What is The Project Discovery Phase And Why Does it Matter?

They say every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution. Yet many IT companies don’t seem to realize that. They launch their products without proper planning, and everything goes pear-shaped, from budget to deadlines. A study by McKinsey in collaboration with the University of Oxford reveals that 50% of large IT projects dramatically exceed their initial budget. On average, they run 45% over budget and 7% over time while delivering 56% less value than expected. So the question is, how do you avoid all that with your own project? Luckily, we have an answer. And the answer is the project discovery phase. Before you start the development process, you need to thoroughly analyze the market and discover the interests as well as the pain points of your target users. That will help you create a solution that addresses their needs and delivers value, which will eventually make it desirable. As a company that truly cares about our customers, we want to make sure that whatever ideas you have in mind turn into successful and profitable products. And we wrote this article to help you achieve that. In the following paragraphs, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the discovery phase of a project. You will find answers to the following questions: What does a discovery phase mean? Who is involved in conducting it? Why is this process crucial and what might happen if you neglect it? How does our team conduct the discovery phase? How much time and money you will have to invest in the discovery process? Without further ado, let’s get started. What is the project discovery phase? So what is a discovery phase in a project? In simple terms, the discovery phase (or the scoping phase) is the process of researching the market and gathering information about a specific project that is carried out before kicking off its development. The phase is focused on identifying your target audience as well as their pain points and needs. It will then help people involved in the project to: understand your project idea and get a clear vision of the final product; set up realistic business goals; receive business and technical requirements; get an accurate development budget estimate; meticulously plan the development process; prevent risks. Based on the collected data, your initial idea is then fine-tuned to create a product that addresses the expectations and needs of its target users. Thus, instead of guesswork, your project will be developed with real data in mind, which will dramatically increase the likelihood of its success. We hope you find this discovery phase definition clear. If so, let’s elaborate more on the topic and discuss who is involved in the process. Key members in the discovery phase The number of discovery team members involved in the process may vary depending on the complexity of a project. Usually, an IT project discovery phase requires the attention of at least four specialists: a project manager, a business analyst, a software architect, and a UX/UI designer. Project manager The main goal of a project manager is to bring a customer’s idea to life. Their responsibilities include ensuring flawless communication between the team and the client, establishing the team’s workflow, setting deadlines, monitoring progress, and so on. Business analyst A business analyst is responsible for the research process. Long story short, they analyze potential users and consider possible ways to satisfy their needs and eliminate their pain points with a real business solution. Software architect A software architect studies the initial technical requirements and suggests tools and methodologies that will be used in the development process. This person is responsible for creating the architecture and logic of the future software project. UI/UX designer A UI/UX designer creates a quality user-friendly design, allowing for a smooth user journey. To do so, they first conduct competitor research and find design practices that work best in a specific industry. The goal of a UI/UX designer is to make the final product as appealing as possible for the end users. Now that you know who is involved in the project discovery stage, let’s discuss why it is so critical for a software project of any size.
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