Small Is Beautiful

Large teams don't work. They grind. Fundamentally, because so much effort is expended keeping everyone up to speed with what is going on, more time is spent on management than production. You are invariably better off with several small teams than one great monolith. So break down the task into distinct teams of three to seven people whenever you can. Tales of woe indicate that nine is the maximum you should consider. Each project team should have its own manager who liaises with the other groups and keeps in touch upwards. Figure 6-1 shows an appropriate team structure.

Figure 6-1: Team structure reflecting appropriate number of members and a manager.

It might come as a shock but the computing and software business is hitting its half-century. Many of the early innovators, such as Dr. Wang, who helped invent RAM type memory, are no longer with us. Also keep in mind when forming your teams that while youth brings energy, age brings experience. Older programmers know how to avoid mistakes, so don't count them out.

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