[#ALM] Is your team too big?



For us, the developers, when we talk about the ideal size of a team, we always tend to think in the number 7. It may be because of the Scrum and agile methodologies influence, but it seems that 7 is a number that we all feel comfortable. Today April 15th, I strongly believe that 7 is the ideal size for a team.

However, in a team of this size we often don’t have all of the capabilities required to be able to bring forward a product that add real value. At some point, we will need to interact with some Subject Matter experts on a specific topic (technical or business), perhaps people from marketing, finance, etc. Although they are spontaneous interactions, from time to time, this type of interaction can become the arrival of a new member into the team.

And so without giving us, what started as a team of 7 people working on a project has become a group of 35 people with a very different dynamic. This change also involves the involuntary creation of processes to work. And we all know this is the path to the dark side: processes lead to bureaucracy, the bureaucracy tends to bore people, boring people are not productive, etc.

At Amazon they have a rule which is great

 “If you need more than 2 pizzas to feed a team, then the team is too big.”

This is known as the Two-Pizza team rule (link). It is at this point where you have to stop the progress of the project for a day and begin to check if there are points where you can improve. Surely, this will not be an easy or quick process, but it is necessary. One of the best examples I’ve read on this point is how the Visual Studio Team has adapted working his way to finish creating an agile culture at Microsoft (link)

So now you know, if when on a Thursday of beers you get to invite the team and have to ask more than 2 pizzas.Then, it is ideal to think if the team is not too large and what can be done to change the dynamics of the same.

Saludos @ La Finca

/El Bruno

PD: Source Image >> http://robertkaplinsky.com/work/giant-pizza/

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