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The development of a software system - of any reasonable size - from initial conception through ongoing maintenance and evolution accrues significant coordination overheads. Often the mechanisms used to manage change and coordination detract from the time developers have to pursue the principal goal of constructing the desired system. This is one of the motivators behind the emerging 'agile' methodologies. By permitting people to work as independently as possible and yet be aware of each other's dependencies and constraints, it is believed that these secondary costs can be minimised. The position taken in the research summarised here is that better support can be provided for this type of weakly constrained coordination by enhancing the awareness, automated traceability, and constraint checking capabilities of software configuration management systems. Current progress in the research and plans for future work are described.
Date of Conference: 23-28 May 2004