Does size matter…

and is longevity important?

Well, I don’t know what you were thinking, but what I am talking about is the size of a software development team, how long the team has been working together and how long the team has been with the product relative to the product’s lifespan.

So, does size matter, is bigger better?  Efficiency and effectiveness of a software development team actually decreases as the size of the team increases.  This is especially true as product becomes more and more complex; seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it?  Consider, though, small teams are agile, team members communicate with each other more readily, directly and effectively.  As issues are identified, smaller teams can work quickly to determine the best course of action and design a sustainable resolution.  And, because the team is small, accountability and visibility is high.  This strategy must be in place even as growth occurs.  The core product small team can be complimented with ancillary function teams which are as streamlined as possible to then ensure all the attributes of a cohesive, small team.

Now, what about longevity?  Just picture it: imagine a small development team knowing every line of code of a product and its changes.  Imagine this team not having to guess what the previous developer was attempting to accomplish with certain code.  Imagine this team knowing where they have been and where they are going in meeting customers’ needs. And imagine a development team so committed to a product and believing they are making a positive difference by delivering their product to customers that they stay with it even when technologist just keep moving from company to company.  Yes, longevity is important.  It means teams can come together and know each other’s strength’s and weaknesses.  It is an outward demonstration of their belief and commitment to the product.

Customers are served through the integrity of the product itself and the support services offered.  Integrity of the product comes from the software development team, through their successful, productive collaboration, their enthusiasm for, commitment to and belief in what they are creating and the long term view of what they are accomplishing in serving their customers.

In the end, size does matter; the smaller the better and longevity is very important and a much overlooked strength.