How to keep project team small
Smaller teams—better teamwork:
When it comes to teamwork, businesses normally believe one of two assumptions. Few assume it is better to develop a support of a big team, whereas others prefer small working teams. Team size is important, and scholars and business practitioners have suggested smaller teams demonstrate improved teamwork. Team size has been regarded as a critical aspect that defines team procedures and performance. The article has shed light on the effectiveness of smaller teams through various viewpoints and aspects and it also expressed how to establish smaller teams for better team outcomes.
The team size has integral impacts on numerous areas that are related with the quality of the work delivered by the team. Such as, sharing coordinative and technical data within teams is far easier in smaller teams as compared to teams with larger number of people. Moreover, communication becomes much more complex with the enlargement of a team. Thus, team size need to be defined with regard to the staffing needs, extracted from the project size, and teamwork demands obtained through uncertainty and difficulty. That refers that if the project size increases; there may be a need to add extra people in the project team. In the same manner, if a task is difficult or is dubious, there will be a requirement to add people with diverse skill sets and knowledge in order to ensure task is completed with dexterity and skill and that the entire team need to integrate efficiently to perform.
It is also observed that with the enlargement in team size, it becomes quite complex for the team members to share their skills, knowledge and expertise optimally or as required by a task, therefore it suggests that larger teams hinder in creating a quality teamwork which can be related to a harmonized team participation. Certainly, this is important in cross-functional or diverse teams with several disciplines where teammates are required to participate optimally with their individual skill set and knowledge in order to complete a project effectively. Although there is no optimal team size or range determined by the research evidences discussed in this article, but the fact has been highlighted that the right team size will vary on the kind of the job to be performed.
As a matter of fact, few projects need bigger teams, however the performance that a project manager yields from every team member of the team decreases as the team size increases, and thus, it is mostly in the best interest of the task to keep the size of the team as small as possible. Discovering the sweet-spot where group performance and individual productivity both are harmonized is the feature of an efficient project manager. This phenomenon can also be defined as when a team becomes larger, a form of team mentality likely to evolve, where agreeing and fitting in becomes quite important and beneficial to the individual participants as compared to providing positive criticism and standing out. Teammates get perplexed in the system, deprive of communication and hence their overall performance decreases.
The article reiterates that the performance of teams relies on the ability of the team to effectively and efficiently work in an interactive mode in order to attain a common team output. It further asserts that the quality of teamwork can be assessed comprehensively through taking into consideration the six facets of collaborative work process which include effective communication, effective coordination, balancing of member contributions, effort, cohesion and mutual support. The main proposition is that the teams that are highly collaborative display behaviors linked to all the facets of teamwork quality. In teams with high teamwork quality, the members communicate relevant information openly and at the same time, they coordinate various activities effectively. High quality work teams make the team members to contribute their knowledge in their full potential. They also support each other mutually in team discussion as well as in the individual tasks. On the same note, they not only establish but also maintain work norms of high effort besides fostering team cohesion.
The benefits of a small team have been emphasized throughout the article mainly which are both subtle and apparent. In spite of substantial research studies and outcomes as well as the hypothesis of several experts that teamwork quality is missed in bigger teams, several organizations find it complex to make smaller teams. This basically highlights the issue and elaborate why bigger teams obstruct teamwork, and recommend four manners to keep teams functional and lean as integrative work divisions.
Therefore, the central idea of this article is basically focusing on the effectiveness of the smaller teams as compared to larger team. It can be said that division of labor is a practical aspect, whereas active communication is easier in smaller teams. Each participant of the team has the potential and prospect for direct communication with each other; is more probable to have a profound understanding of the job, roles and challenges of the other teammates; has an enhanced sense of the significance and value of their own responsibility within the team and is more capable to adding more value to the project.
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