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What is the discovery phase?

So, you came up with the idea of a new product. What’s next? Of course, you want to get an estimate of time and costs from a software Agency. However, they probably won’t be able to tell you the exact cost of development after your request.

The fact is that the development team needs more information to evaluate than you think. Is there a way out of this situation? Of course, this is the initial stage of the project.

It is the first and most important step in developing a web product. Its main purpose is to gather information to determine the requirements and make the analyses of the client’s business. As a result, customers get an accurate estimate of the cost of the project. You can look here to get more information about this process.

For software vendors this stage very important. It allows them to clarify and identify the following issues:

  • What is the app’s audience;
  • What is the client’s business;
  • Who are the end-users.

Special attention should be paid to this stage of development, discussing the product, its business goals, and target audience with the customer. Always ask questions that allow the project team to explore the subject area. This way you can identify bottlenecks, offer the solutions, and build a project’s roadmap.

Owlab group highlighted the main principles of making this process.

Formats for the initial stages of the project

There are three effective options for an introductory meeting: in the Agency’s office, on the client’s side, and remotely. You can choose the most appropriate format for your team. For example, factors to consider may include time differences, distance from your development partner, and, of course, your personal preferences.

If you can’t visit the software vendor’s office or invite them to come, you can set up a remote project discovery stage.

Key roles in the discovery phase

A list of specialists includes:

  • Product manager/Business analyst

Business analysts/product managers analyze, collect, and structure input data from customers. They facilitate the discussion process and create a list of questions. Managers generate epics and user stories that will be converted into customer ratings. The main goal of the Product Manager is to ensure synchronization between both parties in relation to goals.

  • UX/UI designer

Web designers develop and discuss requirements and preferences. They analyze the audience, end-users, and competitors. This information is important for creating an appealing and intuitive web solution based on customer requirements. They are also responsible for providing accurate estimates at every stage of the product design process.

  • Leading software developer

Leading engineers are responsible for technical solutions. They analyze the artifacts (documentation or requirements that help you understand the project architecture) of the project discovery phase during the meeting. It is very important to ensure that the created business logic is implemented during development. Finally, technical experts offer the best architectural solution.

  • Interested parties
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Stakeholders represent the client’s team and pass their business idea to the software developer. They explain what the product is, its goals, and its expectations and requirements for the project.

Finally, the project discovery stage will help you determine the scope of work, timing, and accurate project evaluation. As a result, the software development Agency offers you the most effective solution that meets your requirements.

Main tasks

Let’s look at the main tasks of the opening phase:

  1. Study the subject area. The client and the team research the subject area, analyze the product, competitors, and market in general. At this stage, the client explains his vision of the product, how it will work, its functions, and the user flow.
  2. Identify bottlenecks. When a group of clients expresses their expectations for a product, the software development Agency analyzes the source data and discusses the project’s bottlenecks. This may include a specific function or implementation of business logic.
  3. Discuss high-level solutions to expected problems. Technical experts will then provide high-level solutions to the expected problem points of the project. The software Agency will explain to the client why this or that architectural solution perfectly meets the requirements.
  4. Set priorities and discuss the scope of the project. At this stage, the parties to the initial stage of the project move on to setting priorities for tasks and forming the project content. This stage is important for web application developers. They work with product managers to efficiently allocate resources and prepare for the development process.
  5. Create a project roadmap. As a result, the software development company and the client’s team will create a roadmap for the project. This is a high-level graphical overview of goals and results presented on a timeline. This can help you organize the many different components that are involved in launching a new product. Project roadmaps are useful because they allow clients to track the overall picture among a variety of tactical initiatives.
  6. Estimate the time and cost of the project, then create project documentation. The final goal of every project launch stage is to create a list of materials for documentation. This should include an accurate technical specification, a roadmap with diagrams, and other estimates. The latter can also contain interactive prototypes and designs. It depends on how well the work is done.

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