Discovery stage is usually underrated, but its impact is rather impressive. Whether it is a startup, or a long lasting and volumable project, there are a lot of cases when the discovery stage is vital.
Let’s walk through the common situations whereby the project discovery stage is simply a necessity.
Landing the project
Once the idea to implement your own project was lighted up, the first step is to plan the activities. And prior to planning, you should definitely know what you are trying to achieve. At this stage, the discovery phase is a ground job in investigating the domain, competitors, technologies and methodologies that better suit current project.
Switching the team members
It might happen that the product team member switches, or his contract terminates, so the project work and scope should be held by a new person, no matter how skilled and experienced he is, business analyst or a product and project manager. Onboarding phase tightly goes along with the discovery phase, during which a new member will definitely find out more improvements, or even gaps to fix.
Scaling the project
When the project has successfully started and already ‘bears a fruit’, it’s time to scale and provide more opportunities to the stakeholders or to the end users. Discovery stage is needed to provide the deep analysis and the roadmap for further improvement, taking into account the existing scope.
Transferring the project
Business is business, and it sometimes occurs that the projects are absorbed by other projects or companies. New management or stakeholders will probably require an audit of the existing features, and the discovery phase will help in performing this activity. Moreover, during the discovery phase, new features and integrations will be analyzed and documented.
How does the discovery stage go at Trembit and what artefacts are provided?
Based on more than 11 years of Trembit experience, there are a lot of benefits that the business will get at the end of the discovery stage:
- Prepared and complete design of your product
- Formalized requirements, documented in a manner, appropriate for all software development vendors, to obtain the product implementation estimate for project budget calculation
- Prioritized product features according to their impact on business value and efforts for the implementation
- Risk identification and planning
Below you will find the list of entities with examples, produced by the Trembit product team on the Discovery stage for the majority of projects. To see the templates, just follow the link in the article.
The requirements are identified and formalized. It helps to set clear expectations of the project and define a goal. The product team member researches the field and clarifies virtually all cases with the Customer.
- Architecture vision.
At this step, the gap between business needs and technological solutions is removed. The product Architect or CTO is involved in determining the best solution for the planned project.
Upon the request, the product team provides the wire frames, or the design, which is a good launch of the new project. The design, provided by Trembit, contains prototypes for web (including responsive) and mobile applications. We follow standard recommendations for design development for each mobile platform: Human Interface Guidelines by Apple and Material Design Guidelines by Google.
An example of mobile application design.
Software requirements specification (SRS) is carefully documented, covering all discovered features. Documentation also includes the Product vision file, which is necessary for the business and marketing purposes. Product vision highlights the product advantages. An example of the SRS contents you can find below.
An example of SRS contents.
- Work breakdown structure (WBS)
The team (usually Team leaders) provides the WBS that allows to obtain the understanding of complete scope and delivery. A kind of roadmap is provided with the clearly divided tasks and description.
- Detailed estimation.
Based on the WBS and SRS, the precise estimates are given.
You may find the WBS and estimation document example below.
Now, the project is fully planned and ready to start!