Cell balancing is a key function of battery management system (BMS) that is implemented to maximize the battery's available capacity and service life. The increasing demand of larger and better performance pack has raised the need to investigate the various cell balancing techniques so that the energy of the battery can be fully realized. In this work we develop a phenomenological model in order to quantify the benefits of passive balancing and active balancing. The electrical response of a model pack consisting of serially connected lithium ion cells is simulated with Matlab. The effects of the variance of cell capacity, internal resistance, self-discharge rates, pack configuration and size are studied. The possible optimization rooms for implementing passive and active balancing are suggested.