Time to Market or Time to Quality?

Bell Labs has a proud history of excellence in computer science research, but the best practices developed in the labs were not being applied consistently across Lucent’s product development teams. The same design, development, and test practices that resulted in security vulnerabilities also contributed to poor system performance, low reliability, and overall poor quality. The lessons were not being transferred; they were being painstakingly documented and placed on shelves to gather dust. We had “lessons noted,” not “lessons learned.”

Poor project management and a weak system development lifecycle were allowing feature bloat and requirements creep to divert critical architecture, engineering, development, and test resources away from the core product elements. Instead of focusing on achieving quality and security at the product core and then expanding the feature set product, teams tried to deliver bloated products that could be all things for all people. As is often the case with the “be all things” approach, the products missed the core market requirements. In the drive for additional features, some products intended to solve simple problems became research projects that chased premature technologies, delivering complex, difficult to maintain solutions. Instead of investing in developing a simple solution to a common problem and reusing it across multiple products teams, we allowed, and in some cases actively encouraged, teams to develop custom ...

Get Beautiful Security now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.