Scrum team size: bigger is better?

Scrum team size. Bigger is better?

A Scrum Team Size is usually composed of 10 people or less. Until the 2017 usage guidelines, it was said that the Development Team should be composed of between three and nine people, not counting the Scrum Master and Product Owner unless they also perform development tasks during the Sprint. In other words, this group of workers could be integrated by a maximum of eleven professionals.

In a Scrum Team Size, whether you are working in a small company or on a new product in a large corporation, it’s probable that there will come a point where there are too many people on a single team. Identifying the signs that it has surpassed its ideal number of participants will help avoid reaching an inefficient stage.

Agile teams

In addition, the size of agile teams is not static. Depending on the needs and experience during the life of the project we can, and should, adjust its dimensions. The distribution of people within a project is not only based on the number of available employees, but often must be done by activity, location.

These agile methodologies allow us to try different alternatives until we find the most appropriate way to work, learning from previous failed attempts. If a team is too large, it can be divided into smaller units and mechanisms should be provided to facilitate communication between the new teams.

With less than three people, it will be difficult for the Scrum Team to have all the skills needed to produce UX/UI design, back-end/front-end programming, testing, documentation and so on, depending on the product in use.

When an agile team is composed of 10 or more members, you have to be careful. Coordination requirements increase and we start to notice a significant loss of productivity. Adding people to the group only makes things worse and makes it take longer to deliver.

The best thing to do is to split the team and enable coordination mechanisms for these various groups formed, which will potentially lead to scaling models. This is a classic in growing companies, where this tension is compounded by the hiring of professionals who are new to the organization.

At WillDom we trust in the Agile approachment. With us, you can easily implement a self-organizing scrum team of software developers and engineers, providing your organization with the added flexibility and scalability whenever is needed. 

So, is it possible to have an agile scrum team of 10?

If this is indeed the only way to preserve cross-functionality, it is possible to accept this number of members, but of course, in the short term or for several Sprints. However, in this particular case, the objective should be to solve the skills gaps that prevent us from moving to a two-team scheme.

The size of a Scrum development team should be low enough to maintain agility, and high enough to be able to complete an acceptable product increment in the context of the project.

The recommended size is generally between 3 and 9 people. Less than 3 can hardly be called a Scrum development team. In case of being more than 9 members, it ends up being very difficult to manage all the events that take place there.

In order to increase the degree of cross-functionality of the Scrum Team, the Scrum Master must strive to broaden the range of skills of its members, that is, to promote the “T” skills.

Also, it is important to know that the total amount of work that the development team is able to complete in a Sprint is called velocity. When the development team is planning the first Sprint, they estimate their velocity. For future Sprints, this will be the total work done by the team in the previous Sprint.

Roles in the scrum team

Product Owner

He is in charge of optimizing and maximizing the value of the product, being the person in charge of managing the value flow of the result through the Product Backlog. 

Additionally, it is essential his work as an interlocutor with stakeholders and project sponsors, as well as his role as a speaker of customer requests and requirements. If the Product Owner also plays the role of business representative, his work will add value to the project.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master has two main functions within the framework: to manage the Scrum process and to help remove impediments that may affect product delivery. 

In addition, he/she is responsible for mentoring, training, coaching and facilitating meetings and events if necessary.

The development team

The development team usually consists of 3 to 9 professionals who are responsible for developing the product, self-organizing and self-managing to deliver a software increment at the end of the development cycle.

The development team will be in charge of creating a finished increment from the Product Backlog elements selected during the Sprint Planning.

It is important that in the Scrum methodology all members of the development team know their role, being only one common role for all, regardless of the number of team participants and their internal functions.

If you are interested in learning more about WillDom and the Agile approach we suggest,connect with us on LinkedIn or visit us at

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