In early 2012, AIPMM, IPMA, IIBA Chicagoland, Diversified Communications, and Accept Software sponsored a global study of product team performance which was developed and conducted by Actuation Consulting and Enterprise Agility.
The survey examined the interactions of Product Managers, Project Managers, Program Managers, Business Analysts, and others actively involved in product development projects.
The survey findings were so intriguing and relevant to improving product team performance, that a wide range of organizations have been working to support broader awareness of the findings through live meetings, webinars, and other events.
Actuation Consulting and Enterprise Agility recently conducted a global survey of product teams. The goal of our research was to better understand the dynamics of product team performance and to uncover the practices that make these teams successful.
What makes this survey unique is that it enjoys the support of various industry associations and market players — groups and individuals that don't generally work together.
Our industry experience has led us to believe strongly that product managers, project managers, and business analysts don't always optimize their working relationships, and this can have a negative impact on product team performance. However, information regarding the dynamics of these important and complex relationships is hard to come by.
When we started this process, we hoped to uncover information that can't be found by investigating the product development roles separately. Indeed, to get the most accurate view, we knew we had to look across product teams. In the end, what we uncovered was more telling than we could have imagined.
By performing a regression analysis of the results — overlaying the respondents' rating of their organizations' overall success with the survey data on operating techniques and methods, executive support, staffing, strategic alignment, team composition, and accountability practice— we were able to identify what makes teams successful.
Specifically, we found that there are five key factors that are common to high-performing product teams. The statistics show just how important these five factors are: the likelihood of a product team performing at a high level is 67% if all five factors are in place. In their absence, the likelihood of a product team achieving high performance is only 2%!
This paper details these five factors and offers suggestions for how you can apply them to your own product development practices.
Geracie discusses the five factors of
high-performing product teams at the 2012 Silicon Valley Code Camp conference.
"I believe that the findings should be closely examined by executives with responsibility for product development. The five factors outlined in this white paper can have a statistically significant impact on your team's product development execution and need to be taken seriously."
CEO, The Lambert Consulting Group
"This study illuminates some of the factors that many product organizations have overlooked or forgotten in their quest to get products out faster. It showed us what we suspected all along, that product organizations need to re-think their practices and solutions to compete in a complex, ever-changing world.”
CEO, Accept Software
"The Study of Product Team Performance is an exciting contribution to our current understanding of what differentiates high performance product teams. If you want to guarantee high performance product development teams, you need to understand the finding's five key factors!"
Cindy F. Solomon
Founder, Global Product Management