Why do you need a discovery phase for your project?

by Josh Biggs in Business on 12th November 2020

To accurately assess the project, you need to know the boundaries of the system and understand how long it will take to identify requirements, analyze, and draft the terms of reference.

If you pay little attention to the assessment, you can greatly miss the final cost of work. If you immediately conduct detailed analytics — you will have to pay for the work of specialists who will be involved.

This means that the customer is first asked to pay for the analytics stage. Then, most likely, to pay more — few people like to work in the negative, and those who know how to determine the cost immediately and even less.

Then, after the analytics stage, they are told about the cost of developing the entire project. And then according to the well-known scenario: denial → anger → bargaining → depression → acceptance. You can know more by visiting this website. Someone accepts the situation and looks for a budget, and someone decided that it is better to invest in tire repair. If you are interested in this service you can revise the information about this company.

Who is participating

Roles: project manager, analyst, designer, technical specialist, and, of course, the customer.

And the more actively the customer is involved, the better it turns out to model the system. Daily calls at this stage are more of a requirement than a recommendation.

The analyst is responsible for identifying, analyzing, and fixing requirements, designing system logic, and building relationships, translation of business goals into functional and non-functional requirements.

Designers do UX and UI.

Project Manager is the main person responsible for the project. He organizes teamwork, communication with the client and weekly reporting, resource booking, and delivery of artifacts to the client on time and with proper quality.

Technical specialist-developer analyzes the artifacts of the discovery phase to make sure that the designed business logic is technically feasible, and offers the optimal architectural solution.

What is the next?

Go from global business goals and objectives to specific user actions in the system as discovery is step-by-step work. After each stage, provide a separate artifact with fixed requirements.

Artifacts are divided into mandatory and optional, and the final set depends on the customer’s goals. Roughly speaking, to present an idea to stakeholders, you will make a presentation or design concept, but if the design is on the client’s side, you exclude these works.

The first artifact is the Mind Map, which describes the overall scope of identified business goals and objectives. The final stage is a development assessment with a detailed breakdown into functions, taking into account approved non-functional requirements, and an hourly assessment of the required labor costs.

There is more about artifacts of the discovery below.

Mind Map

  • Main goal: fix roles, modules, and integrations.
  • Participants: analyst and customer.

Visualizing requirements in a relationship diagram helps you understand the scope of the project, the number of roles and modules, and determine the boundaries of the future project.

It makes it easier to see immediately invisible tasks, build relationships, track contradictions, and duplicate requirements.

User story

  • Primary goal: to determine what problem is solved by each feature. If there is no task for the feature, it is most likely that the feature is not needed.
  • Participants: analyst and customer.

More often, you will get a general vision of the system, a description of business goals, and a list of “wish list” from your customers. The task of the discovery phase team is to “translate” the information received into a step-by-step path through the business case for each role in the system.

User stories are the first tool to transform business requirements into functional ones.

The text of the user story explains the user’s role, actions in the system, their needs, and the profit they will receive when the story happens.

For example: As a < role/person>, I <can do>, <for such a purpose>.


Design concept

  • Main goal: to align the main style of the system.
  • Participants: analyst, designer, and customer.

Design concept is a conceptual development of the app’s appearance, consisting of one or two main screens. This is the fundamental idea that gives design meaning and direction.


  • Main goal: to show the main content groups, information structure, and how the user interacts with the interface.
  • Participants: designer, analyst, the customer. The process is moderated by the Project Manager and reviewed by a technical specialist.

Wireframe provides a preliminary understanding of future UI and UX infrastructure. And since it usually displays a key business case, it makes it clear which screens should be included in the interactive prototype.

Clickable prototype

  • Main goal: to test the ways of interaction and simulate the user experience.
  • Participants: analyst, designer, and client. It is controlled by the Project Manager and passes a round of feedback from the customer.

It is done to: help the customer demonstrate the idea to stakeholders; get feedback from end-users or focus groups; and test the real user experience before starting development.

Not to be confused with Wireframe. This prototype may not look exactly like the final product, but it’s definitely not a sketch. The interactions are carefully modeled and as similar as possible to what will be in the final product.

Categories: Business