Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Pro’s and Con’s of Small Project Teams

a woman leader is talking to her small team of four

Project post mortems are intended to give you a chance to evaluate the results of your project, consider what went well and what didn’t, and learn what you can in order to improve the results of the next project.

In our most recent project post mortem, we were struck by how much easier it was, this last time anyway, to work with a small group. Here is how we evaluated the pros and cons. Hopefully our experience will help you as you design your next project team.


  • It is easier to build collaborative relationships.
  • The project leader can make connections personally to each individual in order to articulate goals and gain agreement and commitment.
  • With team members handling multiple responsibilities, they have a lot more freedom to manage their wide-ranging roles.
  • Regular check-ins and small meetings are handled quickly and efficiently.
  • It is easier to shape a culture that suits the team. Engaged team members are excited about their work and committed to project goals.


  • Team members have to wear several hats at once. Accountability is more difficult to assign.
  • Not all tasks can be handled by the team. You will need to outsource some work to allow your team members to do what they do best.

Perhaps the greatest “plus” is flexibility. With a small group, you can adjust course as needed with little delay or upset. If you have selected the team members for their expertise, their compatibility, their work ethic and their practice of communicating openly, you will have a team that works well together. Your job becomes quite simple: keep them on track and be available and understanding of their needs. 

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