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What is ideal scrum approach:

  1. To fix bandwidth i.e. 10% of every sprint to clear off the technical debt?
  2. To dedicate one/two sprint every year to clear off these debts?

I believe both has its pros and cons like in (1) we can measure things constantly i.e. if we are doing right things or are we off track? In case we are off track, next sprint we can try something else. While in (2) the continuity would lead to more work as complete team would be thinking in the same direction but with greater risk as it would be big code changes.

Suggestions?

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Call me a purist but I would say neither. There should be no accumulated technical debt if you are doing Scrum right. Remember:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

Regardless of tool, you must inspect your team and the work being done at the different Scrum events. Something must be really wrong if in spite of daily scrums, monthly (or bi-weekly) reviews and retrospectives, you are accumulating technical debt!

If you have technical debt. Like a lot it and you feel you must do one of the suggested two things. Allow me to recommend a third option:

Stop working on new functionality. Sort out the technical in the upcoming sprint (or two, or three or four sprints). Then, make sure you do not accumulate debt in the future like you have done so far.

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