triggers a dramatic widening of scope.
What was intended as an optimization exercise, becomes a wholesale rewrite.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐢𝐭
A small amount of legacy refactoring is healthy.
It’s when you notice a whole slew of changes in areas that are unrelated to the feature at hand.
Look at the Work Log for outsized code commits in sets of files that seem completely unrelated to the feature at hand.
Talk to the engineer, expanding refactors are rarely driven by the product teams.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨
Open the topic up for discussion with the team.
Ask team members to make a case for and against the refactor,
and then come to a conclusion about whether it’s best to move forward with the project,
drop it, or tackle it with a different approach.
It can also be useful to provide standards around what success is — what “done” looks like.
That way, everyone’s clear around what the project is and isn’t,
and so the expanding refactor doesn’t consume too much of your team’s time and energy