingly introduce shortcuts or unsuitable choices in the development or maintenance of the software system, that will have a negative impact on the future evolution of the system until corrected. Therefore, it is crucial to manage established debt particular in the public sector. The aim of this study is to introduce Technical debt to the field of Digital Government. We create an overview of the state of the art of the knowledge on technical debt management, the methods applied to gain this knowledge, and propose a research agenda to Digital Government scholars. We conduct a systematic literature review, which focuses on the concept of technical debt management. Forty-nine papers published within 2017–2020 are selected and analyzed. We identify several gaps in the existing literature: 1) an absence of theory explaining the relation of events, 2) a shortage of studies conducted in the public sector, 3) and an absence of specific techniques such as observation to study actual technical debt management behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronic Government. EGOV 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Publication date1 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020
EventIFIP EGOV-ePart-CeDEM conference - Linköping Univeristy, Linköping, Sweden
Duration: 31 Aug 20202 Sept 2020


ConferenceIFIP EGOV-ePart-CeDEM conference
LocationLinköping Univeristy
Internet address
SeriesLCNS International Conference on Electronic Government


  • Technical Debt Management
  • Managing legacy systems ·
  • Systematic literature review
  • Technical debt


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