Have few roles, with members in the role sharing information between themselves


Have few roles.  As the number of roles grows arithmetically, the number of potential communication paths grows geometrically.


Few Roles


This is similar to, and may be used in conjunction with, DeployAlongTheGrain, but lacks the flexibility of GeneralizingSpecialist.  Having few, large roles will decrease the need for communication across boundaries.  The original pattern suggests an optimum of about 16 roles.  In conjunction with DeployAlongTheGrain, one may expect there to be fewer.


Here the roles are fixed, and with so few, the roles will be large, requiring mastery of a range of skills.  As a result, the opportunity for people to act in more than one role is severely limited.  This may or may not be a problem, depending on the ambitions of the organization and the people in the team, and on how few, thus how large, the roles are.