Bonsai: Fixed-cost, Monthly Maintenance Service for Your Application

Gradually pay off technical debt and keep your JavaScript application in top form at the pace that makes the most sense to you

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While teams understand the need to remediate their technical debt, this very often loses priority to shipping features, releasing patches, and addressing other tasks prioritized in their product roadmaps.

However, one of the important implications of technical debt is that, once acquired, it must be serviced. If not serviced, the technical debt acquired accumulates interest over time, increasing maintenance costs and reducing productivity, feature ROI and time-to-market.

Source: Nugroho, Ariadi & Visser, Joost & Kuipers, Tobias. (2011). An Empirical Model of Technical Debt and Interest. 10.1145/1985362.1985364.

Everybody would like to modernize their app as fast as possible, but sometimes that’s just not in the budget. Instead, a good alternative can be to gradually work through your technical debt with a slower-paced retainer model.

What's included in our monthly maintenance services

Our fixed-cost, monthly technical debt remediation services, provided by a team of experts, focuses on gradually reducing technical debt in your application. Whether you are running an outdated Node, React, React Native or Vue version, would like to add TypeScript to your codebase, migrate from Angular to React, migrate to Next.js, or for your other JavaScript debt needs, we have you covered! Our services will include:

To know more about what each of these services includes, check out our Fixed-cost, Monthly Maintenance Services article

With our monthly maintenance approach, you can gradually but consistently pay off your technical debt, improving your team's efficiency and reducing costs.

The relationship between tech debt, cost, and efficiency

Who is it for?

Anyone with a JavaScript application and some technical debt. Really! 

Running Node.js 10 and would like to upgrade to Node 20? Looking to go from Vue 2 to Vue 3? Want to be on React 18? Upgrade React Native? Want to migrate to Next.js? Move from Angular to React? Something else? Is it JavaScript related? This is for you!

The existing plans are suitable for small and medium applications, regardless of whether you:

  • Have an old application with accumulated technical debt that needs to be reduced
  • Have a new application with a lot of business priorities and want to prevent debt from accumulating
  • Have a good view of the technical debt you have and a list of the most pressing issues to address
  • Have no idea what technical debt you have and what are the things that need to be addressed

Our team of experts will work with you to define the most important items to address first and will continuously communicate with you and the team to ensure we're focusing on the right things and adding the most value.

Are you trying to pay off tech debt in a large company with a big, complex application? No problem! We can offer a customized solution to work at the pace that makes the most sense to you, and prioritize the most important projects to address first. 

Why invest in monthly maintenance?

Technical debt is in every engineering team's mind, but oftentimes customer-facing features and necessary fixes take priority in the roadmap. Regardless of whether introducing technical debt was a strategic decision or a result of evolving circumstances, an important implication of technical debt is that it will only continue to grow if you don't do anything about it. 

An important consequence of that accumulated debt is opportunity cost, meaning an increase in time spent dealing with unplanned work and defects and a decrease in time available for customer-facing features.

Source: Opportunity Cost of Technical Debt Tiny Cloud White Paper

Sometimes, though, the investment required to address the technical debt accumulated over the course of multiple years is just not in the budget. Still, continuing to add to the pile will only aggravate the symptoms your team is no doubt already experiencing, such as a higher number of bugs to fix, high percentage of unplanned work making planning really hard, decrease in productivity and overall poorer experience.

Investing on monthly maintenance to gradually reduce tech debt while your team focuses on business priorities is the way to go. You can expect to see gradual improvements in your code quality and overall decreasing technical debt while keeping your development team’s velocity uninterrupted.

“The typical development organization can increase their feature delivery efficiency by at least 25% by managing technical debt. That’s the equivalent of having 25% more developers without additional staffing costs or coordination needs.”

(Source: CodeScene Whitepaper)

Don't want to get to the point where you're losing 25% of your efficiency to technical debt? Monthly maintenance for new and existing applications to prevent debt from accumulating will get you there!

How does it work?

We are used to working with teams of all sizes. From engineering teams of one to teams of 50+ software engineers, we see every engagement as a successful collaboration between our team and your team.

We thrive when we collaborate with our clients’ engineering team on a daily basis, so we will have a channel to communicate asynchronously and we will expect your team to promptly review our pull requests. If you need to get on a call, we can do that too!

Any of the changes that we submit will be open for review and discussion. We will clearly explain why they are necessary, what the changes will do, and what impact they will have in your tech debt scorecard.

Communication is key to us! 

We provide you with a monthly report on your technical debt, including codebase, development workflow, infrastructure, and best practices. We are always open to hearing your thoughts and needs and answering your questions.

What does it cover?

Our fixed-cost, monthly maintenance services will cover technical debt items that can be addressed in a gradual way. 

This includes upgrades for JavaScript frameworks (such as Node, React, React Native and Vue), framework migration (TypeScript implementation, migrating out of Angular, migrating to Next.js), dependency management, technical debt management, security patches. It does not include:

Strategic Projects

We know that every now and then our clients will have one-off, strategic projects they will want to ship as soon as possible and we want to be able to help.

When that happens, we can offer our services on an hourly basis to ship value in the form of features, infrastructure upgrades, bug fixes, or anything that will make a difference in our clients’ businesses.

Rescue Services

Our monthly packages don’t include rescue services. If your application needs to be rescued, we can certainly help! We’ve done this many times in the past and we are happy to get you out of a thorny situation.

For these projects, we need to start with a short, one-week retainer to kickstart the rescue project. This will give us time to assess the situation, come up with a rescue plan, and start executing it.


Are you ready to make your application more maintainable?

Considering our 10+ years of experience upgrading applications, and more than 20,000 developer hours paying off technical debt, we believe we can offer meaningful updates to your codebase starting at $2,000 per month:

  1. Shohin: $2,000 per month
  2. Komono: $3,000 per month
  3. Dai: $6,000 per month

Each package includes a maximum number of hours per month that we can invest in your application. When naming these packages, we decided to go with Bonsai types because we see a lot of similarities between pruning Bonsai trees and gradually paying off technical debt. 🌳


This is a great package for organizations and companies that either don’t have a lot of technical debt or want to go slow.

Their test suite might be well-written, their application might be relatively small, or their development team would be overwhelmed with more than 2 pull requests per month.


This is a great package for organizations and companies that have some technical debt, know they need to fix it, and are ready to review from 2 to 4 pull requests per month.

Their test suite might need some attention, their application might be more on the medium side, or they’re more than a couple of versions behind on their upgrades or they have lots of dependencies that could increase complexity.


This is a great package for organizations and companies that are ready to ship 3x more than if they had chosen the Shohin package.

Usually their application is rather large, their main dependencies are quite a few versions behind, their test suite is flaky, they have several dependencies that will need to be replaced, or they need to move fast and upgrade things.

Depending on the plan that you pick, we will invest from 10 to 30 hours per month remediating technical debt in your application/s.

Ready to start paying off your technical debt? What would you do if you had 25% more development efficiency? How much more could your development team deliver in a month?

Ready to invest in your tech debt and pay off your tech debt mortgage? 

Let us be your trusted partner in making your application more maintainable, secure, and efficient. Contact us!

So, why us?

Our accomplished staff have managed upgrades for clients ranging from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.

We are upgrade specialists with experience across technologies and a proven process for dealing with the intricacies and nuances of this kind of work. We know how to organize our team to best attack this complex problem space. Upgrading applications and dealing with dependencies is hard, especially when your team isn’t used to resolving these issues.

JavaScript moves fast; we are constantly improving our workflows and keeping up with the latest Node.js developments so you don’t have to.

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