Sunday, December 18, 2005

Crunching numbers - I

A little bit of mathematics:

Two people define one communication relationship, three people define three, & four people define six & so on. Extrapolating the logic geometrically, if resources are represented as vertices of a polygon & communication relationships as sides & diagonals, then the total number of communication relationships can be calculated as:

# communication relationships = n + {n*(n-3)/2}

where n is the number of resources.

For n=6, we have:

# communication relationships = 6 + {6*(6-3)/2} = 6 + 9 = 15

For a team that works very well (intuitively), each of these relationships needs to be a healthy one. However, ensuring that this happens from a project management perspective is an incredibly tough challenge.

So perhaps the best teams are constrained by their size.

Unfortunately, team dynamics are not usually seen from this perspective. Outside of training & product knowledge, this is also a very important reason why throwing resources into a team does not necessarily improve productivity or quality.

Post Scriptum- These thoughts are not original; I've read about this in various books & papers, & faced the situation in my own project. This post is just assimilation.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

yuk! cant stand numbers!

Vaish said...

Very interesting!!