This Saturday, we’re diving into finding the optimal team size for remote teams.

First up, have you ever heard of the “Two-Pizza Rule”?
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, came up with this rule to ensure that teams were small enough to be fed with just two pizzas.

The idea is that smaller groups are more efficient and scalable.
When you have a smaller team, there are:

  • less time spent on managing communication and coordination,
  • more time spent getting stuff done.

And when it comes to remote teams, smaller teams can make it easier to keep everyone on the same page.

But it’s not just about the size of the team. It’s also about the effort that each individual is putting in.
This is where the Ringelmann Effect comes in.

optimal team size for remote teams

The Ringelmann Effect

The Ringelmann Effect states that as group size increases, individual effort decreases. People tend to rely on the struggle of others in a group setting, leading to a decrease in overall productivity.

Keeping remote teams small can minimize the Ringelmann effect and increase productivity.

I know the Two-Pizza Rule and the Ringelmann Effect aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The optimal team size will vary depending on the company and the specific project. But it’s worth considering when you’re thinking about how to structure your remote team.

How to choose the optimal team size for remote teams?

Here are a few tips for keeping remote teams small and productive:

  1. Evaluate the needs of your company and the specific project before determining the optimal team size.
  2. Consider the communication and coordination needs of the team.
  3. Be mindful of the Ringelmann Effect and strive to minimize it by keeping remote teams small.
  4. Make sure to keep lines of communication clear and easy to navigate.
  5. If you see a team having collaboration issues, split it into 2 or more teams. The smaller, the better.
  6. Do not split too much to reduce the risk of fragmentation.
  7. Regularly re-evaluate your team size to ensure it still fits your business’s needs.