Less is more
There are problems when it comes to managing a team size. Amazon's Jeff Bezos has a solution for this that he refers to as the "two pizza rule": never have a meeting where two pizzas couldn't feed everyone. I believe in design by small teams, who can support each other when times get tough, who can think on their feet and make decisions quickly.
Big companies have enormous teams now, and their agility has suffered because of it. It’s become part of the culture, but it’s stifling creativity thanks to an in-built risk aversion. On the surface one extra team member shouldn’t make a difference. In fact, shouldn’t it have been an advantage? Small teams create a decentralized and innovative workplace environment. We operate with teams that consist of 4 key members.
The Ringelmann Effect is the tendency for individual members to become less productive as the size of a group increases. This concept was named after Maximilien Ringelmann, a French professor of agricultural engineering. In one of his experiments he asked subjects to perform a simple task of pulling on a rope. He found that when only one person is pulling on the rope they give 100% of their effort, however, as more people are added the individual effort goes down.
As you add team members the amount of communication gets complicated, very quickly. Of course, there are many other factors at play in the success of a team. But paying attention to the number of people is very important for efficiency and productivity.
By: Melissa Thorne
ART DIRECTOR, PARTNER