Scaling Agile Teams: When Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Posted 14/03/23

Table of Contents

Creating a website and mobile app from scratch is certainly a challenge, especially when you’re forming a team. For people who’ve never worked on a website or mobile app, this is a big deal.

What is the ideal number of people for the team?

Consider creating a large team so that you can launch a website or application immediately. However, big teams are not always better. Recruiting many members is not sufficient if you have a limited budget.

But if you only have a few resources with the right expertise, is that sufficient?

This is the first thing you need to understand about the agile process. Could it be that a bigger team is better? We will cover this big question in depth in this article and get gold insight from each finding. 

What makes team size so important? Take a look at the discussion below

Why are Team Sizes Important for Agile?

Based on the Research Report from CB Insight’s top 12 Reasons startups fail by analyzing 110+ startup failures post-mortems, the number one position is due to running out of cash/failing to raise new capital. That’s why in discussing team size it will be very important if it is related to the costs you incur to develop applications, software, or websites.

Apart from costs, it turns out that the mindset that needs to be instilled is that you don’t have to always add a team so that your digital product can be completed on time. Quoted from the Agile Pain Relief, Speed doesn’t come from throwing more people at the job and making bigger teams. It comes from building a high-performance team that is an optimal size for effectiveness, communication, and quality.

Based on the discussion above, a large number is not a guarantee for you to find effectiveness in communicating and good quality. So the number of members in your team needs to be considered. Then how to know if the team capacity is too much or too little? Don’t stop here. We will discuss this in the next conversation.


Don’t Miss Out: How to Manage Offshore Software Development Team


Signs That the Team Is Getting Too Big

What are the signs to watch for if your development team is overstretched? We have summarized it for you. There are 3 signs that you must know when there are too many team members:

  • Daily scrums are not efficient. When there are too many members in your team, it takes time for each to explain the process they have done. Of course, this will make it difficult for a situation if one of the team members clashes or even hinders the search for a solution. So you need to consider forming a small team in solving various problems and issues experienced by each team member.
  • Potential for conflict between each member. Overlapping in completing a task will occur if your team members have too many. So there is ineffective communication when carrying out the sprint. So from the start, it is necessary to ascertain what responsibilities are developed by each member.
  • Dilemma on decision making. While having more people can help the team arrive at better decisions, having too many people might drive the team to a deadlock. Deadlock here is defined as too much information. When many people are talking and providing solutions, this can become a deadlock and have the potential to make the wrong decision.
Read Also :  Top 4 Custom Software Development Types 2023

There are at least 3 early signs that you need to know if there are too many people on the team. Then are there other alternatives to consider the amount? The following discussion is certainly very crucial. We will provide an overview in considering adding people to the team.

How Scope, Cost, and Time are Related to Teams Size

How do these three elements relate to each other in team composition? One of the elements is cost which indicates if you spend too much of your money on the project it can also cause ineffectiveness in operating expenses. What makes the standard cost reasonable? Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of time needed to complete it, the answer will vary.

If you have a large number of team members, the time in your development should be reduced with increasing scope and cost, of course, the output produced in developing your digital product is quality.

However, if on the other hand, time follows with an increase in cost and scope, this is what you need to evaluate. We are here to provide a solution for you on how to streamline costs, time, and large scope with a minimal team but maximum results. You can involve us in your development project.

The next discussion is that we will share tips on how the reliable team from emveep a software development company for startups can complete client projects on time. How many team members are there? Check out the following discussion. Don’t miss out.

Read Also :  Did Your Software Development Process Fail?

Secret Formula of Agile Teams for Startups by Ramiz

Before this article was written, we conducted a light debriefing with Ramiz, Project Coordinator of emveep in a previous client project who had used our services. 

Depending On the Project Type

According to Ramiz, Project Coordinator from emveep, for some cases it can depend on the type of project being developed, for example for development such as an e-commerce website with the specification that there is a dashboard for sellers/buyers, talent/clients are needed up to 5 people, that’s enough and would be the right time.

The five people include 2 developers to take care of the backend parts of a website such as a database, API, Server, integration, and data. Then for 2-3 people to take care of the website front-end consisting of appearance, flow, and implementation of slicing from the designer team.

However, for one case, such as the development of smart contracts, it is necessary to have a special developer to handle only smart contracts. The front end consists of 2 developers and 1 developer who takes care of the backend. So the number of team members for smart contract development is 4 developers.

The final tip according to Project Coordinator from emveep is that it is necessary to leave only one person as support after the product launch and also have the skill set as a developer as well.

Furthermore, according to several survey sources from Smartbear, it was found that The largest response for dev team size continues to be in the 6-10 member range, at roughly 39%. 

However, there has been a 16% jump in survey takers being a part of teams greater than 10 members since 2019. This may indicate a trend towards bigger development teams, as this year’s 37% response for teams greater than 10 members was the highest since 2018.

Complexity of Projects

The complexity of a project also affects the number of team members who must be involved. We have made levels based on the complexity of a project by taking examples from projects we have done with clients.

Read Also :  What Makes a Great Software Development Team? [Perfect Match]

Low Complexity

For this level, we take the example of making a company profile website. In this project, you can create a team consisting of 1 frontend developer and 1 backend developer.

Medium Complexity

For the next level, we take the example of the TICMIEDU project, which requires up to 2 flutter developers to develop hybrid applications because it has quite a lot of workload, so 1 developer is not enough for us.

High Complexity

Finally, an example can be taken from a peer-to-peer lending project. Which requires team members of up to 10 developers involved in the project. These many developers are of course balanced by the many parts that must be covered in the process.

Ideal Agile Teams Size

After reading our entire discussion this time, then what is the ideal team if you are a new player in building your startup digital product? Our ideal number of agile teams size is usually 4 people consisting of 2 frontend developers and 2 backend developers.

Final Takeaway

It doesn’t feel like there is at the end of our discussion about agile team size. In building an effective agile team for your product development. From the results of our discussion above, it can include:

  • Managing team capacity is indeed very important to save on operational costs for your startup.
  • The 3 early signs when there are too many team members consist of the daily scrum being less effective, there is conflict in the division of tasks, and there is no direction to make a decision.
  • The link between the 3 important elements, namely scope, cost, time, and scope has a close relationship in determining the capacity of your team later.
  • The last is our secret formula for determining the number of teams and roles that must exist in agile development.

Time to Build Your Agile Development Team Startup

Now is your time to create an agile development team. We are happy to assist you in building a dream team according to your needs, so you can focus on your next product. With our 8 years of experience delivering custom software solutions, we are confident that we can help you develop products to reach users.


Start Building an Agile Team with Emveep


Don’t forget to share this post!

Subscribe to *

Our Newsletter

Get weekly update about our blogs on your email.

Related Articles