The product discovery phase is the initial stage of the software development process. Also known as the scoping phase, its main purpose is to collect and analyse information related to a project that will help to clarify the goals, limitations and general scope.
What exactly is the project discovery stage?
A solid project discovery approach will aim to collect data on the following topics:
the primary concept and ideas underlying the project;
the company’s objectives;
technological and business needs
the financial situation;
the planned development procedure;
Risk assessment and mitigation.
According to McKinsey study, 45% of projects surpass their intended budget, with a benefits deficit of 56% less than anticipated. Furthermore, it has been stated that a shocking 17% of all initiatives fail so miserably that they become the ruin of their organizations!
How to carry out the discovery phase of a project
So how can we effectively complete the project discovery phase? By doing the following:
Step 1: Determine
Priority one should be to assemble your discovery team. To bring different viewpoints and qualities to the table, they should be as varied as they can be. At the very least, a well-rounded team would include a project manager, a UX/UI designer, a technical specialist, and a project analyst.
Once your team is assembled, list each project stakeholder. Owners, customers, investors, developers, and other parties fall under this category. Determine the project’s business objectives last. This keeps you focused, helps you comprehend the project’s main goal and any potential problems that can arise.on the final objective.
Step 2: Conduct research
This is an important stage in the product discovery process because it allows the team to gain a comprehensive understanding of what their rivals are doing, what customers want and need, and the status of the market. It is roughly divided into three sub-stages:
1 Customer polling
Interviewing potential consumers and your client is a critical first step in determining what type of product or service is required. It aids in clarifying any questions, setting expectations for the project, and defining the overall scope of work to be completed.
2 Market investigation
After you’ve established your clients’ desires and needs, the following step is to research the market. What is the level of interest in this sort of project? Is there a market gap that may be filled by this idea, or is the market rather saturated? At this point, we may establish project expectations and begin to develop attainable benchmarks. Running market research surveys is an excellent technique to do this research and will be incredibly valuable in assisting project managers in making critical decisions about the project’s direction.
3 competitor analysis
Finally, it is critical to examine what other firms are doing and how they are doing it. Are they in your business or have you discovered a new one? Understanding what your rivals are doing and the market standards they are establishing will help you define project aspects like budget and pricing, quality control, and end product expectations.
Step 3: Present your results
After you’ve established your objectives and gathered all of your information, it’s time to submit your results to the shareholders. For the project to be approved, they must be informed of its feasibility, any potential bottlenecks, the present situation of the market, and the plan for going forward. This will allow stakeholders to decide whether or not to pursue the project to completion, and if so, on what terms.
Step 4: Establish a budget and a timetable.
If the shareholders give you the go-ahead, it is critical to set project milestones as well as accurate financial predictions. This will boost the project’s viability and is vital to continuing forward. Along with them, all possible blockages must be recognized, and troubleshooting solutions must be proposed at this time to avoid any bad consequences later on.
Step 5: Complete the plan
After completing all preceding processes, the final preparations must be done before the project may begin. These must be conveyed to shareholders in order to receive final approval, and keep in mind that adjustments and alterations are usual at this point. As a result, adaptability is essential.
What are the advantages of a project discovery phase?
There are several advantages to executing a project discovery phase when done appropriately. Here are a few examples:
Companies frequently neglect or undervalue this, yet inaccurate risk management can result in low-cost savings and missed deadlines if a risk analysis is not performed during the discovery phase.
Because money is the lifeblood of any project, it is critical that costs are properly monitored that budgets are not exceeded. Overspending accounts for 18% of all business failures, and the project discovery phase can assist decrease this risk. A higher return on investment is possible with adequate cost-cutting strategies in place. It is possible.
The project discovery phase specifies the overall scope of the project and will assist you in streamlining the whole process.
Defining the users’ goals and requirements contributes to the project’s success.
Excellent business decisions
The project discovery phase enables you to make solid, well-thought-out decisions based on evidence rather than preconceptions.
The significance of a project discovery phase
The advantages of doing a project discovery phase are obvious, thus there should be no dispute about whether or not to do so for your organization. Failure to do so exposes you to growing expenses, unreliable and unrealistic dates, never-ending scope creep, and a project that does not satisfy your or your shareholders’ expectations.
All digital product firms should include project discovery stages in their digital transformation and software development models since it will result in significant improvements in project quality, customer happiness, and, of course, financial rewards.