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Studies Concur, Small Teams Are Best

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on Jul 18, 2006 |
In the Leadership and Change section of  Knowledge@Wharton, the question was asked: Is Your Team Too Big? Too Small? What's the Right Number? This article cites numerous studies and sources, and shows that small team size is consistently recommended.

Decades of research suggest the sweetspot may be between 4 and 6, as reported in a recent Fortune article: How to build a great team. But it's not that simple: writers uniformly remind us that other considerations contribute to team success and influence the "correct" number for a given context.

Some of the other factors mentioned are:
  • clarity of team goals
  • type of team - function, domain
  • composition - roles required
  • team process
  • whether roles are clearly understood
  • presence of an outside threat
  • observance of team norms
Going beyong simply recommending small team size,  some Agile trainers help organizations evaluate these other factors when teams are adopting new methods.

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