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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: [Scrum] Code scrum - development team size

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  • Ram Srinivasan
    Hi Tathagat, I have a different perspective on this. Self-organization does not happen in vacuum. It needs a
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 17 10:26 AM
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      Hi Tathagat,

      I have a different perspective on this. Self-organization does not happen in vacuum. It needs a container, and IMHO, the size of the team is one of the boundaries of the container (there might be others, depending on the context of the team/organization. e.g. language/platform of choice of development, etc).

      Thanks
      Ram


      On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 9:42 AM, Tathagat Varma <tathagat.varma@...> wrote:
       

      W
      hen we want self-organizing teams, when we want teams that inspect and adapt, teams that can retrospect their process and identify their improvement opportunities, who are we to tell them what size they should be?

      regards,
      Tathagat


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      On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 6:23 PM, Michael Mallete <mrmallete@...> wrote:
       

      I would agree on not setting a number. For all we know there are teams of 13 that works pretty well. I actually know of a team of 14 who insists they have it better that way than having a smaller number. Just because of this, they are not qualified to be doing Scrum is just silly. I would leave it at 'keep the team members as few as possible.'

      Regards,
      Mike Mallete




      On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 10:08 PM, Ram Srinivasan <vasan.ram@...> wrote:

      I am looking at core scrum, http://agileatlas.org/images/uploads/corescrum.pdf


      I see that it does not mention the size of the development team. Or did I miss it? Or is it intentionally not mentioned?

      I do see that MJ has an article http://agileatlas.org/articles/item/scrum-reference-card which mentions 7+-2.

      Ram


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    • Joshua Partogi
      I agree that Scrum Guides does not prescribe but it suggests to have team size that is lower than 9 to prevent complexity in coordinating between team members.
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 18 1:42 AM
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        I agree that Scrum Guides does not prescribe but it suggests to have team size that is lower than 9 to prevent complexity in coordinating between team members. A team that has 14 team members and doing well, most probably are teams who has been doing Scrum for several Sprints. But how would a team who just started using Scrum know the ideal team size? This is where the Scrum Guides gives a guidance/hint. And from there they will keep inspecting and adapting what works best for them.


        Kindest regards,
        Joshua Partogi
        http://www.leanagile.in



        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        From: madhur.kathuria@...
        Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2013 08:04:13 +0000
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: [Scrum] Code scrum - development team size

         
        I would smhow disagree with the contention that 13 size teams are ok. The problem is not about they being qualified to do Scrum but rather of good communication within the team and be able to form a cohesive unit through bonding and interpersonal relationships. Bigger teams take that much more time to get to a performing and they tend to lose advantage of responding to changes quickly over a shorter duration of time.

        When I see bigger teams and I am told that we can't sub divide them , I see more of a problem of backlog management and skill balance rather than the theory itself.

        Yes there may be exceptional teams but does that hold true at a broader level. May be not. IMHO, 6-8 member teams are far more agile than smaller or bigger teams than that
        Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

        From: Ajithesh Hegde <ajithesh.gh@...>
        Sender: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2013 12:21:58 +0530
        To: <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
        ReplyTo: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: [Scrum] Code scrum - development team size

         

        Ram,

        Have you taken a look at the Scrum Guide doc maintained by Ken and Jeff who are the original inventors of Scrum?  They have a section called "Development Team size" in their doc as follows:

        Development Team Size
        Optimal Development Team size is small enough to remain nimble and large enough to complete significant work within a Sprint. Fewer than three Development Team members decrease interaction and results in smaller productivity gains. Smaller Development Teams may encounter skill constraints during the Sprint, causing the Development Team to be unable to deliver a potentially releasable Increment. Having more than nine members requires too much coordination. Large Development Teams generate too much complexity for an empirical process to manage. The Product Owner and Scrum Master roles are not included in this count unless they are also executing the work of the Sprint Backlog.

        You can find this doc at: http://www.scrumguides.org/

        This section advocates a size of 3 to 9.  However, I have worked with teams of sizes such as 14 doing pretty well and hence I agree with Tathagat and Mike Malle.

        Rgds
        Ajithesh




        On Sat, Aug 17, 2013 at 6:23 PM, Michael Mallete <mrmallete@...> wrote:
         

        I would agree on not setting a number. For all we know there are teams of 13 that works pretty well. I actually know of a team of 14 who insists they have it better that way than having a smaller number. Just because of this, they are not qualified to be doing Scrum is just silly. I would leave it at 'keep the team members as few as possible.'

        Regards,
        Mike Mallete




        On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 10:08 PM, Ram Srinivasan <vasan.ram@...> wrote:

        I am looking at core scrum, http://agileatlas.org/images/uploads/corescrum.pdf

        I see that it does not mention the size of the development team. Or did I miss it? Or is it intentionally not mentioned?

        I do see that MJ has an article http://agileatlas.org/articles/item/scrum-reference-card which mentions 7+-2.

        Ram



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      • Silvana Wasitova
        Hi George, One reference re. team size of 7: http://www.sheilamargolis.com/2011/01/24/what-is-the-optimal-group-size-for-decision-making/    -- Silvana
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 21 8:14 AM
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          Hi George,

           
          --
          Silvana Wasitova |  wasitova@... | Lausanne, Switzerland



          From: George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2013 6:57 PM
          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: [Scrum] Code scrum - development team size

           
          Hi, Jeff,

          On 8/18/13 11:29 AM, Jeff Sutherland wrote:
          >
          >
          > Everything in Scrum was based on rigorous evidence, testing and
          > validation, before it was release to the public in 1995.
          >
          > Team size data showed that for hundreds of teams doing the same size
          > project that takes 11 months for team of six, will take 17 months for a
          > team of 10. These data were published by one of the top two productivity
          > experts in the U.S.. We listened when we put together Scrum and verified
          > this effect.

          Can you give me a pointer to this data? I'm curious about the
          variability in duration for a nominal 11 month project. And also how
          they validate the "same sizeness" of the projects, and the contextual
          differences between the various teams.

          - George

          >
          > The reasons for this are documented in Fred Brooks classic, "The
          > Mythical Man Month."
          >
          > We have seen a team of 9 going at 60 points broken into two teams of 4
          > and 5 generating 180 points a few sprints later.
          >
          > It is absolutely impossible to get a team of 13 to a hyperproductive
          > state that generates 15 function points per developer per month, about 8
          > times the velocity of an average waterfall team. I'm ready to back up
          > this statement with a case of good champagne for anyone who can prove me
          > wrong.
          >
          > Jeff Sutherland
          > Co-Creator of Scrum

          --
          ----------------------------------------------------------
          * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
          Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
          Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
          ----------------------------------------------------------



        • George Dinwiddie
          Hi, Silvana, ... Not much data there. I guess I ll have to dig up Hackman and Vidmar (1970) to find the data. It s clear that you shouldn t marry a woman under
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 21 7:52 PM
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            Hi, Silvana,

            On 8/21/13 11:14 AM, Silvana Wasitova wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hi George,
            >
            > One reference re. team size of 7:
            > http://www.sheilamargolis.com/2011/01/24/what-is-the-optimal-group-size-for-decision-making/

            Not much data there. I guess I'll have to dig up Hackman and Vidmar
            (1970) to find the data. It's clear that you shouldn't marry a woman
            under 25, though. (http://www.intuitor.com/statistics/SmallGroups.html)
            Or use "majority rules" in groups with an even number of members.

            Nothing there that supports "Team size data showed that for hundreds of
            teams doing the same size project that takes 11 months for team of six,
            will take 17 months for a team of 10." I like small teams, but I'm not
            so happy with data presented as scientifically proven without any
            experimental basis.

            Interesting statement: "So if you’re looking for the best size for a
            team, consider an odd number close to five. But remember the number is
            just one factor. Social sensitivity and being able to read emotions are
            attributes of successful team decision making. Consider the number and
            consider the members."

            - George

            --
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
            Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
            Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
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