I started my tech career in a team that averaged 30 to 40 persons. When I became partner of my first software consulting firm, I sought a way to build better quality products in a shorter period of time.
This meant reducing waste. Our methodology relied on establishing strong development standards, rapid prototyping, usability testing, and discussing real-case scenarios with the developers before they started coding. Each project was handled by a small development team. We created a work environment where any team member could easily ask help from the other team members when they needed it. We also established development standards. This was before people heard of agile development and way before the lean startup movement.