The Dunbar Number is something which an anthropologist named Robin Dunbar came up with after extensive research on Apes and Monkeys. This number essentially stipulates how many people can an average human being maintain a stable relationship with other human beings. Dunbar theorized that an average human being can maintain relationships with a maximum of 160 people. Dunbar furnished his results after comparing the size of the brain of primates with the size of their social circle and through this he came up with his final result.
Dunbar actually gave a limit of 120 relationships to 250 however the figure of 150 is taken as an average. Researchers believe that if a person where to actually exceed this limit then the overall status would begin to crack, and the relationships would start becoming unstable. Every human being has a different Dunbar number. In social relationships were the Dunbar number exceeds its limits yet still is working somehow this would only happen if it were subjected to certain strict conditions and rules to keep all the relationships healthy.
How does it relate to scaling Agile?
Agile is a technique used in software development were the sole focus is on team cohesion and the continuation of learning. Agile was developed for software management so that teams could quickly come up with ideas for future work and quickly come up with various solutions. The idea is that when a set number of teams are tasked with situations they can easily manoeuvre in and out of the various hurdles they face.
Agile scaling is a term used nowadays to focus upon the smaller teams within the technique and how a team that consists of different people can coexist and work together in such high-tension environments. Agile scaling combined with Dunbar number is very important since the Dunbar number sets the average amount of people one person can have a stable relationship with and this is very important for Agile software management (IT) as if a team is set up with people which exceed the maximum limits set by the Dunbar number the team cohesion will be affected and the whole purpose of Agile will collapse on itself.
— Slimane Zouggari