Technical Debt Program

The Technical Debt Program is being developed to help the Foundation and the broader community better manage technical debt. This article's purpose is to help document a process by which the Foundation and community can:

  • avoid incurring more of it
  • manage it
  • reduce it

For more information about Technical Debt in MediaWiki, please see the Technical Debt article.

Engagement Model


The Technical Debt Engagement Model describes how the Program will work with the various stakeholders within the Wikimedia Foundation to establish pragmatic approaches to address existing Technical Debt as well as put in place measures to avoid the accrual of unintentional or otherwise unnecessary Technical Debt.

Please see Technical Debt Engagement Model for more information.

Awareness Campaign


The Technical Debt Program's Awareness Campaign is focused on the sharing of information about the various aspects of Technical Debt. The Awareness Campaign will bring timely and relevant information about the state of our Technical Debt, current efforts to reduce the backlog, as well as broader Code Health issues.

Please see Technical Debt Awareness Campaign for more information.

Management Process


The Technical Debt Management Process encompasses two distinct activities - managing efforts related to backlog reduction and decision making regarding the accumulation of new Technical Debt. Please see Technical Debt Management Process for more information.


Sponsor: Victoria Coleman (CTO, Technology Group)
Responsible: Greg Grossmeier (Manager, Release Engineering)
Accountable: Jean-Rene Branaa (Quality Program Manager, Release Engineering)
Consulted: TechCom, Code Health Group, Technology Management, Engineering Managers, Technical Debt SIG
Informed: Technical Community (volunteers and staff)



FY 2017/18

Title Due Phab Task Status
Program 3: Outcome 1: Objective 1: Define a set of code stewardship levels (from high to low expectations)

See: Code Stewardship

EOQ2 task T174090   Done
Program 3: Outcome 1: Objective 2: Identify and find stewards for high-priority/high use code segment orphans EOQ3 task T174091   Done
Program 3: Outcome 2: Objective 1: Define a “Technical Debt Project Manager” role that regularly communicates with all Foundation engineering teams regarding their technical debt  EOQ2 task T174093   Done
Program 3: Outcome 2: Objective 2: Define and implement a process to regularly address technical debt across the Foundation EOQ3 task T174095   Done

See also