Why Is A Discovery Phase Essential For Project Success?

August 29, 2023

Edited

September 29, 2023

Doubting the guaranteed success of your startup? Are you afraid of risking your budget for an unnecessary product? Are you looking for ways to avoid unnecessary losses and prevent failure? You need a discovery phase to minimize risks and build a sound development and marketing strategy.

This article will discuss what the project discovery phase is, who is involved in the discovery phase, and how much it costs to conduct a discovery phase of a project.

What is the project discovery phase?

Discovery phase is the collection and analysis of data about the project, its commercial focus, and its target audience. This is the key element of the development process, which allows to create a correct and clear sequence of actions and develop the initial idea most successfully. This phase takes relatively little time (usually from one week to one month, depending on the project’s complexity). Still, it significantly reduces the time it takes to prepare the product.

Discovery phase of the project implies the following:

  • Analysis of the client’s requests, ideas, requirements, and wishes about the future project. Analysts ask the customer questions and gather as much detailed information as possible to better understand the essence of the product.
  • Project goal setting and clearly understanding the finished product for all participants in the development process. The team better understands the result to be achieved and suggests alternative solutions that the customer may not have guessed about.
  • Conducting market research and analysis of users. The team creates user behavior models and studies the product’s uniqueness.
  • Creation of technical requirements in a general document. Usually, this is provided in the software requirements specification (SRS) format, which considers all the customer’s suggestions and wishes.

As a result, the discovery phase in a project helps to determine a more accurate product development budget, to defy a more precise development timeline, and to avoid architectural and logical errors during development. For example, with it, we can help you choose the best digital transformation platform.

When do you really need a discovery phase?

The project discovery phase is needed if:

  • There is no complete idea of the product. The discovery phase is vital if you have only a vague idea and no specifics.
  • Your project has more than two interested parties. When there are multiple idea owners, their vision of the final product may differ. Moreover, their preconceptions about the product’s functionality or purpose may differ. This can lead to conflicts. The discovery phase will show what is really important for the most effective implementation of the project.
  • You plan to create an overly complex project. A complex project implies many requirements for the final product, many competitors, and so on. Without a discovery phase, product development cannot guarantee success.
  • You plan to create a long-term project. Any long-term project is complex and requires a special approach that can be determined during the project discovery phase.
  • Success is critical. There are projects where too much is at stake. The discovery stage will help avoid even the slightest mistakes and lead to success.

The discovery phase creates the foundation for project success, creating all the conditions for a productive development process. It involves the entire team exploring the project from different angles and making it immediately understandable to everyone involved. At the same time, it maintains constant communication so that all parties understand the project completely. And finally, it helps to learn as much as possible about the user to make the product the most relevant and successful.

Who is involved in the discovery phase?

The discovery team stands as the compass guiding your project idea toward resounding success. Comprising a symphony of specialized roles, each member plays a distinct note, harmonizing to create a melodic arrangement of understanding and innovation.

Business analyst

A solid understanding of market dynamics and strategic positioning lies at the heart of every prosperous endeavor. The business analyst shines as the luminary torchbearer, deciphering intricate market trends, competitors’ choreography, and economic nuances. Their astute analysis paints a vivid canvas of opportunities, guiding your path to unparalleled profitability. As they wield the quill of data-driven insights, they script the first chapter of your triumph.

UX analyst

In the digital age, user experience reigns supreme, and the UX analyst stands as the virtuoso sculptor of emotions. With an acute eye for empathy and a profound understanding of human interaction, they metamorphose mere interfaces into captivating experiences. Navigating the labyrinthine corridors of user preferences, they design products and cultivate relationships, transforming users into loyal enthusiasts. Their artistry carves a gateway to lasting engagement and unwavering brand allegiance.

Solution Architect

Amidst the symphony of ideas, the solution architect takes center stage, wielding the baton of innovation. With a mosaic of technical mastery and creative vision, they craft the blueprint that turns dreams into reality. Stitching together technologies, platforms, and frameworks, they construct a sturdy foundation for your digital marvel. As creators of the roadmap, they transmute aspirations into actionable steps, bridging the chasm between possibility and achievement.

Product Manager

Every symphony requires a conductor, and the product manager dons that mantle with finesse. Envisioning the entire opus from the grand overture to the final crescendo, they infuse each note with purpose and coherence. Armed with a compass that aligns business goals with user aspirations, they ensure the ensemble remains harmonious and true to its vision. Their skillful coordination orchestrates the convergence of technology, creativity, and strategy into a harmonious masterpiece.

Look for a reliable discovery team?
Hire SoloWay Tech!

The discovery phase deliverables

The documents you may receive at the end of this phase may vary depending on the specific conditions and agreements between the parties. However, here are some of the possible documents that may be provided to you at the end of the discovery phase:

  • Discovery report. This detailed document describes the study’s results, identified needs, requirements, possible risks, and other aspects of the project. The report may include an overview of the current situation, competitor analysis, key functional and technical requirements identification, architecture, technology recommendations, etc.
  • Mockups and prototypes. Suppose mockups (static models of interfaces) or prototypes (working examples of product parts) have been created during the discovery phase. In that case, they will also be provided for visualization and discussion.
  • Technical proposal. This document may include a proposal for technology selection, technology stack, system architecture, implementation plan, and cost and time estimates.
  • Project plan. This document describes the details of the planned steps, resources, schedule, and milestones for the project based on the results of the discovery phase.
  • Cost estimate. It estimates the cost of developing and implementing a product based on the identified requirements and scope of work.
  • Presentation of results. In addition to written documents, you may receive a presentation where the developers can visually demonstrate and discuss the study results.

At SoloWay Tech, we can help you discover your project idea.

How does SoloWay Tech conduct the discovery phase?

All projects at SoloWay Tech start with a discovery phase. We are attentive to every project from start to release. Thanks to the discovery phase, we lay the foundation for effective work and, as a result, deliver high-quality software solutions tailored to the individual needs of our customers. Our team:

  1. Collects the client’s vision of the product and creates a product vision artifact.
  2. Maps the client’s vision according to the functionality in Feathers Map to find in what direction to move.
  3. Creates high-level User Flow that helps to better understand the user’s path in the new product.
  4. Analyzes whether this idea has any business value using the Business Model Canvas.
  5. Conducts a Competitor Analysis, identifying the key players in the market. 
  6. Develops Buyer Personas to create typical portraits of potential users and study their basic needs, goals, and fears.
  7. Creates a list of questions and conducts in-depth interviews with typical users based on the portraits developed.
  8. Prioritizes these ideas according to the Importance & Time matrix and selects the most significant ones that best address identified problems and needs.
  9. Creates a Story Map, where business analysis specialists turn ideas into specific Epics and User Stories.
  10. Creates a visual interactive prototype based on high-quality business analysis.

You should study the IT project potential at the start to avoid difficulties in the development process. We will collect all the necessary information, structure requirements, and draw up a detailed action plan. Our team will create optimal conditions for product realization without sudden problems and additional costs for their elimination.

How much does it cost to conduct a discovery phase of a project?

At SoloWay Tech, our discovery phase services have the following costs:

  • Small Package – $5,900. This package includes a basic discovery phase with essential components like understanding project goals, gathering initial requirements, and some limited user experience (UX) and business analysis (BA) activities.
  • Medium Package – $7,900. The medium package expands on the small package by including more comprehensive UX and BA activities. We do more in-depth user research, detailed requirement analysis, and a more refined understanding of the project’s scope.
  • Large Package – $9,900. This package is the most comprehensive and tailored towards significant business transformation initiatives. It includes UX and BA components, a dedicated focus on User Interface (UI) design, and a thorough tech pack. We comprehensively analyze the project’s technical aspects to support a significant transformation effort. We evaluate the feasibility of different technologies, architectures, and potential solutions.

Having conducted over 200 diverse discovery phases, we are your reliable choice for a future successful project. Need qualitative project assessment? Contact SoloWay Tech!

Conclusion

By embracing the discovery phase, businesses and entrepreneurs can make informed decisions that mitigate risks, refine strategies, and illuminate the path to success. It is the bridge between uncertainty and clarity, a transformative process that shapes vague concepts into tangible, market-ready solutions. 

Through thorough analysis, comprehensive research, and insightful documentation, the discovery phase minimizes errors, streamlines development, and enhances user experience. This results in products that resonate with their intended audience.

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