2 answers

Do you personally like working in small or large teams and do you have to have a strong relationship with them?

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2 answers

Josh’s Answer

I personally prefer teams in the 4-7 range.

If your team is too small, you can miss out on valuable combinations of different points of view. Also, it can be hard for people to take a vacation or have to take some sick time. If I'm on a 2 person team and I am out, that means our team is running at half capacity and "the other team member" is taking all the load and all the responsibility.

The one caveat is teams that own things running "in production" online. In technology companies it's common for people to have to be on call, where they might get alerted in the middle of the night and have to take care of a problem in a service. If I'm on a team doing that, and wake up calls aren't incredibly rare, I like to have a larger group, so more of us can take on that pain.

Another way to think about team size is "lines of communication". This is sometimes called Brook's Law. This post has a great image: https://www.leadingagile.com/2018/02/applying-brooks-law/ but essentially as you add people to the team the communication channels needed to keep everyone even aware of each other's work and perspectives grow exponentially. In very large teams you can find yourself doing crazy things, like having a meeting to plan for a meeting to make a plan.

Miguel’s Answer

It depends. I enjoy different aspects of working on both large and small teams, I do not have a personal preference. I like scouting opportunities where I can use my skills to add value and contribute to a project or goal. This helps to make my involvement on teams focused on a particular area and allows me the ability to be selective. The size of the team is not what matters most to me, what matters most is that the work I am contributing is of high quality and that it adds value in the form of continuous improvement and achievement.

Relationship building is critical to working on any team. Everyone brings something special to a team that has the potential to create efficiencies for tasks that impact the end result. Understanding each other's roles and responsibilities provide you with insight on how to make better decisions and leverage each other's strengths to accomplish a goal together. As you begin to bond and form relationships, you may experience stages in the development of your team. These stages were coined first by psychologist Bruce Tuckman and are referred to as "Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing", and are typically experiences that occur when a new team comes together. I hope this helps to answer your question and encourages you to want to learn more about how effective teams come together.

More information on Tuckman's model can be found here (Keep Reading): https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_86.htm

Miguel recommends the following next steps:

  • Learn more about the Tuckman model by following this link : https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_86.htm
  • Read, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni
  • Learn more about yourself and what talents/expertise you can bring to a team
  • Practice your craft and continuously work at it.
  • Build networks of people who have a need for a service that you provide.