Project Discovery Phase in Software Development: What is It and Why is It Important?

What is a Discovery Phase?

  • To find out the motives, the aims, and the problems of the users.
  • To comprehend the context of product usage.
  • To find new ideas for product development and new insights.
  • To understand what are the users’ expectations and attitude to the product.
  • For mid-sized projects — 1–2 weeks.
  • For large projects — 3–4 weeks.

When do You Need a Discovery Phase?

  • The projects with unclear functional requirements.
  • The ones with vague non-functional requirements.
  • Those projects, which require a Proof of Concept (POC)

What do we do during the Discovery Phase?

1. Lean Model Canvas

2. Customer Journey Map

3. User Flow

4. User Stories

5. Product Vision

6. Non-functional requirements

What are the main benefits of a Discovery Phase?

  1. Honing of the idea and the essence of the project, based on real analysis.
  2. Finding out certain project aspects, which have not been taken into consideration initially.
  3. Customers’ expectations and problems comprehension, based on the competitors’ products research.
  4. The opportunity to get an expert evaluation of the project and the ways it can be brought to life as well as an additional insight into the alternative solutions and technologies offered by the contractor.
  5. Creating a clear list of user story for the project.
  6. Avoiding the need of making costly changes during the development process.
  7. Achieving the balance between the business goals of a client and the needs and wants of the users.
  8. Getting the possibility to understand if the contractor is a good fit for the client’s expectations, how comfortable the interaction between them is and the opportunity to make the final decision as to future cooperation.

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