Large software teams are rarely productive



How do you assess the current practice of software development?
Prevailing software development practices lead to lot of waste and rework. The
traditional software development is based upon the assumption that the people
know exactly what they expect in the software. As the requirement keeps
changing, either the customer pays in the form of time and budget overruns, or
the team pays in the form of doing night-outs in the office. Dr Dobbs May 2008
Journal found that 82% of the 642 respondents of a survey reported productivity
increase after adopting Agile. The State of Agile Survey 2009 reported that
increased productivity was a very important reason for adopting Agile.

Some of the large software companies use their scalability as an approach
to software development. Do you think this model is flawed?
We know it from the history that large software development teams are rarely
productive or successful. A good focused software development team should not
have more than ten members. As the team size grows, it gets harder to
communicate the requirements and design. Scalability is only useful if it leads
to higher productivity. Agile can also scale, but in Agile project we make sure
that the team size remains small and a team has all the skills available to
achieve the project goals.

Is Agile methodology one of the fastest growing ways to software
development?
Agile is emerging as the new approach to software development. Even those
enterprises where Agile has not been fully embraced, several Agile practices
such as daily stand-up, unit testing and short iterations are already in used in
the software development projects. Presently, there is no industry wide data
that is available about Agile adoption but large corporations and product
development companies are having a serious look at Agile.

How will Agile impact the Indian IT Industry?
Agile is great news for the Indian software industry because rising salary
costs and emergence of other low cost software outsourcing countries will force
us to look beyond mere cost advantage of India for overseas customers. Agile
methods can take the quality and productivity of our software industry to the
next higher level.

What is Xebias value proposition in the Agile space?
We share our best practices in the software community by publishing
articles, doing presentations and actively blogging about our experiences. We
are also very open to provide professional coaching in Agile transformation to
senior executives so that they can fund Agile pilot projects in their companies
and benefits from Agile movement.

Sudesh Prasad
sudeshp@cybermedia.co.in

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