As practice shows, tailor-made digital solutions are able to deliver effective instruments for business growth. The process of building your own software allows you to come up with an online product capable of meeting your specific business requirements. However, the fact is that there’s one truly vital phase of software development that gets skipped in the majority of cases. We’re talking about the Discovery stage.
There exist multiple studies, proving that as a rule, IT startups tend to exceed their originally calculated budgets by almost 50%. Those extra costs, if not planned properly, can cause severe consequences for any type of business. In this case, the software development discovery phase shall come to the rescue. And, before we speak about its benefits and results, we shall examine the following case.
What happens if you choose not to carry out Discovery activities
Actually, the Discovery stage represents a kind of a test track to try out initial ideas and concepts prior to investing in the development. The activities that shall be conducted as part of the Discovery phase serve for you to come up with feasible expectations, taking into account your financial and time capacity.
What might happen if you decide to skip that stage? Here are a few consequences:
- You’ll have to deal with a pretty high degree of vagueness since you will miss critical detailed data.
- Your team will most likely struggle to figure out the complete scope of work to be done. As a result, they might face misunderstandings, leading to losses of time and resources.
- You will probably end up with enforced configurations and tailoring throughout the launched startup workflow.
- The solution you get at the end might fail to meet originally set expectations, and might not conform to the standards. When skipping the thorough discussion at the very beginning, the most essential functionality could be simply missed or removed from the finished solution.
Benefits Discovery activities deliver
Essentially, discovery implies lots of operations and close communication between everyone involved. However, this is the most effective approach to establish an efficacious plan to succeed. When having multiple diverse pieces and components, the vital point here is to set expectations in advance before you get down to the development stages. Among other discovery benefits, one would distinguish the below-mentioned aspects:
- opportunity to get a clear and complete vision of your ultimate goal;
- possibility to correctly calculate the exact budget required for product launch;
- a chance to optimize the costs required for the project development;
- tools to mitigate the risks and tackle possible problems and other issues in advance;
- opportunity to allow effective communication between the client and the team taking care of the Discovery phase;
- a chance to set professional and successful relationships during the whole project implementation.
What you obtain as a result of Discovery activities
As soon as you finalize the discovery stage, you’ll get a complete and clear understanding of what the final solution shall look like. Moreover, you’ll manage to figure out what you can expect from it. In addition to that, you’ll get a chance to enjoy other deliverables Discovery activities offer, namely:
- UI/UX creation. The Discovery phase shall provide you with input on the overall platform design, as well as the user experience.
- Receiving feedback regarding the design. You are to demonstrate the design of your digital resource and test it. When you share it with your potential target audience, you’ll get users’ vital feedback, which you could use to adjust certain aspects, if needed.
- Technical documentation. Software requirements specification serves as a tool to establish key expectations and benchmarks, making sure those who are concerned are well-informed.
- Architecture. Here we are talking about the deployment diagram, as well as about the component one. The Discovery stage will help you come up with a well-thought-through design together with the project implementation process. They could be interpreted and transformed without any problems to be clear for staff members and clients.
- Tech stack. You’ll get valuable data on tech stack, say, software, desired systems, coding languages, and more instruments that are required in the process of development.
- Structure of the hired team. The team shall be assembled and completed in advance, so all tasks could be easily assigned to responsible staff members and coordinated immediately.
- Estimated calculations. You’ll be able to easily calculate the costs required for each operation. Thus, you’ll manage to keep control of the situation and understand where you stand regarding the original budget.
How much time Discovery activities require
Honestly speaking, the duration of the Discovery period significantly depends on the complexity of a given project, meaning its scope. In general, the timeframe starts from one week to the whole month. In case the project is rather advanced and intricate, Discovery activities might last up to 6-8 weeks. However, you shall not be afraid of spending that much time on Discovery since it’s not a waste at all. The time invested in those activities will actually save weeks and even months when it comes to software development and launch.
As you can see now, Discovery represents a truly vital aspect of any process of digital solution development. Taking into account all critical details and nuances that characterize every IT project, the process of investing time into Discovery activities turns out to be pretty wise and forward-looking. The given stage allows you clearly set your expectations and priorities prior to software designing and launching. In the long-term perspective, the Discovery phase is for future product owners to save time and money since the process makes it possible to determine issues and specify critical details at the very early stages of development.
Still, implementing Discovery procedures might be pretty challenging, thus, it’ll require hiring professional specialists with corresponding expertise. When choosing your Discovery stage team, make sure you take a close look at the skills of developers that agency offers. A reliable development company shall have years of experience, allowing the team to successfully implement IT projects of any complexity levels. You shall be pretty careful while looking for some assistance or a partner to professionally realize your solution.