Jun 28th, 2024

What Is the Recommended Size of an Agile Team


Agilemania, a small group of passionate Lean-Agile-DevOps consultants and trainers, is the most tru... Read more

The age-old question of finding the optimal size of an Agile team is like searching for the Holy Grail. We have heard of the "two-pizza rule" and the "seven-person sweet spot, but is that all? Let’s find the real deal.

The ideal team size depends on a constellation of factors. But does that mean, we will leave your answer unanswered? Hold your horses, we won’t leave you in the wilderness. 

In this blog, we will discuss the guiding principles behind building a thriving team with different sizes to help you strike the right balance.

Let’s have a look at the benefits of having a small and a large team.

Benefits of Having a Small Team:

  • 1Easy Communication: With less professionals in a team, it is easier to foster close collaboration, and coordinate with each other.
  • 2Increased Ownership: With few people in the team, each person feels more connected to the project's success.
  • 3Faster Feedback Loops: There is faster learning and quick adaptation to changing requirements.
  • 4Reduced Overhead: Less time is needed to coordinate and plan, freeing up enough time for actual work.

Benefits of Having a Larger Team:

  • 1Knowledge Sharing: With more people, comes more expertise leading to better innovation and problem-solving.
  • 2Scalability: With bigger teams, it is easier to meet the requirements of a growing project without major changes.
  • 3Cross-functionality: Larger teams have diverse skill sets that can tackle complex projects without any external support.
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Factors Influencing the Size of an Agile Team

While the perfect size is a myth, let’s look at the factors that can help the organization to take the crucial decision of deciding on the number of members in a team.

Project Requirements

  • Complexity: Larger teams can handle complex projects better than smaller teams with diverse skill sets.

  • Project Stage: It is easier for smaller teams to handle early stages of the project like discovery and MVP development. But for the later stages like scaling and maintenance may need larger teams.

  • Delivery Timeline: If the duration is short, the process will need a larger team to accelerate the process. If there is a longer timeline, it offers more flexibility for the smaller teams.

Team Attributes

  • Experience: A smaller team with more experienced professionals can handle complex projects better than a larger team with less experienced professionals. 

  • Communication and Collaboration: Teams with strong communication skills make coordination and collaboration easier and foster smooth working relationships. While teams with communication challenges will need to be smaller to maintain agility.

  • Cross-functionality: A team with diverse skill sets across diverse fields meeting project requirements can be smaller and more efficient. Teams with limited skills need to be larger to cover all aspects of the project or take external support.

Organizational Factors

  • Culture: A lot of factors depend on organizational culture. A flexible culture that promotes collaboration and ownership can handle larger teams effectively. While with rigid culture it gets difficult to handle large teams, in that case smaller, tightly-knit teams are better and easier to handle.

  • Budget: Team’s size may depend greatly on the resource allocation by the organization. Constraints might lead to smaller team size while larger budgets can allow for flexibility in adding more team members as needed per project requirements to accelerate the process and handle border scopes.

  • Existing Teams and Structures: The existing team size and organizational structure may be a contributing factor in optimizing Agile practices.

Additional Factors

  • Optimal Team Size: When the agile team is not able to decide on the number of team members required, they can typically consider a team ranging from 3 to 9 members while 7 is often considered as the sweet spot, allowing effective communication and collaboration.

  • Dynamic Adjustments: One must be flexible to adjust the team size along the project lifecycle based on the changing needs and requirements.

  • Focus on Effectiveness: More than focusing on the team size number, what is crucial is to focus on maximizing the team’s efficiency and quick delivery.

By carefully considering these factors and understanding the project’s requirements, you can find the optimal size of an agile team. Understand that there is no fixed number, it is a dynamic choice that can adapt and evolve as per the requirements over time.

To gain a better understanding. we recommend you to read our blog on the benefits of Agile Methodology,


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there's no magic number for a perfect Agile team size. The ideal team depends on your project's specific needs and your organization's structure. Consider the project's complexity – you don't want a team that's too small or too big for the workload.  Skill diversity is more important than headcount; ensure you have the right expertise to bring the project to fruition. Remember, agility is key. Be flexible and adapt your team size as project requirements evolve. Finally, embrace Agile principles by investing in collaborative tools and processes to keep everyone aligned. This will help you build a high-performing Agile team that can deliver value throughout the project lifecycle.


The truth is there is no one size fits all approach. Though there is a sweet spot that generally falls between 5 and 11, and 7 is considered most appropriate. Smaller teams promote better coordination, communication, and agility, while larger teams can handle complex projects better and meet project requirements in a shorter time period. 


Do you know the ‘Two Pizza Team Rule’ as suggested by Jeff Bezos? He suggests creating a team small enough that can be fed by 2 pizzas (i.e., around 7-8 people).

Pros of Small Team are:

  • Quick Communication: With less people in the team, there is less coordination required which leads to faster decision-making.

  • Better Team Relationships: The team usually has close bonds with shared responsibilities and accountability.

  • Sense of Ownership: Each member of the team feels more connected to the success of the project and contributes to their full potential.

  • Less Complexity: There is less distraction and smooth workflow.


The answer is yes, especially in the case of complex projects that require diverse skill sets and with rigid timelines. Teams of up to 14-15 is manageable with:

  • Defined roles and responsibilities: Clear roles and responsibilities can prevent any sort of confusions and arguments.

  • Strong leadership: A Scrum Master strong command is crucial for smooth functioning of work.

  • Efficient tools: Divide the team into smaller sub-teams and utilizing communicable tools and project management tools can prove to be quite efficient


Yes - Scrum, Kanban, and SAFe have some variations. Let’s have a look into it:

  • Scrum: It is recommended to have 309 members in a Scrum team, emphasizing cross-functionality and self-organization.

  • Kanban: It focuses on continuous flow and work optimization, and less on team size.

  • SAFe: Many independent Agile teams use established frameworks like Scaled Agile Framework to ensure smooth collaboration and continuous value delivery.


Before deciding on the size of your agile team, you must consider factors like project complexity, company culture & structure, team skills & experience, and project timelines.



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