Development Teams and Outsourcing

Product Requirements Research and Dev Teams

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The most recent Global Study of Product Team Performance delves into a wide range of issues. The survey responses we’ll examine today focus on the use of out-of-country development teams and preferred methods of product requirements research.

Question: If you are located in North America, Japan, or Australia and are using distributed teams beyond your country’s borders, how effective are they compared to a local development team? Exclude personnel costs and a higher oversight and communications burden.

 Local vs. Distributed Team Effectiveness

Response Percentage
Significantly more effective 1.6%
More effective 10.3%
The same 19.4%
Less effective 19.0%
Much less effective 9.5%
We do not execute work outside our country 7.9%
This does not apply to me 32.3%


Dissecting the Responses

Over 40% (40.2%) of respondents indicated they don’t use distributed out-of-country teams or that the questions doesn’t apply to them. However, nearly 60% report that their companies do work with these international distributed teams. Of these, 11.9% consider the distributed teams more effective (10.3%) or significantly more effective (1.6%) than domestic development teams. Nearly 20% (19.4) indicated that international teams perform as well as in-country teams. Almost 30% rated out-of-country teams less effective (19.0%) or much less effective (9.5%) that in-country teams.

Question: What method of product requirements research does your organization primarily use to gather meaningful requirements? (Check one.)

Response Percentage
Internal idea generation 22.5%
Voice of the customer (VOC) 21.3%
Workflow analysis (examining a customer’s workflow to identify improvement opportunities) 5.2%
Focusing on what customers are trying to achieve in order to improve your product or drive innovation 13.4%
A combination of VOC and workflow analysis 28.1%
I don’t know 5.9%
Other 3.6%

A Closer Look at the Survey Responses

Respondents told us that just over a fourth of their companies (28.1%) rely on a combination of voice-of-the-customer and workflow analysis as their approach to product requirements research. Between this group and those exclusively using voice-of-the-customer, almost half (49.4%) use VOC. Closely behind at 22.5%, internal idea generation is also well represented.

Looking Forward

As we continue to look at Global Study of Product Team Performance survey, we build toward uncovering the six new key performance indicators for high-performing teams.


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