Teams are More Important than Scaling

This is another take-away from the Southern Fried Agile last fall.

  • Teams are more important than scaling.

I am hearing a lot of talk about scaling.  Definitely a useful and important topic for some.

Also, I am deeply concerned that we are missing a key point. Many people are.

In general, we have not learned how to have consistently high-performing teams.

Scaling is always a reduction in the productivity of all the people doing scaling.  It is hoped (not always the case) that the gross productivity on a given product or project is greater, by adding people, but the average productivity per person is always less with scaling.  The only question is: is it reduced by 25% or 50% or 75%.  Hard to see, usually.  In fact, seldom does anyone even try to measure the reduction.

When you do scaling use caution not to ignore the teams too much.  Remember to put focus back on the individual teams.

Also, in regard to scaling, consider the ‘don’t do it’ option.  In many cases, I think it is the better answer. (But I will not explain that here.)


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