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What should be the size of a Scrum team ?

So you are starting the process of implementing Scrum in your organization, and need to decide as to what should be the size of the Scrum team ? It may happen that you have a team that comprises 10 developers and 10 QE, and are thinking of forming a Scrum team comprising all these team members. Big mistake – you should consider that a Scrum team should have an optimum size and not try to fit your entire team into the same team just as a matter of convenience.
If you read the Scrum literature as well as discussions, you will come to the conclusion that the optimum team size is 7 plus or minus 2. So, if you were looking to make a 12 member team, then you should re-consider. The advantages of having a small team is:
– The daily Scrum meetings need to be short and focused, and if the size of the team increases, then the meeting stops being short and focused.
– There is a need to differentiate between what a person needs to know, and what a person would benefit in knowing. It is good for team members to know what is happening on the other features, but not essential. As team size increases, people start to hear things which are not essential to them, and that is essentially a wastage of time
– It is sometimes said that if you have a larger team, then you have more people with knowledge to help, but a larger team defeats the concept of having a self-organized and empowered team. If you have a larger team, then there are more chances of inter-personal conflicts.
– At the same time, when you have a large project, breaking it into smaller teams means that it is harder for these teams to see the big picture. In such cases, you would most likely need to start working on having more coordination processes such as a Scrum of Scrums.

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