Posted by: ahmedashfaque | March 4, 2010

Limitations of Agililty – Part 2

The first part of this series was not titled as part 1. But anyways let us move straight onto discuss one more limitation of Agile models.

Suppose you need to build a large software product whose size is estimated to be 2 million lines of code. You also have information that at your organization, a project team generally delivers about 1000 lines of source code (this includes all activities on the project including development and testing) per person in a month’s time.

If you think of developing this product using any agile model then that means you can use a team of 8 to 10 people at the most. If you are using a team of 10 people then that means you can deliver about 10,000 lines of code per month. That means you will be delivering about 120,000 lines of code in a year’s time.

To produce the software product, it will take your team around 16.6 years (2 million/120,000). Do you think a software product should take that long to produce? What if your customer wants it to be delivered in 2 years time? What options you may have in such a case? Suppose you decide to go for a traditional model (Waterfall model for instance!) then what implications you may have?

Suppose your efficiency in traditional model is far less than what you can achieve with an agile model and that you can produce only 600 lines of code per person per month here. How many people you may need? Let us calculate. It will come around to 277 people on the project team (2 million/(600 * 12). Such large sized project teams are a possibility with traditional models.

Even though a traditional model may look inefficient, nevertheless it makes it possible to develop large sized software products in less time.

It is still some time before agile models may scale to address such issues. Until then traditional models will be used for such kinds of projects.



  1. […] of agile projects. We had also seen in an earlier post Limitations of Agility – Part 2 ( that if we need to deliver more than 120,000 lines of source code per year then Agile models do […]

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