Technical debt, a metaphor for the long-term consequences of weak software development, must be managed to keep it under control. The main goal of this article is to identify and analyze the elements required to manage technical debt. The research method used to identify the elements is a systematic mapping, including a synthesis step to synthesize the elements definitions. Our perspective differs from previous literature reviews because it focused on the elements required to manage technical debt and not on the phenomenon of technical debt or the activities used in performing technical debt management. Additionally, the rigor and relevance for industry of the current techniques used to manage technical debt are studied. The elements were classified into three groups (basic decision-making factors, cost estimation techniques, practices and techniques for decision-making) and mapped according three stakeholders’ points of view (engineering, engineering management, and business-organizational management). The definitions, classification, and analysis of the elements provide a framework that can be deployed to help in the development of models that are adapted to the specific stakeholders’ interests to assist the decision-making required in technical debt management and to assess existing models and methods. The analysis indicated that technical debt management is context dependent. Artículo publicado en Journal of Systems and Software (JSS). JSS es clasificada como Q1 en JCR 2017.