Design teams wanted lengthy, up front research and design phases to help discover what the teams should work on.
Agile vs Lean vs Design Thinking
Jeff Gothelf

This sounds to me like a design team that hasn’t fully embraced agile methodology. Up-front research can be done effectively without a huge time investment. This said, its important to really understand who our customers are, know their needs, and witness their challenges through first-hand observations. Short of this the entire product is flying blind on hunches and best guesses.