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The best team size is 4.6. These are the men in white coats who make their living answering such questions.
You can probably think of many objections as soon as that number is mentioned. What about leadership and skillset?
It is not always the best way to answer a major question. (Who is the 0.6 team member?
The question is still worth asking.
Is there a perfect team size? One that moves quickly, makes decisions quickly, and gets stuff done with amazing productivity?
This is more than just managerial curiosity.
This question has huge implications for businesses. Hiring people is expensive. Hiring the wrong people can cost you even more. A team with too many people could fall apart, but a team that has too few may also be headed for disaster.
Many hiring managers want to find the right size team. You want to find the sweet spot between productivity and cost savings.
Many people approach it wrongly.
It is not possible to start with a perfect team size and then fill in the gaps.
So where do we start?
Let me tell you some stories, do some research, and then give you the ultimate answer to your question: What is the ideal team size?
Jeff Bezos’ 2 Pizza Rule: Communication and team size
According to conventional wisdom, two heads are better that one. The more people involved in a project, whether they are looking at the angles or contributing ideas, the better you will be and the more likely that you will achieve your goals.
Even if you are looking to build a smaller team, having more hands on deck can be attractive.
However, success doesn’t always come from more people doing the same thing.
If you believe that more people equals better results, you must treat each person as an equal measured solution. This is similar to stackable cups that each hold the exact volume.
People don’t work that way.
It is not a good idea to build a team based on numbers.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, was against this method of growing teams. According to the Wall Street Journal
One former executive recalls that at an offsite retreat, where managers suggested employees should communicate more, Bezos stood up to say, “No, communication IS terrible!” He wanted a decentralized company, even one that was disorganized, where independent ideas would prevail over groupthink. Isn’t it a good idea to improve communication?
It is. However, Bezos was more concerned with allowing innovation to flourish and independent decision-making to thrive. He did this by ensuring that the right communication was in place (not more communication).
This is where team size plays a major role. Communication hurdles are higher in larger teams. Smaller teams have more spontaneous and fluid communication.
Bezos invented the concept of “2 pizza teams”: A team that couldn’t be fed 2 pizzas per day was considered too large.
Is this a magic number to determine team size?
Right, six people?
Not so fast.
What if Jerry skipped breakfast Sally is also on a diet. Joe eats seven slices of pizza a day.
Personal dynamic is key to the creation of the right size team.
Bezos’s focus on the individual is a smart strategy. If you are too focused on the team size, you can forget about the individual.
Communication is the key. One article states that communication becomes more difficult as the team size increases.
Communication is important. Communication is key to team productivity.
For maximum productivity, the ideal team size is likely to be between 5-7 people.
Joe will not eat a whole pizza by himself, Sally is doing Whole30.
This brings me to the next point.
Why team size should not be your first c