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Eelco Verbrugge
Eelco Verbrugge

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Scrum Team Size

I work within a Scrum Team on and off. Once I started my career 3 years ago I worked within a team where they just went from waterfall to scrum and we had to figure it all out by our self. After I experienced a team I joined which was already full on steam and I couldn't fit well. Now I'm in a team where we do something in between both worlds and we are starting to do more waterfall again.

Team size

Scrum or not, I think there are some good reasons to practice Scrum. It's like a framework (like Symfony or Laravel is), but for your workflow. Like playing a soccer match which describes the rules. You still have the freedom of how your setup will be and what strategy the team execute.

But as we all know, adding more and more people on the field won't do better. If you place 100 people on the field instead of 11 for soccer, it will get chaotic, messy and complex to score. This is the exact same with your Scrum Team.

Recently I got my Professional Scrum Master level I & II and I wondered what is the best team size according to Scrum.

According to Scrum

The Scrum Team consists of a Scrum Master, Product Owner and Developers. Developers are the people in the Scrum Team that are committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint. This could be software developers, but also designers, testers, marketeers etc. As long as they are committed to creating anything of usable Increment!

The Scrum Team is small enough to remain nimble and large enough to complete significant work within a Sprint. Typically 10 or less. Smaller teams communicate better and are more productive. If Scrum Teams become too large, they should consider reorganizing into multiple cohesive Scrum Teams, each focused on the same product. They share the same Product Goal, Product Backlog and Product Owner.

Communication overkill

The communications channels formula is N * (N-1) / 2. It is a way to numerically show the importance of proper communications management on a project.

The communications channel formula is a way to express this "challenge" numerically.

Let’s say you are in a team of 10 people. That would be 10 * (10-1) / 2 = 45.

If you add 2 more people, that would be 12 * (12-1) / 2 = 66.

That’s 150% of 10 people and you are only adding 2 people. Just to say how quick it adds up.

You can imagine how this effects the teams communication and productivity. This is why more then 10 people isn’t doing you much better for the team.

What’s your experience in Scrum Team Size? Let me know

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