Managing Big Teams

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  • Work on a project on your own? You become freeeaaakishly productive.
  • Work with 10 others? You/team = horribly unproductive.

Researchers call the psychological phenomenon a diffusion of responsibility.

That is, when you're in a larger group, you start thinking: "Hey, someone's probably already doing X!" -- so, you ignore X.

  • Yet, Bob, Ben, Bill, Brie, Brit, Bobo,  Bess, Bryce, and Biff ignore X too -- so X gets unfinished.
  • Multiply that one task by a bunch of other tasks, where every team member in the group thinks others are taking care  of necessary tasks/responsibilities, and you end up with S.U.C.K.

Big Teams = Slow

Large bureaucratic companies that don't break down their massive number of people into small teams move freakishly slow because folks start relying on others to take responsibility for X, Y, Z.

Agile big companies, like Google, instead break their people down into small teams (e.g., comprising 3 people), giving them freakish responsibilities, and getting krrrraaazzzzy output from every team member.

  • The smaller Bob's team, the more output you get from Bob.

Instead of relying on others, Bob starts taking responsibility to get things done.

BAM

Minify teams.

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Posted on February 01

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