Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Two-Pizza Rule! How To Make Your Teams More Effective

At the Forbes website, David Williams recently published an interview with Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit.  The interview focuses on the entrepreneurial skills required to lead a successful firm of any size or scope.   Here is one excerpt that I found fascinating:

David: How does being an entrepreneur at the helm of a very large enterprise differ from entrepreneurial leadership of a small startup or growth company?

Brad: Regardless of whether you are leading a large enterprise or a small team, you need to remove barriers to innovation and get out of the way. At Intuit, we operate like a company of startups. We create and foster a culture where our nearly 8,000 employees worldwide have the courage to take risks and grow by learning from success and failure. Idea Jams and unstructured time give passionate employees opportunities to collaborate on new ideas to solve customer problems. To keep ideas moving and teams nimble, we embrace the “Two-Pizza rule,” making sure product development teams are no larger than two pizzas can feed.

I absolutely LOVE the two-pizza rule.   If everyone eats 2 slices of pizza, then we are talking about an eight-person team.  That sounds just about right for me.  I constantly find organizations building teams that are far too large to be effective at accomplishing a creative task.  The two-pizza rule provides a simple heuristic for helping leaders keep their teams small and nimble.  Every organization should consider embracing this powerful rule of thumb.  

1 comment:

Matti said...

But Mike, I eat one pizza all by myself. The other folks better be skinny and planning to stay that way!