In our latest market research we asked two questions related to core product teams. By “core” we mean the central members who play a day-to-day role in product development activities. The first question focused upon the actual size of each company’s core product team and the second focused upon how product team members perceive their own performance. Let’s start by looking at size of the core product team.
Size of Core Product Team
The sizes of the core product teams in our respondents’ organizations vary greatly. Core product teams of five to nine members – a size often cited as the ideal team size – hold the largest percentage (35.7%). Percentages for those teams having one to four members and those with ten to thirty members are nearly identical at 25% and 25.9% respectively. Core product teams consisting of thirty or more employees are decidedly in the minority, representing just 13.4% of respondents’ companies.
The data also shows that the majority (42%) of companies with under $50M in annualized revenue are composed of one to four team members. Companies with $50M to $499M in revenue indicate their teams are comprised of 10 to 30 team members (36.5%). Companies with over $500M in revenue favor teams with between five to nine members, as do companies over $2B.
Performance Against Organizational Expectations
The vast majority of respondents believe strongly that their core product team delivers value. The issue is one of consistency: a solid 38.7% believe they are consistent in fulfilling the scope and schedule planned for projects and delivering results within budget; unfortunately, nearly half (47.3%) believe their team lacks consistency in meeting organizational expectations. The remaining 14% of respondents state their teams do not deliver value: 11.2% own up to meeting expectations only sporadically while 2.8% acknowledge falling short of expectations more often than not.
While we did not find a direct correlation between the size of a core product team and performance it is interesting to note that only 38.7% of core product teams state that they deliver value consistently. There is clearly plenty of room for improvement!