Software Development Process Changes in the Telecommunications Industry
John Kevin Doyle, Robert S. Janek, M. David Long
The tremendous changes in the telecommunications business in the last several years drove changes in the software development processes of telecommunications equipment providers. We compare changes in these very large projects, in two companies, with those proposed in
the Theory of Constraints / Critical Chains,
Extreme Programming, and Agile development models.
The 2000s have been a time of significant challenge in the telecommunications equipment business. Telecommunications service providers have excess equipment capacity. Many are waiting for next generation telephone switches that will simultaneously lower operating costs and enable additional revenue generation. The large service
providers have drastically reduced their capital and expense purchases. Many small service providers, particularly the dot-coms, went bankrupt; much of their equipment is on the secondary market, at a fraction of the original cost. Thus the equipment market has significantly
shrunk, and the equipment providers have been
reducing expenses, while continuing to deliver software and hardware equipment at the high quality level required by the service providers. This drove many changes in the software development process. While the process changes are reported in two telecommunication equipment
development organizations, the changes are applicable in any product development organization.