If you’re like most of our clients, you have a lot of great ideas. In an ideal world, you’d have unlimited time and money to bring them all to fruition, but that is rarely the case. That’s why we kick off each project at DevelopmentNow with the discovery process.
The purpose of the discovery process is to develop a blueprint of your project that will fit within your budget, scope, and business goals. Taking this approach allows us to validate your challenges, the best technical approach, prioritize opportunities, and provide you with a clear roadmap and proof of concept to move forward.
“Our goal with the discovery process is to help our clients solve real business problems quickly and cost effectively,” said Ben Strackany, DevelopmentNow CEO. “It may seem like jumping into development will get you from A to B faster, but that would be like building a house without the foundation. So, we invest the time to understand the big picture; what makes sense for the client, their business and their financial reality.”
Aligning Your Projects to Support Your Business Goals
What is the purpose of your project? How does it tie back to your business goals? How will you measure success? Asking these types of questions at the onset of a project allows us to validate the idea or challenge and help to uncover hidden opportunities to deliver a return on your investment.
For example, by going through the discovery process with one client, we helped them solve their business goal by adjusting internal processes rather than adding a “Band-Aid” tool that wouldn’t fix the core issues.
Defining Requirements & Identifying Potential Solutions
This is where you get to give us your wishlist of all the features you would like to see included in your project. Sky’s the limit at this stage! Knowing this information helps us advise you on what would be the most efficient or effective tech stack to use for your project.
We often recommend starting with the Minimum Viable Product, a product that has just enough features to satisfy your customers and provides feedback for future development. This allows us to get your project to market efficiently and cost-effectively and then improve upon it in future phases of development.
Refining the Scope to Optimize your Budget
Does your project have a hard deadline like a tradeshow or conference? Or do you need to roll out a new app by Q2? Knowing your timeline and budget at the beginning, our team can help you prioritize your wants and needs based on level of effort and overall value. Even if your budget is tight, we can incorporate a scalable, agile discovery process and clearly define the scope of your project. We will assess your project and set clear expectations about what we can do, what we can’t do, and what will be stretch goals within your timeframe and budget.
In one instance, we worked with a client that wanted Push notifications, but it would have taken up two sprints (phases of our Agile work process) worth of time, therefore, we prioritized features based on value and level of effort, and they were able to reallocate that money elsewhere.
“There are always more things to be built than there is time and money,” said Strackany. “We’ll help you craft the scope to best make use of budget and time you have to meet your goals and produce what’s most important for the end user.”
Providing a Proof of Concept
You wouldn’t expect a mechanic to evaluate your car through a drive through window, so why would you expect your digital agency to complete the discovery process without digging into the technology?
Whether you’re looking for a mobile app or interactive display, we are often able to jumpstart your project by building a proof of concept, whether through prototype, roadmap or wireframes. This leaves you with something tangible as we move forward with the project. Plus, it gives us a better idea of what existing technology you have in place and what technology will best support the project.
We also use this time to determine which of our experienced team members will be the best fit for your project based on your business goals and technical approach. From Full-stack Development to Augmented Reality, we’ve got you covered.
“We try to use a blend of both strategic design, as well as strategic technology recommendations, so we can help our clients build the right technology for the time, budget, values and goals for their business,” said Strackany.
By completing the discovery phase, we can steer our technical and strategic recommendations in the right direction and provide you with the most efficient path forward on your project. It also allows us to identify potential pitfalls or challenges early on and to set realistic expectations with our amazing clients. Not only will you have an accurate project plan that fits within your timeline and budget, you may even have a portion of the project prototyped!
Talk to our team to learn more about our discovery process and how it can save you time and money on your next project.