The Key Points about the Discovery Phase in the Software Development

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It is impossible to ignore the discovery phase when speaking of software development, this article is going to be devoted to this topic and all peculiarities linked to it.

Discussing the Essential Points about the Discovery Phase

The discovery phase is the first step of software development. However, its importance should not be underestimated. These are the matters that are dealt with during this phase:

  • Acquaintance with the end-user;
  • Determination of the goals and expectations linked to the future project;
  • Identity risks;
  • Outlining the project vision.

The discovery phase has to be connected with collecting as much info as possible as long as it is going to influence the future success of the project and the software that will be developed in the end.

Let’s see what the key steps of the discovery phase are (ideally, this is the way everything should look. Certainly, there may be some changes depending on what company you decide to work with):

  • Getting to know a client better (he is a business owner in this case). This can be done in various forms. For instance, the developers and a person ordering the development services can arrange a real-time meeting with presentations and brainstorming involved in it;
  • The discussion that has to deal with identifying what the existing processes are all about and what the future project will be able to change and improve speaking of the particular business’s efficiency. It is significant to realize what the client wants to achieve at this step;
  • Getting to learn what the target audience is going to be;
  • Proceeding with the market research and learning how serious today’s competitors are;
  • Coming up with the most effective solutions that will be able to eliminate the current business issues;
  • Identifying how much work is going to be done;
  • Setting the deadlines and top tasks;
  • Signing a contract with the conditions of the future work that has to be performed.

What if you do not see any of these components in the discovery phase you are facing? Just suggest speaking about the point you are interested in, and you will be fine! Devote time to what worries you the most.

Who Has to Be Involved in the Discovery Phase?

Well, there should be a few specialists who will take part in the discussion. Here they are:

  • UX designer. This is a person responsible for making the design of the prototype as attractive as possible. What is more, it is recommended to make it user-friendly too;
  • The delivery manager. He is in charge of how all the work will be done. And, he has to delegate all the tasks to the team members too. It is hard to imagine a successful discovery phase without him;
  • Business analyst. This expert collects data from the business owner and gets acquainted with the basic requirements he has. Business goals and expectations have to be clearly identified and taken into consideration. This is what this expert is usually involved in;
  • Solution architect. He is responsible for analyzing the product performance, maintenance, and other global aspects.

As you see, there are several people who participate in the discovery phase. Naturally, there may be fewer or more of them depending on the company you plan to collaborate with.

When Do a Business Owner and the Team Need a Discovery Phase?

There are some cases when successful project implementation is nearly impossible without the discovery phase. They are listed below.

First of all, it becomes especially relevant when there is a great risk of contradictions that can occur between the person ordering these services and the developers. After the discovery phase, a lot of aspects are going to be clarified which is certainly an advantage. What is more, the generation of new ideas may take place and this is nice too.

Besides, it is especially relevant in the case of long-term projects. When the developers are working on them, they are likely to start missing out on some details. And, the risk to face such issues is going to be significantly smaller in case the discovery phase was presented before this.

Also, the discovery phase might be necessary when the idea to work with is not really identified. In this case, it is going to be relevant to initiate the discovery phase. It will help to find the points to lean on and possibly, acquire some fresh ideas.

Finally, when the project is too complex, the discovery phase is a step that cannot be ignored. This gets really important as long as there are a lot of aspects to keep in mind at the same time.

So, as you can see, the number of cases is relevant. And sure, your situation may also require including the discovery phase in the project.

Do all the Companies Offer Discovery Phase to the Clients?

No, not each development company is about to suggest this. And here are a few reasons why it might happen this way:

  • The company’s representatives do not think it is necessary;
  • The experts working in the company do not have enough experience in working with the discovery phase;
  • The company’s employees think that they are going to be fine without such a step.

What should you do if you are a business owner and you think that you need a discovery phase? You have two variants to stick to. The first solution to the matter is finding the company the experts of which are used to working with this stage. The second one is this: ask the company you are interested in working with to provide you with such a stage. Well, it might not be as thorough as the one you would have received while dealing with another development firm but it is better than nothing anyway.

So, now you are well aware of such a term as the discovery phase and know how and when it has to be initiated. Hope you will use this info wisely!

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