Why is 7 +-2 the ideal Scrum team size?

Maybe you have heard that the ideal Scrum team size is 7 +-2 but do you really understand why? In this video I SHOW you why it is the rule and the real trouble you can get into if it is larger. Plus what you can do when you have really large teams.

By | 2016-10-25T16:20:19+00:00 September 17th, 2010|agile, People, Scrum, teams, video blog|6 Comments

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  1. Anti Scrum September 19, 2010 at 7:48 am - Reply

    This is [edited by WWP]!
    Why 21 communication lines is better than 3 or 48?
    3 is mo less ant easier to comunicate.. so WHY 21 ?
    do you have any proof?
    Scrum only for LOOZERS!

    • Joseph Flahiff October 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      well 21 isn’t necessarily “Better” than 3. but I have, and other people have found that, with fewer people it is harder to move quickly. With 21 lines you get a critical mass, enough that you can get good ideas bouncing around, but not too many that it becomes difficult and confusing to remember all the ideas.

      Remember it isn’t a “Rule” just a guideline. Some highly functioning teams can be larger, or smaller and work great.

    • Bruno Heufelder December 1, 2010 at 7:26 am - Reply

      @Anti Scrum:
      I understand you are against Scrum.
      What are you for?
      What are you winning with?

  2. Bruno Heufelder December 1, 2010 at 7:21 am - Reply

    @Joseph: Thanks for your video.
    Just for the case you are interested in the math regarding the lines of communication (just relevant for simulating bigger teams) this little sheet with the calculated values and formula:
    btw: 25 people gets to 300 lines of communication.

    • Joseph Flahiff December 1, 2010 at 8:18 am - Reply

      Thanks for this spreadsheet! I remember learning the formula in high school math class but I couldn’t dredge it up.

      Isn’t it amazing how fast it grows!! 25 people = 300 lines of communication!! Ykes.

  3. Alana Joseph July 18, 2017 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Thanks for the video. The optimum size for a Scrum Team is six to ten members—large enough to ensure adequate skill sets, but small enough to collaborate easily. To read more about Team size in Scrum, visit – https://www.scrumstudy.com/blog/team-size-in-scrum/.

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