Have you ever heard the saying An intelligent plan is the first step to success? While Basil C. Walsh was referring to the general idea of planning in business, the truth is the only way to track our progress is to make a thorough plan to reach our goals.
You should think of a planning period as an investment in quality future cooperation. Because believe us, it will cost you much more if you skip this process. Make sure your development team understands you and invest proper time to plan out your project.
A business idea is just the beginning
Coming up with an amazing business idea or taking over an existing project may seem like the end of a road, but it's actually just the beginning.
Successfully delivering your product and launching it to the open market often requires a lot of dedicated work and many attempts through a trial and error system. However, that doesn’t mean this process will take years. With the Agile approach, results will come much sooner.
Although you may think that product discovery is only used for product development, that is not the case. It is also very useful in taking over an existing project from a client or partner because it helps us understand all of the details of the project we are taking over.
For example, you start developing your product or service imagining it's going to become an instant hit. But after months of hard work, you have more unanswered questions than when you started. What you need is a useful tool called product discovery workshop.
What is product discovery anyway?
No matter if it's an enormous project, a business idea, a new product or service, or a digital solution, at Devōt we firmly believe that in order to start your project right, you need to have well-conceived answers to some key questions, as well as mutual understanding between you and your development team.
And the best tool to gain both is a well-planned product discovery workshop. Don't think of it as a one-time thing, but more of a process to be started at the beginning of your cooperation.
Then, as your project advances, product discovery workshops should be repeated as needed. Again, the Agile approach is what makes this possible. The product changes in collaboration with the client, and every stage is a new opportunity for improvement.
The most important thing about the product discovery workshop is understanding its purpose. It’s not just about finding the right solution. Rather, its primary goal is to facilitate mutual understanding between the client and the development team and determine the exact project scope.
Therefore, if you want to start your project off right, conducting a discovery workshop is crucial because it will help you outline all potential challenges right from the start – which can save you from wasting a lot of time developing the wrong product. This concept goes hand in hand with the Agile business philosophy, as it nurtures values such as adaptability and willingness to learn from errors.
Does your development team understand you?
It all starts with the initial interaction. From the very first moment in your planning phase, there has to be a high level of understanding and shared vision for problem-solving and product development.
Conducting a properly planned product discovery workshop ensures that the project team is aligned with the client's vision. It also allows for the opportunity to continuously explore the project scope and route the process in the right direction.
What questions should your development team ask you?
These are the key questions a product discovery workshop should answer to successfully transform ideas and objectives into a focused product vision.
Here at Devōt, we start our workshops with thorough research and problem identification, as well as objectives and priorities clarification so we can shape the project around the common vision of the proposed solutions.
What do we ask our clients?
First things first: we need to know everything about the project. For example, we ask the following questions:
Who is the primary decision-maker?
What are the key performance indicators (KPIs)?
What is the scope of the project?
What is required for MVP (Minimum viable product)?
Is there an overall strategy?
What is the business model?
Are there any technological or commercial constraints?
What are the existing brand guidelines and style guidelines?
Don’t worry, we won’t catch you off-guard with all of these questions at once. We’ll be sure to send the agenda and potential questions in advance so all parties can prepare before the workshop.
Also, we ask for any existing documentation (user personas, user feeds, etc.), as well as thoughts on business opportunities, such as lead acquisition, sales, referrals, or showcase information.
The key question is: What exactly is the problem or need that we are looking to solve? The answer to this question determines the direction of the entire development, and without a concise answer, you shouldn't even start the project.
So, make sure your product discovery workshop starts with questions about the product:
What is the purpose of the product?
Do you have a way of differentiating yourself on the market?
Where do you see your product in the next five years?
When it comes to users or future users, you should be asking the following questions:
Who are the users (or potential users) of the product? What are their personas?
It would help if you imagined them with as many details as possible – so they could represent individuals that will be using your product. By doing that, we can identify whether the product will provide real value for users.
What is important to them, and why should they care about our product?
What are your user's weak points?
What drives you toward your users?
Do you make any assumptions about the users, and what would those be?
What factual information do you have about the users (or potential users)?
What kind of problems are your users usually having?
The product discovery workshop should consider every aspect of the market, so you should always ask some crucial questions about the competition, such as who your main competitors are, what your competitive advantage is over them, and your biggest concerns about the market and the competition?
What do you get out of the expected outputs of a product discovery workshop?
After conducting the product discovery workshop, you should have a clear vision of what your product should be, the direction you’re heading, and what is your ground for product development.
The workshop may find that the product is not useful or feasible – which allows you to change the course of your investment or make any necessary changes in the development process.
The outputs you should expect from the product discovery workshop are:
Definition of your business goal
Definition of your MVP
Development plan for your product
Identification of end-users and user personas (a precise description of your target users and their perspectives)
The definition of stakeholders' expectations
Financial estimate for the development (initial evaluation of your product’s implementation costs)
Estimated project timeline
Who is involved in the product discovery?
The product discovery team should consist of both sides – the development side and the client's side. When it comes to Devōt, we will assemble a team that fits your project’s current and future needs – it will consist of the following roles:
On the other hand, when it comes to the client side, we suggest assembling a corresponding team representing their business, users, marketing, and technology perspectives.
Need help with shaping your product or finding a way to make it market-ready? Contact us and let’s start a project together!
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