I'm the Scrum Master on a project with three developers, one QA person, one designer, and me. We work on a project that we inherited about three years ago, a "portal" website and a cordova app. We're now planning to scale down the team to a skeleton crew of one developer, aiming to finish up everything critical in the next ~five weeks before we do so.
The project has always struggled with the issue of technical debt we inherited along with the codebase, and now the team would like to see if there is some way we can integrate this work without it getting us "off track" on the main features and bugs we want to complete before our five weeks are up.
It's important that the team stay as focused on the features and bugs as possible because they've been working on a few pages of the app now for months and are are excited to be done with it. For their morale I want to make sure we keep that focus, but they also feel strongly that some of these engineering chores should be done.
How should we balance these two things so that the developers still feel they can make progress on the engineering initiatives while remaining focused on finishing the feature set?