Understanding and addressing the essential costs of evolving systems



A major attribute of telecommunications software systems is change. For evolving telecom systems, significant expertise is needed to effectively handle and capitalize on these changes. This paper discusses some of the key dimensions of change that occur during telecom systems software development, the areas of expertise that software developers apply in managing these changes, and some of the means by which high-performing project members have overcome the learning curves associated with these systems. We base our results on data gathered from several Bell Labs multiyear development projects and interviews with experienced staff.