Dunbar's number is a good starting point

European Union parliament

Most companies that use our BEMapps.com SaaS have the following team structure:
Leadership: 1-3 members,
Product design: 3-10 members,
Sales: 10-25 members,
Marketing: 5-15 members.

Their teams can have a total of 20-50 members who cooperate on offering customers more value than competitors. Cooperating means designing, researching, sharing data and know-how, resolving conflicts, managing interests, and anything else which formally or informally produces competitive solutions. This team organization can theoretically be sufficient for annual revenue of 100 MM EUR, although this depends greatly on the market and product.

Our SaaS is based on the idea that data and know-how sharing between within and between teams makes a company much more competitive, and that sharing only task and revenue information is not sufficient. Therefore, Dunbar’s number is interesting because it suggests that there are rules on how to develop competitive teams.

Our experience on developing competitive teams is:
– Quality of information is important as much as skills but is much easier to improve.
– Just task and revenue information do not build a competitive company.
– Less information motivates team members to create their own information which is not aligned.
– Wrong information creates distractions and wastes resources.
– Companies need to search for the right quality and quantity of information for their teams.

Dunbar’s number is only touching on team development problems. It is a useful starting point but developing a team is much more complex than limiting it to a number of people.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 10 Apr 2019