Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, coined the idea of Two Pizza Teams arguing if your project team has to work through lunch and can’t be fed with two pizzas, it’s too large (“Inside the Mind of Jeff Bezos”). We’ve figured out why fewer team members mean higher productivity and also a low lunch tab, it’s a win-win!
Not to add in another food reference, but we’ve all felt like there were too many cooks in the kitchen a time or two. With smaller groups, everyone feels responsible for the outcome of the project, where in larger groups there are many opinions and not enough actions as everyone either competes for stage time or feels someone else is going to get the work done. Accountability shrinks and so does productivity. With a Two Pizza Team, only the essential members are recruited, allowing for efficient use of time, fewer egos, and a more powerful workflow.
Smaller teams equal tighter communication. Just imagine how much harder it would be to keep the roles and responsibilities straight in a team of 15 than a team of 6. Now imagine the emails! With a smaller team, the Project Manager has a more firm grasp on each team member’s role, and can clearly identify who is responsible for what task and relay messages accordingly. With the small group’s ability to tighten communication, and the group’s separation from the larger corporate process, a Two Pizza Team is able to develop through clear communication from the PM.
A smaller group allows for a stronger connection between team members, creating a greater sense of trust, respect, and group cohesion among members. A large group can sometimes not feel like a group at all, but more a cluster of people all performing individual tasks within the larger company. The Two Pizza Team is able to come together as one entity working toward the same goal separated from outside influences, like the larger company. Having a more spirited team allows for a greater sense of purpose within the organization and therefore is beneficial to not on the project at hand but to the entire company as well.