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What type of company should use XP?

 
George Harris
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I assume that like most processes, XP is not for everyone. Is there a certain size of company that XP is most beneficial for? Also, is XP valuable for both established legacy companies as well as the more fast paced dot-com types?
 
Mark Herschberg
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From a chat with some big XP Guru (I want to say Kent Beck, but possible Alistar Cockburn--it might have even been in this forum, try a search if you're interested) he confirmed my suspicion that XP does not scale well. I think he put max group size at about 12 people.
Of course, it might be possible to have some semi-independent development teams of that size working on XP projects which will later be integrated.
Generally speaking you need small teams. The people and culture must be nimble (e.g. someone who spent 20 years at NASA is probably not going to be quick to adapt to XP). You also need a physical environment condusce to XP. I think those are the big ones.
It has been used at Fortune 500 corporations as well as at startups (although most startup that I heard claiming to use XP simply figured if they delayed certain decisions and had less planning overhead, then they were using XP when in reality they were using the make-it-up-as-we-go methodology).

--Mark
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
From a chat with some big XP Guru (I want to say Kent Beck, but possible Alistar Cockburn--it might have even been in this forum, try a search if you're interested) he confirmed my suspicion that XP does not scale well. I think he put max group size at about 12 people.

He also writes something like this in his book, if I remember correctly.
Recent experiences seem to suggest that it is depending somewhat on the people - *there are* teams of the size up to 25 developers succesfully using XP. It certainly helps to have some experienced "XP champions" on the team.

Of course, it might be possible to have some semi-independent development teams of that size working on XP projects which will later be integrated.

I've heard of some projects up to 500 developers using an XP-like process. They typically form a bunch of subteams using XP internally and adding practices for inter-team communication. Often you have one team playing the "Customer" for another.
Generally speaking you need small teams. The people and culture must be nimble (e.g. someone who spent 20 years at NASA is probably not going to be quick to adapt to XP). You also need a physical environment condusce to XP. I think those are the big ones.

Another big one possibly is your relationship to the Customer. I have heard of some companies where even trying to contact the customer directly can be hard, let alone getting him to care for the project in the time between "signing the requirements document" and releasing the final product.
(although most startup that I heard claiming to use XP simply figured if they delayed certain decisions and had less planning overhead, then they were using XP when in reality they were using the make-it-up-as-we-go methodology).

Yeah...
"We are doing 'nearly XP'."
"Cool. So, what are you *not* doing?"
"Oh, we aren't testing; we don't pair programming; we don't do release or iteration planning. We don't have the time for merciless refactoring."
"Uh. So why are you thinking you are doing XP?"
"We don't do Big Up Front Design and we don't document..."
:roll:
 
Gavin Bong
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I've only worked in small XP groups (<10) but I have to pose this question base on Ilja's comment.
I've heard of some projects up to 500 developers using an XP-like process

What kind of project was this - to require 500 developers ? An OS ? I read somewhere that says that even the BEA weblogic server had a very small group of core developers. The developers who work on the periphery are usually the ones fixing bugs or writing specialised plugins. I don't think they would fall under the XP processes of the core group.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
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