How a Good Discovery Phase is Essential to Making Great Software

Visualising your project and understanding what you need to achieve is a key stepping stone before venturing into full development.

That’s why we have developed our in-depth discovery phase, designed to provide you with clarity for your project. Our discovery phase consists of a series of collaborative sessions, uncovering all of the needs of your business and  contributing to high-quality, bespoke software.

 

Event Storming

Event storming is a key step within the discovery phase, where we gain more of an in-depth understanding about your project. We use an online collaboration tool called ‘Miro’ for our event storming, a platform that can be accessed by everyone, anytime. Allowing us to refer back to it at any point during development, this is a great way of ensuring we work in line with the practices set out in the Domain Driven Design (DDD) philosophy.

The DDD philosophy is where we (the developers) work closely with you (domain experts – as in experts in your domain or field), to establish common languages and visual models. That explains the events and outcomes, within the day-to-day business processes that the software will support.

This step within our discovery phase is essential to making great software, using it to confirm assumptions, test understanding and expose detail. Permitting the design of a solid conceptual model, facilitating the opportunity for a sound software implementation to be built.

 

User Stories

The user stories are an excellent opportunity to create real life examples of how the implemented solution can help the user journey. Helping you understand the software’s applications in layman’s terms can also lead to more descriptive, beneficial feedback resulting in a product that is better-suited to your needs.

We pull information from our event storming, finding out about the people who will use the system, what they will be able to do, and the results of those actions to write up short User Stories. This supplies us with a non-technical, concise way to describe the basic functions of the discrete parts of the system.

The benefit of having a non-technical way of describing this is unparalleled, making it easy to ensure information gained through the event storming phase is correct and in line with the consumer’s needs. This also helps our clients uncover areas within their process that could be refined or improved upon.

 

Roadmap

In the next stage of our discovery phase, we create a development roadmap pulling information from our user stories, tasks and effort estimations. This gives you a reasonable indication of the order in which parts of the project are anticipated to be delivered.

Not only does this provide a great level of transparency between us, it also lets us chunk the project into easy-to-understand stages, and in some cases launch with a smaller-scale product with the core functionality needed by the client, while showing timeframes of additional features to be added in future releases.

This has proved to be extremely beneficial, especially as some projects are delivered in phases over multiple months/years. An accommodating strategy at this stage, allows for more flexibility when it comes to the order of tasks, with it being common for clients to have preferences for certain tasks to be actioned first.

 

Wireframes

Wireframes are where we can get all of our findings from our discovery phase onto a screen and give the team something tangible to point at, question and discuss.

Wireframes could be a simplistic representation of a screen layout, or more advanced designs that capture the look as well as the function, eventually leading to an interactive prototype that allows you to trial and assess the software.

This stage helps build confidence across the team, demonstrating a clear understanding of users’ needs. It also provides a great opportunity to polish up any aspects before programming starts, now having it on screen for everyone to see clearly.

Wireframes are also a great asset for showing a ‘proof of concept’, which can help you get internal buy-in or to seek funding opportunities. Kensa Health came to Buzz with the idea of an online platform aimed at women taking control of their health. Through the wireframe stage in our discovery phase, we created an interactive wireframe allowing us to develop a project proposal that turned ideas into funding.

Beluga Pods are another example of how an efficient discovery phase can assist you acquire funding. Thanks to their Buzz Discovery Phase, Georgie from Beluga Pods was able to flesh out her idea and walk away with a pack of materials ready to support her bids for funding. From Miro board planning and Event Storming sessions, to the creation of ‘click-through’ wireframes for the app, a cost estimate and more, Georgie was able to gain everything she needed to take Beluga Pods to the next level.

 

The Outcome

Once the discovery phase is completed, we’ll have drafted a detailed concept that’s ready to move into development.

With a well-structured and thorough discovery phase, you come away with a robust strategy and proof of concept for your project, as well as peace of mind that your  aims are fully-understood and ready to be achieved. As your developers, we come away with everything we need to make it happen.

 

Ensure Great Software Solutions with Our Discovery Phase

An in-depth discovery phase is essential to creating great software solutions that are bespoke to your needs and goals. Using our stages of discovery to understand the ins and outs of your needs and how best to achieve them, the result is a clear, concise roadmap to create a product you will be over the moon with.

The amount of time and work we spend at each stage is completely flexible and usually determined by the size and complexity of the project. As you can tell, our discovery phase is not the traditional half an hour discovery call:  it’s a fully-fledged process, committed to learning what your business needs.

Generally, we find our discovery phase requires from as little as 3 days, with a costing provided in advance for approval.

If you want to utilise our discovery phase and ensure a bespoke software solution for your business, book your consultation today.

team meeting