This morning, as I write this (Sunday), I read an article regarding team size and bench strength, and it got me thinking about project team size. There are several directions one could take when building their team, and it often comes down to two things: the project type and how it's managed (funding is in there too, but not today).
Let's say you're the project manager for a large organization's office move. It's more likely than not that you'll use a Waterfall methodology (how it's managed) to accomplish such a project. You'll also want to start asking for or assigning people to roles to help distribute the work of moving to a new building. A project team for this type of effort can easily get to 50+ people for your top tier (not including all the sub contractors and helpers to help make it happen).
On the other end of the spectrum, you may have a team with only two or three individuals if you're doing something along the lines of creating software.
These are "size matters" types of issues. Your team size is always dictated by a project leader's need or ability to pivot (change direction) at any time. Of course, sometimes it comes down to how many people the project can afford, but hey, we're living large in this newsletter.
My testamate of sorts, the Agile Manifesto, notes "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools." Agile and all its individual frame works (Srum, et al.) make a point of endorsing a small team. Small teams get to know each others' workflows, strengths, and weaknesses. The push for self organizing teams can only be done when you're small.
However, as Hygger notes in a blog post, Waterfall teams can be 15 or more people. And there's a good reason for that. When you're conducting a Waterfall project, everyone understands the end goal from the beginning. It's not dependent on knowing what every member could do, it's about what they do do, now, to complete the project. Once they're done with their part, they'll likely return to their day-job (non-dedicated team).
In the end, size [of the team] matters.
To Read 📖
Normally I'd give you a few items to read; however, considering the topic of team size, it really is a "it depends" topic. That said, I'm cheating and giving you this to look over instead.
To Use 🛠 (Wow!)
I think I've found one of the best online resources for doing "a lot of stuff." I kid you not. Check out TinyWow.com. From creating and editing PDFs, to extracting images from a web page and PDF files, or converting images and video to and from nearly all major formats, it does everything one might need during the business day. Best part, it's all free. No catch. No trial. It is all just there.
To Learn 🏫
Gergely Orosz shares some insight into how he deals with the people or teams who say they need something NOW! His experiences comes from his time at Uber. You'll find the Twitter thread here; below is the gist:
- What's the impact if I/we don't do it?
- Are the stakeholders on board?
- What's the estimate on how big this effort is?
- If we do this project instead of the one I'm currently working on, it will cost this much.
To Chuckle 😄
See you next week!
PS, if you've got any tools, tips, or comments you'd like to share, let's chat! eMail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.