When you're heading a collaboration of any kind, the number of people you bring on board can change how effective your team's output is. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, suggests employing the "two pizza rule" to help keep yourself from including too many people.
Photo by Jerry Huddleston
Rachel Gillett at business blog Fast Company explains that it's as simple as it sounds. Imagine you've ordered two pizzas for glorious consumption. Now how many people could you reasonably feed with those two pizzas? That's how many people should be involved in your team project. It should be somewhere between five and eight people, which is a pretty safe range when it comes to possible collaboration downfalls.
Too many people can encourage what's known as "groupthink", when everyone begins to agree with the same ideas because everyone else agrees with it. A smaller group size also helps prevent laziness or "social loafing". Social loafing occurs with larger groups because individuals believe they don't have to work as hard because there are more teammates to pick up the slack. Other benefits of small teams are a greater trust between team members and less fear of failure because there aren't as many people around to see you possibly screw up. Remember, big isn't always better — especially with productive teams — and pizza should be involved with everything. (We've mentioned this rule before, but again, pizza deserves a return visit.)
The Two Pizza Approach to Productive Teamwork [Fast Company]