Technical debt as a concept reflects the cost of rework caused by taking shortcuts or choosing an easier solution, instead of using a better approach that may take longer. Technical debt can in some ways be compared to monetary debt in that it can accumulate 'interest', making it harder to implement changes later on. Unaddressed technical debt increases software entropy, slows development and may cause much bigger problems further down the line.
You may question if it causes all these issues why use it in the first place?
In the short term ; Technical debt is not necessarily a bad thing, and sometimes technical debt is required to move projects forward and access value now. The key is staying on top of this technical debt, ensuring visibility and managing it in the backlog.
Beware, beware the technical debt cycle! Oh too often this can become the death of a product or company as things gradually get slower and less stable all in the false believe that the decisions being made will somehow bring more value. However as we can see below this value is short lived.
See below for further information.
Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Technical Debt practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.