Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has this rule that says no meeting should be so big that two pizzas won’t be enough to provide for the entire group. It’s, of course, an informal way of making sure there isn’t usually the case when large gatherings, no ideas are lost in the noise. So does this mean that Bezos is really onto something, or is he just thirsty? We investigated it as well. And, warning: spoiler alert that there’s math involved. We’ve warned you.
Clean the crust from your eyes and put your head into the calzone because we’re about dive deep into the depths of our stomach, spill out all the secrets to deliciousness, and leave you with ways to get pie-in-the-sky productiveness and save your company some dough!
I’m sorry … that was just a bit cheesy.
So how many people does a 14-inch pizza feed? In accordance with an online purchase calculator (which is real and exists – the technology of the future exists right now), A medium 12″ pizza has eight slices and feeds up to 4 (so, three) people. Based on that it follows that it follows that the Two Pizza Rule dictates the ideal size of a gathering should be around six people (or the eight who lie about themselves). However, that is assuming that you have a medium-sized pizza.
The pizza calculator places an enormous 14″ pie ranging from 8 to 10 slices and serves three to ten people. To be sure, we’re making the range of groups under the Two Pizza Rule as being between six and ten persons.
A Quick Acknowledgement
Before we go to the numbers and facts, we must acknowledge that a large group isn’t necessarily going to cause massive chaos to your company, as the article suggests. A large group is a fantastic method of bringing a group together. A check-in between departments lets everyone know what each other has been working on. It also serves to unite the team members in a more significant project.
The risks of large groups are often uncovered in meetings when clearly defined, concrete choices need to be taken; strategy, positioning, etc and meetings in which each member of the group hopes to leave with a number of high-priority tasks.
Trending Toward Disaster
It’s challenging, if not ineffective, to collect data that suggests that a single figure is an optimal size for a group. This makes sense. The number of participants needed to conduct group discussions depends on the group’s structure and the subjects on which they are converging.
Much of the research that studies the importance of the size of groups in achieving the goals of productivity and decision-making efficiency is focused on quantifying a trend. Most studies use the number of participants in the group to determine an independent factor. They also measure how dependent variables alter as the group size decreases. We’ve looked more closely at a handful of the variables listed below. In light of these variables and the other variables that we studied and found, one thing is evident. When the size of a group increases, there is no impact on efficiency, and productivity always gets improved (vis-a-vis making a positive impact on the outcomes of a meeting). In many instances, these variables shift at near- or exponential rates when more members are added to the group.
The most crucial factor to consider in evaluating the effectiveness of Amazon’s Two Pizza Rule is whether factors that influence the efficiency and effectiveness of a group, our dependent variables, increase to the point that the effect of the variable could be seriously harmful before the time we have reached the 10-person Pizza Rule cap.
There’s a wealth of data to support an accelerated efficiency decline as the group size grows. In the past, an ensemble of professors at business schools tried an idea known as”team scaling” or the “team scaling fallacy” by asking four and two-person teams to put together a Lego model. Two-person teams averaged a completion time of 36 mins, while three-person teams clock 52 minutes. It was reported that productivity fell by nearly 50% when only one additional team member was added.
We’ve had a number of meetings where one person takes over the conversation, pulling the entire group off track. Indeed, sabotaging the group-making process through one’s social quirks is a requirement that social connections are present. Some evidence supports the belief that a bigger number of people in a group increases the likelihood of reducing the efficiency of a meeting and the efficiency of making decisions by social interactions alone. In The Amazing Applications of Probability and Statistics, author Tom Rogers found that the number of social interactions increases exponentially as the size of the group increases.
Within every group, there are various “links” between people. The phrase “links” was used somewhat ambiguously by Organizational Psychologist J. Richard Hackman in an interview with Harvard Business Review to define the social interconnectedness of participants (refer to the below formula). The greater the number of links between members of the group more likely the group of being affected by the negative effects of politics and society on maximum efficiency and productivity. Hackman then revealed his unique method of determining the size of meetings by stating, “my rule of thumb is no double digits.”
A group of six (the minimum group size by the Two Pizza Rule) has 15 links. The maximum number of people in a group in the Two Pizza Rule, ten persons, brings the total number of links to 45. 45 isn’t an excessive amount of hyperlinks, but that’s what’s reasonable when it comes to limiting the size of groups based on the Two Pizza Rule. However, the pattern begins to accelerate and then increase. A 15-person group has 105 links, while 20 people have more than 190. Even with just ten participants, there’s an average of 45 connections. Forty-five chances to make political or social connections to impede the efficiency and effectiveness of a gathering.
So, what can we learn? Each board must indeed meet a certain number of members required to make a decision. It’s challenging to reduce group size without causing harm or violating the bylaws. However, the research has spoken, and the smaller, the more effective. It is said that the Two Pizza Rule is, from all indications, an excellent shortcut for limiting the size of the meeting. For larger-sized boards, The Two Pizza Rule can be used to limit smaller committee meetings. Make sure that there are not more than ten people in the group. Each member who is more than the ten-person limit significantly increases the variety of elements that lead to ineffective communication and low efficiency.