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Strategies for driving down tech debt: Guest insights, from Andrew Russo

Home » Blog » Strategies for driving down tech debt: Guest insights, from Andrew Russo
Home » Blog » Strategies for driving down tech debt: Guest insights, from Andrew Russo

We’re delighted to share our blog with Andrew Russo, for this extra-special, guest feature post. Read on to hear Andrew’s thoughts on managing Salesforce tech debt.

IMPACT, the Change Intelligence Summit, kicked off last December, offering perspective into overcoming challenges in complexity, technical debt, and documentation within Salesforce. Among these sessions was ‘Strategies for Driving Down Tech Debt,’ led by me, Andrew Russo, an experienced Salesforce Architect.

This session focused on practical solutions to manage and reduce technical debt in Salesforce environments. If you missed the live session, this blog recaps the essential tips and techniques that I shared.

Looking to enhance your Salesforce Org’s agility and plan for sustainable growth? Read on for a summary of the session. For a complete understanding, be sure to watch the full session.

Inevitable vs avoidable technical debt

Firstly, it’s crucial to recognize that not all tech debt is harmful. Tech debt is a natural part of any growing system, arising from changing business requirements, new platform functionalities, or the need for rapid development. Although tech debt can arise accidentally, as both the system and business needs evolve, it’s important to be proactive with your management. Unresolved tech debt can lead to reduced system performance, limited Org scalability, and most concerningly, security vulnerabilities.

To avoid accumulating unnecessary technical debt, consider the following best practices:

  • Avoid abandoned implementations: Ensure you fully understand requirements during planning to prevent building the wrong solutions.
  • Simplify your Org: Over-complexity from unused package components or excessive customization can quickly pile up tech debt.
  • Test before production: Always test changes in a sandbox environment rather than making direct changes in production.
  • Document in depth: Poor analysis and lack of documentation can lead to redundant metadata and inappropriate field usage.

Elements.cloud as an enabler

Utilizing platforms like Elements.cloud, can be instrumental in identifying areas where tech debt can be reduced. For example, the Metadata Explorer functionality can be leveraged to identify which pieces of metadata can be reused, thereby minimizing the tech debt incurred from creating new metadata. This is even more impactful now that ElementsGPT can evaluate metadata.

It goes without saying that within your Org, there can be multiple fields per object which when combined, contributes to your metadata footprint. For fields that are not fit for purpose, Elements.cloud’s ‘where is it used,’ and ‘to be deleted,’ features are very helpful. 

Each location that a redundant field appears in, is its own isolated instance of tech debt. By identifying the multiple locations in which the field exists, you can resolve tech debt much faster, in one fell swoop.

Elements equips you with the data-driven insights you need, to evaluate the impact of making changes to Salesforce. Leverage the Change Intelligence platform, to ensure that removing technical debt in one place, won’t result in major repercussions elsewhere in the Org.

Prioritizing technical debt removal

From there, it’s about implementing a strategy that effectively tackles this tech debt, especially when it affects the security of your systems, or impacts performance, and user experience. 

As part of your management plan, assess the cost-benefit of resolving each issue. High-impact tech debt, which affects project timelines, performance, and user experience, should be prioritized. Less impactful tech debt can be scheduled for later resolution. By using this approach, you can sequentially tackle tech debt, by order of importance. 

My approach to technical debt

As a Salesforce Architect, my approach involves a careful balance between immediate needs and long-term sustainability. Each decision, whether it’s a quick fix or a comprehensive overhaul, is weighed against its future impact on the system and the organization.

Remember, effective tech debt management is not just about fixing problems. It’s about creating a more resilient, agile, and secure Salesforce environment.


Addressing technical debt is a continuous journey, that requires a strategic approach and an understanding of your organization’s unique challenges and goals. By prioritizing, planning, and following best practices, you can ensure your Salesforce Org remains robust and adaptable for the future.

For a deeper dive into this topic, watch my full session at IMPACT, the virtual Change Intelligence Summit.

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