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Getting more with less (or fewer)

Changing just one thing in your team could increase each person’s productivity by a factor of five.  What new management technique or tool could this be?

Actually, it’s very straightforward but not often thought about…

The size of your team can have a fundamental effect on its productivity.

Consider that for a moment. By changing nothing else, you could get more out of your team; your team will be more motivated and more likely to exceed expectations.

Getting things done in a team is about relationships. If a team has just two people in it, there is only a single relationship between them. Add one more person to the team and the number of relationships triples to three. Adding a fourth person to the team doubles the relationships to six, and so on. The number of connections in a team rises logarithmically with the numbers of members in it.

Relationships are important in team dynamics because they govern the following:

  • The opportunity for misunderstandings between team members.
  • The number of “middle” managers required to maintain a sensible “manager: worker” ratio.
  • The effort required to maintain a common delivery vision across the team.

So, when you plan your next project, don’t dismiss the small team approach. Size matters but bigger isn’t always better.