Is Technology ease to broaden your horizon?







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10 mins

In current social relationships, there is a notion that "technology makes it easier to broaden your horizons," but the reality reflects the opposite. Nonetheless, Facebook stats indicate the same. In reality, the ideal number of friends for an average adult is anywhere between 120 and 130, despite the fact that you may note down hundreds of names, it does not considerably increase the quality of your secure social relationships.

The social group size of primates (humans, monkeys, and apes) has been determined by their brain size. Currently, the estimated human group size should be ~150 (Dunbar Number).

British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar specializes on primate behavior. He is currently the head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group under the Experimental Psychology Department at Oxford University. Dunbar's number is a measurement of the "cognitive limit to the number of people with whom an individual can establish stable relationships." Dunbar's number has attracted the curiosity of researchers in anthropology, evolutionary psychology, statistics, and business management.

For example, people who make social software are interested in it because they need to know how big the social networks are that their software needs to take into account. In the modern military, operational psychologists look for this kind of information to back up or disprove policies that aim to keep or improve unit cohesion and morale.

Using Dunbar's research as a guide, the Swedish tax office planned to reorganize its work in 2007, with no more than 150 people working in each office.[1]

The Tipping Point, written by Malcolm Gladwell in 2000, includes a discussion of the Dunbar number. Gladwell gives a description of W. L. Gore and Associates, a business that is most known for the Gore-Tex name. The company's leadership learned via trial and error that social issues may arise if more than 150 people worked in the same building. With a cap of 150 workers and only 150 parking spots, the business began constructing office buildings. The business would construct a second 150-employee structure once the parking spots were full. On occasion, these structures were situated close to one another.

The Dunbar’s Number reflected as follows,

Dunbar Number = 150

The Core five are the five most important individuals in your life, including your family and close friends. In reality, if the core number includes a romantic relationship, the overall strength of the core would be reduced from 5 to 4 since the romantic relationship requires more time, hence sacrificing one buddy. Next one you have 15 really close pals by sharing deep trust, 50 friends with meaningful relationship, 150 active contacts, 500 acquaintances, and 1500 just casual acquaintances (people you can recognise).


Why SAFe also influenced by Dunbar Number?

In fact SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) got influenced with Dunbar number to define the size of ART (Agile Release Train). The ART is a virtual organization, which consists of 5 to 12 Agile Teams underneath, each Agile Team size would be 5 to 11 members.  The size of one ART would be anywhere between 50 to 125+ people,  to plan, commit and execute together. They do all those things based on value in a time box approach used for conducting a transaction to Evaluate, Inspect, and Adapt. The default program Increment is for ten weeks, and the range anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks cadence.

Additional approaches are required to sustain and oversee Agile projects as they expand in size. Dunbar's number serves as a guideline to prevent allowing a piece of work to get too huge to handle. The number serves as a cap on the number of persons participating in a certain aspect of work (ART). Otherwise, the capacity to think through issues and grasp intricate concepts is the limiting factor here. When the number of people working on a project rises, so does the mental strain placed on everyone involved, and the quality of the team's communications inevitably suffers as a result. For this reason, it is advantageous to divide a big crew into smaller

The Dunbar number is one thing to think about when putting a team together. Other things, like Conway's law, also need to be thought about.



  1. "Swedish tax collectors organized by apes". The Local – Sweden's news in English. 23 July 2007. Archived from the original on 16 August 2007.