This article discusses lessons learned as a research team conducted a large‐scale, multi‐site qualitative policy study. The lessons call for incorporating a variety of backgrounds and experience, for anticipating enormous complexities amid multiple stages of research and volumes of data, and for building firm commitments across team members as well as to the research itself. The authors contend that four different means of decision making are required when carrying out qualitative research using a research team approach. They counsel against symmetry of contribution by each member. They conclude that teaming as they practiced it was expensive in terms of time, money, and energy; yet if considered in light of effectiveness, teaming provides enormous gains in terms of professional reward and quality research. This paper was supported in part by funds received from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the position or policies of this agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred.