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Certificate in Managing Technical Debt

Certificate in Managing Technical Debt is designed to equip organizations to understand the concept and challenges associated with technical debt, while providing them with the essential knowledge and skills to manage it effectively. 

Technical debt refers to the accumulation of problems in an organization's IT components due to shortcuts taken in the development phases of these components, leading to a buildup of issues over time. Technical debt has become an increasingly critical issue, especially in large organizations.  

Our program offers a practice-oriented approach, inviting organizations to delve into the concept of technical debt and gain new insights and strategies to tackle the complex challenges related to it. 

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Understand what technical debt really is and why it matters

Recognize the existing challenges in your organization

Develop a strategy for managing and repaying technical debt


This program brings together teams from different organizations. The unique set-up of this program allows teams to concentrate on developing a roadmap specifically for their organizational needs while having the possibility to engage in cross-organizational collaboration and learning.

Join the program as a team of 3-5 members from the same organization. During the studies, you will work on organization-specific solutions with your team as well as learn together with others from different organizations. This program is particularly beneficial for

  • CIOs
  • CTOs, and
  • IT Managers

Learning Outcomes

After the completion of the course, you will

  • Gain a good understanding of the concept of technical debt and its multifaceted nature
  • Be able to identify different types of technical debt and consider their inter-relatedness
  • Be able to analyze how technical debt manifests in your organization and learn to evaluate its severity
  • Acquire strategies and techniques for effectively managing technical debt

Learning Journey

The program includes learning onsite on Aalto University campus in Espoo as well as online learning. The learning journey has been designed so that it supports dialogue and learning through practice-oriented exercises. Throughout the program, participants will learn how to identify instances of technical debt through assignments, case work, and discussions. Teams will leave the program with a strategy report that identifies the types and instances of technical debt in the organization and a clear roadmap that the organization can act upon.



Esko Penttinen

Esko Penttinen is Associate Professor (tenured) in Information Systems at Aalto University School of Business. Penttinen holds a D.Sc. in Information Systems Science and a M.Sc. in Economics from Helsinki School of Economics.

Penttinen's research helps organizations understand the intricacies related to the implementation of various forms of artificial intelligence, harnessing its benefits and avoiding the pitfalls. Penttinen is an avid student of the interplay between humans and machines, curious to generate insights on how to coordinate work tasks efficiently between the two. Penttinen's research has also addressed the more traditional information systems topics such as organizational governance issues related to outsourcing and virtual work. Penttinen's main practical expertise lies in the assimilation and economic implications of inter-organizational information systems, focusing on application areas such as electronic financial systems, government reporting, and electronic invoicing. Penttinen's research has appeared in leading IS outlets such as MIS Quarterly, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Information Systems Journal, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Information Technology, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, MIS Quarterly Executive, and Electronic Markets.

Besides teaching and research activities, Penttinen leads the Real-Time Economy Competence Center and he is the co-founder and chairman of XBRL Finland (www.xbrl.fi). Both these initiatives aim to design and develop systems and infrastructures to facilitate the move to electronic financial administration processes. In 2019-2023, Penttinen acted as the Finnish board representative in the IRIS association, which is the Scandinavian information systems community responsible for organizing the yearly IRIS/SCIS conference and overseeing the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems.

Joona Ruissalo

Joona Ruissalo is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Information Systems Science at Aalto University School of Business.

Ruissalo's research focuses on how the design, development, and use of cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation transform professional knowledge-intensive work. He currently studies these socio-technical issues in the domain of financial accounting.

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