The team that participates during the discovery phase is a key factor in your product’s success. The project’s complexity, goals and the number of specialists required to make the team work depends on their needs. Here is a list of team members for a discovery-phase team.
- Project Manager. The project manager plans and organizes meetings and takes notes. They also coordinate product development and discovery team cooperation. The project manager also prepares all documentation necessary for the discovery phase.
- Business Analyst. The BA is responsible to market research and analysis. They also define the user’s pain points and requirements, and analyze the product’s potential market and profitability. The Business Analyst monitors and defines data metrics and reports. Business analysts also define and align project requirements with business goals.
- Tech Lead. The tech lead works closely with customers to define technical requirements and create a development plan and sequence. He also gives estimates about the time frame.
- UX/UI designer. UX design is responsible for intuitive navigation and product usability. The UX designer creates storyboards and sitemaps, process flows and interface elements based on user and product research. The UI designer focuses primarily on the design and layout of the product. Together, they work to make the product both visually appealing and user-friendly.
- Solution Architect. The Solution Architect is responsible to analyze the technology environment, as well as the performance, scalability and maintainability of the product. Third-party platforms and frameworks are also examined by Solution Architects, as well as their benefits and risks.
It is a good idea to include people with different expertise in the discovery process. Your product will benefit from their experience and unique ideas since they will be able to analyze it from many perspectives. Make sure that each member of your team has the experience necessary to be a valuable participant in the discovery phase.
The Discovery Phase is an important part of product development
The discovery stage is the journey from the conceptual idea to the actual realization. The discovery stage involves the collection, analysis, and systematization (or gathering) of client requirements. It also includes research on target audiences and a review of potential product benefits.
Some believe that development includes the discovery phase. Although the discovery phase is the first stage of product development, they can be separated for the development phase. You can order the discovery stage for one company and product development for another. It’s better to find out if the agency isn’t right for long-term cooperation sooner than later.
The Discovery Phase Process
It is highly recommended that you include a discovery stage as the first step of any project. These are the key steps in project management during the discovery phase.
- Establishing a team for the discovery stage that works closely with customers
- Validating current data and do your research
- Asking “tough” questions will help you to spot potential pitfalls before they happen
- Defining the vision and scope for the product
- Testing of possible solutions
- Making estimates and timelines with milestones
When working with customers, there are the two main questions on their mind:
- When will my product become available?
- What is the cost of this?
The discovery phase, regardless of its complexity and requirements, involves a complex analysis. The discovery stage usually takes between 11 and 21 working days. The client receives information on two of the above questions in addition to a variety of documents and specifications.
Deliverables for the Discovery Phase
This is what you will end up with after the discovery phase:
- A Customer Journey Map that shows the app pages and customers’ ability to move from one page to the next.
- Architecture – A high-level, schematic outline of the dependencies among the major components of the system infrastructure. It also includes the environment and physical layer in which a new web app will run. There is also a list to indicate the cloud provider technologies that will be used.
- Wireframes – User interface screens that are based on Customer Journey Map
- A Clickable Prototype based in the Wireframe model
- A user flow diagram is a visual representation of the steps that users should take to achieve the product’s goals.
- UX/UI Concept – The concept/examples for the future application, as based on the wireframe model
- API Integration Document – A brief description of all API endpoints that are required for the new app
- Project Backlog – A breakdown of the work required to develop the application
- Project Roadmap – A timeline and milestones for the project, along with any dependencies
- Budget and engagement models
This is a standard list that the discovery phase deliverables. It can be modified depending on technical expertise of the client, project size, and other factors. It is also important to consider the client’s team, their industry knowledge and willingness to collaborate during discovery.
Milestones & Expected Timeline
A backlog of systemized epics and high level stories, estimates and milestones is one of the key results of a successful discovery phase. Written recommendations are also possible for task execution sequences and dependencies, risks and technology stack recommendations. This data can be used to create a product development timeline as well as a production schedule.
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