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Project Discovery Phase: A Basic Step to Build the Next Big Thing

SpdLoad prepared in-depth guide on discovery phase of a software project to build an MVP in a proper way

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10 min read

The 21st century is a digital book, and it is also the era that has seen a lot of technological advancements. These technological advancements have given birth to a lot of businesses worldwide of all sorts.

Now, building a business is not a cakewalk; there are a plethora of factors to consider in it. No matter how much-advanced technology you have, if you don’t know how to use it, it is of no use. Similarly, building a business also requires upfront planning and execution.

The Discovery phase is that part of the business development strategy that plays a pillar role in its success. It is estimated that around 9 out of 10 businesses fail. There are many reasons for this, like:

  • Lack of resources
  • Wrong or inexperienced team members
  • High competition
  • Lack of an analyzed plan

And many others! All these factors form a part of the project discovery phase. Especially if you are building software, it is crucial for you to undertake the discovery phase carefully.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • What is Discovery Phase and does it matter in software development?
  • What are the benefits of properly done discovery?
  • Why do you need to conduct researches before start development stage?
  • How to find a reliable partner to build a valuable product?

Let’s roll in!

What is the Discovery phase?

Among the various stages of software or app development, the agile discovery phase is the foundational stage; why? Well, there are many crucial decisions that need to be a part of it if you are thinking of developing and releasing the software.

The discovery phase is the initial scoping stage of the software development process. The motive of this stage is the overall upfront analysis of the process. For this, you need to assemble all the important people that will be part of the project. Moreover, it will involve the following aspects:

Aspect Description
Market Analysis As per CB insights, 101 small businesses closed, and 42% of them were due to the fact that there was no market for their products.

These stats prove that market research is an important part of the discovery phase of a software project. It has to be carefully carried out to know if the users actually need your product or not.

Competitor Analysis Along with the market, it is equally necessary to find out about your competitors. Statistics suggest that 19% of businesses fail due to high competition.

Hence, competitor research essential to understanding what type of products your competitors have developed and how they are performing. It is also a crucial part of the project discovery phase.

Learn about your target audience If you are making new software, it is really crucial to know if it is the need of the audience. For knowing the viability of the app or software, you can develop an MVP and find out if it has the potential for the market.
Identify business goal Another crucial aspect of the discovery phase of a software project is setting a business goal.

As long as you are not focussed on what you need, you will not succeed in your venture. As per a CB insights study, 13% of the businesses fail just because they lose focus.

So, focus on the agile discovery phase well.

Cost analysis There is not a single thing you can do if you don’t have enough money to run your business.

As per CBInsights, 29% of the businesses fall because they run out of cash. And the discovery phase is the part where you need to analyze this aspect to plan your further process of development.

All of these are the basic aspects of the agile discovery phase that you need your utmost attention. Now, let us move on to the next section. It will explore the reasons to focus on the discovery phase of the project.

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Why Do Entrepreneurs Need to Consider the Agile Discovery Phase?

If you have an app or software idea, it is essential for you to analyze it from all angles to make it successful in the market. The overall analysis of the idea includes various factors, out of which some are explained above.

Now, the immediate question that might have hit your mind is, what is the need for discovery? Right! Here in this section, we will focus on the necessities of project discovery. Let’s begin!

Name Description Example
To build market-driven products Why would you develop an app? To sell it in the market right! So, considering the market before making the app should be your number one priority.

Now, building market-driven products is extremely crucial. There are many points that describe its importance like:

  • It helps you cover the maximum scope of the audience as it is their need.
  • To prevent cost deficiency, it is essential to deliver market-driven products.
Now, you may incur some challenges while making market-driven products. For example,

  • The idea might be too complicated: The process of development may make your idea too complicated because of factors like a saturated market, and competitors. Hence, the phase of project discovery is important for entrepreneurs.
  • Lack of clarity of the final product: To make a market-driven product, you need to have a clear view of the final product in your mind; the initial phase of discovery allows you to do that.
Detailed Project Documentation The best way to think is to think on paper or e-paper. The point is that if you are building software, it is important to have documentation of it.

For example, an SRS (software requirements specification) is a document that has all the necessary details of the project like product features, information about the development process and people involved, etc.

It helps you keep the development process aligned and team members aware of their job.

This phase of the discovery of a software project saves both money and time.

To know the importance of Detailed Project Documentation in the discovery phase, here is an example of documentation made by Spdload.
To get prototypes Prototypes are a must to test an idea and the only way to know if it can be actually built.

They are also an indispensable part of a software project discovery phase.

Moreover, a prototype model helps the team in understanding the project better, and you can also focus on improving user experience beforehand.

Here is a classic example of prototypes developed by Spdload.
Test vendor quality of service Well, everyone wants to get more by investing less, right! But if you will not focus on your customer’s need and feedback, you may end up saving nothing from your business.

Let your customers tell you about your app or software issues and quality. This will help you make your app better in the future.

Moreover, planning this step in the discovery phase will help you save money as well as time.

To make your software better, it is essential to analyze the market carefully, and Spdload takes crucial care of the business analysis part in the project discovery phase to build market-driven products.

As a part of quality Customer Experience we offer a free project cost calculator.

The reasons to start a product development with agile discovery phase

What Are the Benefits of the Discovery Phase of a Software Project?

If you undertake the agile discovery phase of the project in the required way, you will succeed with flying colors in your business and witness various benefits in the end. Here are some of them:

Benefit of the agile discovery phase Description
Overall cost Reduction The very important benefit that you will get from the discovery phase of a software project is a reduction in the overall cost.

Stats suggest that 18% of firms fail due to pricing issues, and the project discovery phase can help you prevent that.

Proper documentation, along with a well-coordinated team, will help in saving a lot of capital from your app development process. Consequently, you will outshine in the market.

Risk management Risks are always there when you do something new. Most firms do not analyze the risks that may come in the process beforehand.

Due to this, they face issues like missed deadlines and low-cost savings. But, with an agile discovery phase, you can save a lot of money, visualize your target clearly and also prevent missing deadlines.

Idea validation No matter what idea you have, the discovery phase of the software project will help you validate your idea.

This will also help you in understanding if the audience out there needs your app or software.

Develop a professional and reliable team As per CBInsights, 23% of businesses do not succeed because they don’t have a good team.

The discovery phase of the project helps you find out what type of people are required to manage the whole process.

Hence, you can hire them beforehand for a well-coordinated development process ahead.

A clear goal in the mind One of the pros that you will get from the discovery phase of the development process is that you will have a clear idea about the final product.

It will help you streamline the whole process.

The Workflow with SpdLoad

Spdload is a development firm that deals with the building of mobile as well as web apps and software. Their professional team members have awesome coordination among them and also follow a seamless workflow.

Talking about the workflow, you will need a great one to carry out the whole development process. First off, let’s us see what team members you will need for the project discovery phase.

Team Required for the Discovery Phase Process

Here are the crucial team members that would easily manage the entire discovery phase of your software project.

  • Project Manager
  • Solution Architect
  • Business Analyst
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Marketer
  • Account Manager
The team required to conduct a stage of discovery for a project rapidly and quality

Steps of Discovery Phase

SpdLoad works in a systematic way that includes the following steps:

1.Interview with the Founder

The conversation has the power to solve every problem. Hence, our first step includes interviewing the founder or the owner of the idea. The major motive of the interview is to get an insight into how they got the idea and what is so special or different about their idea. This way, it is easy to understand the intention of the person.

Post getting all the necessary information, we ask the founder for beginning our discovery phase.

2. Discovery Workshops

This step of the workflow deals with the concept of customer development. Now, what is customer development?

It is a part of the agile discovery phase that includes making sure that the product you are making has an actual market and thus validating the product.

This is important as it helps in reducing risks, improving your product, and also managing your cost.

Customer discovery happens in the four steps described below:

  1. Generate a hypothesis from the ideas you have and present it to the customer to gather insight into the target audience, monetization model, etc.
  2. Verify the hypothesis and build a business model.
  3. Produce and launch the product to increase your customer base.
  4. Turn your startup into a full-fledged firm.

3. Customer Analysis

This part of our workflow includes the overall analysis of the customer. As your product will be targeted to customers only, it is essential to check if they even need it or not. Here are some of the aspects that are must to check w.r.t, a customer before making the product:

  1. Customer profile
  2. Demographics
  3. Buying process
  4. Problems and pain points
  5. External factors
  6. Follow the customer

We closely study the factors that make the customer buy the product, their pain points, and all. It helps in building a better product through the discovery phase of the project.

4. Market Analysis

This step of the discovery phase of a software project deals with the overall analysis of the market. It includes various factors like:

  1. Market size: Check if the market size of the product is high. The market should grow in the next 5-10 years.
  2. Competitors: We keep a close check on the number of competitors you have in the market. Also, check what types of apps or software they have. This will help you develop a unique product.
  3. Trend and location: Along with market size, we also check what are the latest trends of apps or software in the market. Trendy apps get more attention from users. Also, check the location of the startups.
  4. Business Analysis: We do thorough business research to know about the challenges that might come your way in the business. Some of the popular techniques for business analysis are SWOT, MOST, Business Process Modelling, PESTLE, and more.

5. Competitor Analysis

The last step of our process is competitor analysis, and it is essential to perform in the discovery phase. There are many attributes that can lead you ahead of them or behind them. You just need to study them carefully to ensure that you are always ahead of them. Here are those factors:

  1. Location of the competitor
  2. The business model they flow
  3. Monetization model of the rival
  4. The pricing offered by the competitors
  5. Features and aspects of their product

In short, these are the factors that will decide how better you are than your competitors. Hence, we focus well on these!

6. Creation of SRS

SRS stands for software requirements specifications, and it contains all the necessary information about the product like features of the product, prototype model, MVP model, etc.

In the project discovery phase, we maintain a document that has all the necessary information that is required to keep the project in line with the team. Moreover, it includes graphics that help in explaining the project well to the team.

7. Prototyping

The initial release of the product to test the features of it is known as prototyping. It is used to know if your product has potential in the market or not.

8. Project Blueprint

Lastly, in the discovery phase of a software project is project blueprints. It is essential to have a project blueprint for making sure that all of the processes are being taken care of in the allotted time. It also specifies various other aspects like:

  1. Timeline of the development process
  2. Technical details
  3. Cost estimation
  4. Milestones
  5. Deadlines

Discovery Phase as a Service

Find out what we offer at a fixed price: competitor and market analysis, idea validation, prototypes, specifications.

Take a Look

Discovery as a Service

Get project roadmap, list of core features, and detailed estimation of your own app

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Posted by

Max Babych

Max Babych

I am CEO of SpdLoad

I launched SpdLoad almost 7 years ago and now it has 20+ successful products in SaaS and Marketplace industry and several own products. I am an expert in Marketing, Lean Methodology and Customer Development approach.

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