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This paper emphasises the importance of global teams in the field of software development. The paper presents an approach for setting up pilot studies simulating those key features that make global software development teams particularly attractive to exploit and challenging to manage. The underlying research is supported by a research project funded by the US National Science Foundation with the participation of universities from US, Turkey, Panama and the UK. The paper provides detailed guidelines for setting up simulations resembling globally dispersed software development teams and discusses preliminary data of two pilot studies with involving collaboration between teams residing in the US and the UK. Key concerns of this research are those factors affecting collaborative work when global teams are involved. Such factors include differences caused by distance, culture, time zones and technology.