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What Team Size Is Optimum for Performance?


What Team Size Is Optimum for Performance?

What Team Size Is Optimum for Performance?

Jeffrey Smith
Question: What Team Size Is Optimum for Performance?

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.

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