Team size

Team size matters less than filling required roles, having the right skills and diversifying the team for productive output.

What is the right size for a team?  Google this question and you will get a variety of answers, most between 5 and 9.

According to Katherine Klein from Wharton University, the ideal size for a working team is 5 people. If you go beyond 5 the team can start to lose individual performance, while teams smaller than 5 can experience heightened dynamics and skill gaps. There is also thinking based on Miller’s Law, that increased team size makes it harder for team members to get to know, relate to and focus on one another.

Agile thinking focuses on the outcomes of teamwork. Team size matters less than filling required roles, having the right skills and diversifying the team for productive output.  Size needs to stay reasonable to help people work well together. Adults learn by solving problems together, which is why experienced agile practitioners recommend teams no larger than 9.  But there is no right answer and experimentation with team size may be the only way to know what’s right for your organization.

Consider

How does your organization form teams and think about teamwork? Can it be improved?

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