In application development, team size plays a huge role in the way that products are built. Each agency will do things a little differently, but we’ve found that using small teams produces big results. Here’s why:
1. Streamlined Communication
As team size grows, it becomes harder to hear out individual’s ideas and communicate efficiently. Small teams make it easier to communicate with each other, understand who is doing what, and efficiently hand off work to one another. When you know what everyone is doing, there won’t be anyone stepping on toes, and the risk of alignment issues is reduced.
Working in small teams also promotes better coordination, making it easier to align on meetings, due dates, and prioritization.
“If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO & Founder of Amazon
2. Increased Ownership
Small team sizes allow each individual to take ownership of the app they’re building. For example, someone is going to be more invested in the quality of the product they’re building if they’re responsible for 40-50% of the product, as opposed to 10%.
The success of small teams is also reinforced by the Ringelmann Effect, which was coined by a French Professor who conducted a study on team size. The Ringelmann Effect is the tendency for individual members of a team to become less productive as the team size increases. In Ringelmann’s experiment, he had volunteers pull a rope. The results were simple – When it was one team member, they gave 100% of their effort. The more team members that were added, the less effort they put into pulling the role.
3. Innovation Increases
A recent study by Harvard Business Review showed a universal pattern about team size: large teams further develop existing ideas and designs, while smaller teams tend to think more disruptively, creating new ideas, inventions, and opportunities.
When thinking about this observation being applied to software development, an iterative and innovative mindset is crucial in the success of any digital product. Leaders must be precise about the individuals they place in teams together by identifying skills in their people.
LaunchPad Lab’s Approach
LaunchPad Lab follows the approach of using small, cross-functional teams to reap the benefits of increased ownership, increased innovation, and streamlined communication. Our team structure typically consists of a product manager, designer, and between one to four developers depending on the size of the project. We’re invested in becoming an extension of your team, so the same people working with you to define your technology strategy will be the same team members writing code. To learn more about what it’s like to work together, schedule a chat with us.