Ideal Size for Project Team: – The success of a project depends largely on the members of the project team. Indeed, efficient organization and effective management are nothing without the right people. Choosing a team is therefore essential. As a project manager, it is your responsibility to carefully compose your team. The recruitment of employees must take into account their skills, but also their personality. Indeed, you want above all a high-performing team, working together in harmony, without tension or conflict.
Besides the skills and personality of each member, the size of the team is an essential element not to be neglected. Obviously, it will depend very much on the size of the project. According to the experience of different companies like Google and Amazon, and the opinion of specialists on the issue, it is preferable to favor small teams, ideally odd number to facilitate decision making by avoiding the 50 / 50.
Ideal Size for Project Management Team
Olivier Devil lard, author of “The dynamics of teams” (Editions Enrolls) declares:
“The optimal size for a good team is between 6 and 9 people. Small enough to stay in a nearby register and be able to share, big enough to be creative
Regarding the exact number of people making up a team, the answers vary, but everyone agrees on one point: we must favor small teams. Contrary to popular belief, it is not because the team is bigger that it performs better. J. Richard Hickman, an expert in team dynamics and performance, concluded his 50 years of research by saying that a team of 4 to 6 people is ideal for most tasks and no team should count more than 10 members.
As for communication, it is enough to compare a small dinner with friends to a wedding with two hundred guests. At dinner, it is easy and enjoyable to have a real conversation with each of the friends present. On the other hand, at the wedding, it is impossible to discuss with all the two hundred guests. Guests tend to group themselves systematically into small groups. The greater the size of the group, the more difficult it is to have an in-depth discussion with each person present.
Discover the disadvantages of large groups and why it is better to surround yourself with a small team.
Disadvantages of a Large team
Conflicts, tensions, poor communication or lack of self-confidence, large teams are inefficient and hinder the development of their members.
- Risk of Conflicts and Tensions
If the team is too large, the risks of conflicts and tensions between different employees with very different personalities are more frequent. Indeed, interpersonal or relational problems increase with the size of the team. The toxic employees can better hide in a great team and ruin the mood by their lack of professionalism.
Even if you are an excellent project manager, a leader with undeniable managerial qualities, it can be tricky, even difficult to manage too many people and channel different personalities. You are less available and it becomes complicated to give time to each member of the team. In addition, you risk spending your time calming tensions, rather than working on your tasks.
- Communication and Trust issues
In large teams, it is difficult to know everyone, and therefore to know who to trust or who to turn to in case of problems, doubts or questions. Some collaborators may be uncomfortable and lose confidence in them.
Mistakes, misunderstandings and confusions are due to communication problems and increase with the size of the team.
Advantages of a Small team
The strengths of small teams are numerous. Everyone knows who does what and makes decisions faster. Communication and management are also facilitated.
Small teams are more versatile. Each member is solicited to work on different tasks, which encourages exchanges. Because they affect everything, employees are also more involved and more motivated by the project.
- Team cohesion
It is easier to feel integrated and comfortable within a small team. Everyone works together, gets to know each other and develops a sense of belonging that is beneficial to the team. Relationships are based on trust and foster team cohesion.
Within a small team, it is easier to unmask impostors, manipulators or pretenders to work. Peer pressure is stronger than that of management or hierarchy. Since each employee knows and respects himself, he avoids disappointment and becomes more efficient.
- In the case of a major project
If you are in charge of a large project with many collaborators, it is imperative to create subgroups and delegate your responsibility to project managers who have their own team. This way you manage your small team of managers to whom you give instructions and whose performance you follow. It is their responsibility to supervise their team.
The ideal size of the project team depends on the nature of the project and the expertise of its members. The observation and the results of studies on the performances of the teams recommend surrounding a small team comprising between 5 and 12 people. It is up to you to compose the ideal team in skills, but also in numbers.