Building Teams

When building a new team, do not create an empty team. Instead grow an existing team to a larger size and then bud the two teams off 1. Build diverse teams, in terms of structure and seniority. Ideally you would want a team of Juniors and Mids, with 1-2 seniors playing an advisory. Treat work as an ability to challenge and grow a team. Do not just shunt hard problems to senior / experienced individuals.

While crafting a team, be wary of putting individuals above the team. Be wary of splitting people across projects / teams, the switching costs and project overhead of multiple projects will result in less aggregate work being delivered2.

Team Sizing

Compensating for different sized teams

  • Too small (e.g. three engineers) teams are less resilient and under utilize leadership talent. Consider having a first time manager lead this team or have an experienced lead multiple smaller teams3.
  • Too large (e.g. twelve engineers). Engineering leadership time will be pressed, they will likely have to make a decision between focusing on goals vs. focusing on team development. The team may or may not be more resilient, depending on if there is a key person risk3.


Northrop, B. The Fallacy of Splitting Time. at (2022).
Kolyaskin, K. First rule of the team: Size. at (2022).