Here's my attempt at bringing to life the “Technical Debt” analogy with a simple comparison to the manufacturing industry. This was written at The Economist, to help non-technical folks understand why refactoring code is so important, especially when doing agile. Repeatedly prioritising short-term wins, without stopping to consider a codebase's architecture, results in an unmaintainable system. Legacy Motors The manufacturing of cars at Legacy Motors (LM) was all done by a team of talented engineers and designers, who hand-made each vehicle to an exact customer specification.