Operational debt refers to the accumulation of unfinished tasks, projects, or initiatives that are left unaddressed over time. This can occur when a business takes on more work than it can handle, or when it prioritizes certain tasks over others without completing the less important ones first. Operational debt can have a number of negative consequences, including decreased productivity, increased stress and burnout among employees, and decreased morale.
One of the main challenges with operational debt is that it can make decision-making and prioritization more difficult. When a business has a large backlog of unfinished tasks, it can be difficult to determine which tasks should take priority. This can lead to delays and inefficiencies, as employees may spend time on tasks that are not the most important or urgent. Additionally, when a business has a large amount of operational debt, it may be difficult to identify which tasks or projects are most important, as all tasks may seem equally important in the face of such a large backlog.
The Agile Brand Guide to Marketing Operations (2023) by Greg Kihlström