Size does matter. Experience has shown that a group of more than eight people hampers the efficiency and effectiveness of a cross-functional team. With more people, there are more points of view represented in the group, and each detail is debated to a greater degree. The airing of many points of view slows down the entire process.
One contractor had formed a group of 12 people to decide the best process to market and sell the company’s construction services. The first meeting or so was uneventful; little discussion took place concerning each part of the process the group was following. However, once the team started the problem-solving and implementation steps, all 12 people began to voice their opinions and create conflict.
Subsequently, the sessions were longer and more numerous than what was called for. What’s more, the quality of work was not significantly better than that produced by smaller groups while the amount of time required for each step increased.