Our research into the effectiveness of product teams has painted a somewhat stark picture of how product teams perceive their own levels of performance. The data illustrates that only a minority of organizations report doing it well. For example, when we asked how effective product team members believe they are in delivering value consistently they told us the following.
And the picture gets a bit bleaker when product team members are asked about the levels of trust, collaboration and communication within their product team.
A significant percentage of product teams acknowledge low levels of trust, communication and collaboration while the majority indicate that they experience occasional issues. Only 10% indicate that they function as a seamless team with high levels of trust, collaboration and communication.
When you consider that only about a third of organizations indicate that they deliver value consistently you might infer that product teams would be aggressively looking to improve by finding better ways of doing things. However, that is not what product teams tell us.
In fact, only 22% of product teams state that they are aggressively looking to improve.
The complexities of product development cannot be understated. However, it is clear from the survey data that product teams know that they could perform more efficiently and that problems within the team play a significant role in undermining the product teams effectiveness. While teams are fully aware of these problems, they also acknowledge that they are not taking the necessary steps to improve their circumstances by aggressively pursuing best practices that could help them break out of this paradigm.
Awareness is often the first step toward positive change and the silver lining in this cloud is that product teams appear to be fully aware of the issues. Breaking through these challenges to get to the next level requires not only an objective assessment of the issues – but increased levels of collaboration, trust and communication. This needs to take place within the team and with the executive team who may not be as aware of these challenges.
Since our survey is an annual event, and these problems appear to be wide spread, we have developed a free nine question assessment for product team members and another for product executives that can help you identify where your product team(s) stands compared to the hundreds of organizations in our database. Organizations have started to use both of these assessments to identify where their product teams fall on the continuum and how big the awareness gap is between product team members and the executive team.
Knowledge is power and the more you know about the effectiveness of your product team(s) the more likely you are to be able to create positive and meaningful change.
There is clearly work to do based upon the data.