The team size that is optimum for team performance is a topic much researched and debated. The problem is that you need to consider a number of factors when determining optimum team size.
Factors that affect optimum team size include:
- the purpose for forming the team,
- the expectations you have of the team and its members,
- the roles that the team members need to play,
- the amount of cohesiveness and interconnectivity necessary for optimal team performance, and
- the function, activities, and goals of the team.
So, optimum team size is not an easy answer. From experience and research, the optimum team size is 5-7 members. The team size that continues to function effectively is 4-9 members. Teams are known to function cohesively with a size up to 12 members.
If you seek effective input, the optimal team size ranges from more than 2 up to 18-20 members, but these individuals are not expected to form a cohesive, highly interconnected team. It is much more likely that teams of a large size form sub-teams and working groups to accomplish the actual work of a project. These larger groups are effective, as examples, for strategic planning input, overall project communication, building support for an idea, and so forth.
Resources About Team Size
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- Is Your Team Too Big? Too Small? What’s the Right Number?
- Is Five the Optimal Team Size? (Software development teams)
- Creating Effective Teams
More About Team Building on This Site
- How to Build Powerfully Successful Work Teams
- Twelve Tips for Team Building
- How to Build a Teamwork Culture
- The Five Teams Every Organization Needs