There's a lot research on team sizes and communication in social groups, but is there any research on how to grow and build multiple teams working on one large product?

Assuming that the "perfect" team size is 5+-2, how do you choose to break a team that just reached 9 or 10 people into two teams? That is, what would the second team's responsibilities be, how would communication stay fluid?


I guess I didn't word that very well at all...

So! I don't have a framework or structure at this point in time. What I was trying to say is that there is a lot of deep research into team size (http://www.noop.nl/2009/04/the-optimal-team-size-is-five.html).

But what I'm curious is about how much research is there on business size. That being, the number of teams and communicating between them. The next step after setting team sizes if you will.

Examples of team size and social connections that I'm talking about are... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metcalfe%27s_law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tipping_Point

  • 3
    This is currently too broad to be answerable. Please improve your question by adding some concrete detail. What is the driver for splitting the team? What framework are you using? What skills does the project need?
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 15:13
  • 1
    Before splitting a team you should ask yourself which problems (if any) are caused by the current team size and the team split the only possible solution for this problems.
    – artkoenig
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


Create feature teams and have a coordination meeting

As @CodeGnome pointed out, your question is too broad. I am answering it in the context of Scrum.

I am presuming that you see some communication challenges or people not paying attention in meetings or some other symptoms of a team that is too large. Bring it up in the Sprint Retrospective and see what the team response is. See if splitting the team comes up as a solution to these issues. This way you can gather team feedback as well as team buy-in if you eventually go that route.

Again this decision need not be irreversible. You can use Scrum's inspect and adapt approach for making this decision too. Try split teams for two sprints and then review with the team. So to answer your two questions:

  • Create feature teams not component teams.
  • Scrum of scrums meeting: I have done twice weekly meetings with one or two representatives from each team. Topics can include cross-team coordination, dependencies and resource contention.
  • I would love any more links you have, or anyone has of research into this! Even from a psychology perspective. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 16:25

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