Software Development UkraineSoftware Development Outsourcing Provider in Ukraine

PRODUCT DISCOVERY STAGE

The first stage of every successful software development project

Succesful project essentials

Onix can help you with all its elements: business analysis, requirements gathering, building a prototype, testing the market viability and usability, working out the product architecture, choosing technologies, cost estimation, and project planning.

All of this is essential for completing your project on time, on budget and establishing the basis for success on the market.

THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A PROPER DISCOVERY PHASE IN A PROJECT

  • Thorough understanding of the product concept, intended market, and target audience
  • Clear goals, project scope, limitations, and defined direction of the development process shared by the entire team and stakeholders
  • Solutions, architecture, and user experience tailored to unique business objectives
  • Step-by-step project plan and other prerequisites for smooth, cost-effective, and timely product development
  • Understanding of potential roadblocks and risks and preparedness to tackle them
  • Increased confidence in the product idea, project team, development process, and successful outcome
  • The ability to avoid, reduce, and mitigate risks that can be fatal for startups
  • Optimized resource management
  • Reduced development costs and the overall project budget
  • Increased credibility with investors and possibilities for extra funding
  • Netting a high return on your investment in a final product that better fits the market

When Discovery is Crucial

A project discovery phase is needed when:

build
You build new software for the first time
rebuild
You rebuild an existing system
complex
You build complex and innovative software
requirements
The project’s requirements are vague or evolving
proof
The project requires Proof of Concept
budget
The project’s budget is limited

HOW ONIX CONDUCTS PROJECT DISCOVERY

Depending on the project’s complexity and scope, the discovery phase can last from one to several weeks. Besides the account manager, project manager, solution architect, UX designer, and web or mobile developers, it may require the participation of AI, AR/VR, blockchain, and other tech leads. Together, they collect all the necessary information to produce the deliverables essential to subsequent software development stages.

The product discovery stage services are billed according to the time & material pricing model.

Week 1

We start by eliciting high-level requirements with the customer’s product manager or even top managers and defining other stakeholders: product owners, administrators, end-users, developers, investors, or other categories. It takes at least one discovery session, but typically several meetings are held to ensure everyone’s needs would be met.

If the product is not built from scratch, we clarify the reasons for changing the existing solution and analyze customer feedback, content, technology stack, and feature set.

Onix’s experts review the customers’ internal documents, existing market surveys, user interviews, etc., and conduct their own research.

They create user journeys and study the target audience’s demographics and buying habits, the niche for the product, the existing alternatives’ strengths and weaknesses, unique selling propositions, and industry-specific information, as well as the customer’s marketing and branding strategies.

Week 2 (and possibly 3)

The business objectives and system requirements collected during Week 1 are validated, and the main user stories and features are approved. Then, the UX designer creates user screen flows and proceeds to build a prototype of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with the essential modules and features.

Simultaneously, the solution architect and technology experts define the most suitable architecture for the product, choose the optimal technology stack, and define the level of automation and CI/CD pipeline – the combined practices of continuous integration and continuous delivery. The experts need to prove there are no technical limits to your goals or tell you what those limits are so you can revise your product roadmap.

Using the prototype, the team validates all assumptions and hypotheses from the business analysis, user experience, and IT architecture perspectives. They shape the solution’s final scope, develop a project roadmap, and estimate the project timeline and budget needed to implement the idea into an MVP or a full-fledged product.

Throughout the process, we make sure every team member is 100% on the same page with the customer, shares the final product vision, and intends to realize this idea in the fastest and most efficient way.

Throughout the process, we make sure every team member is 100% on the same page with the customer, shares the final product vision, and intends to realize this idea in the fastest and most efficient way.

THE PRIMARY DELIVERABLES OF THE DISCOVERY PHASE

Software requirements specification (SRS)

Written by and for developers, this actionable list includes business and technical requirements, specifically:

  • A detailed description of the software system’s functions, often divided into the primary and additional features to implement later.
  • The usability, performance, and maintenance requirements explaining the measurable deliverables and how the system should perform the functional requirements.
  • Wireframes of the software, website, or mobile app screens that outline the user interface design, specify navigation logic, and determine how screens will be linked to each other, accounting for user journeys.
  • Suggested technology stack and IT architecture overview.

UX Prototype

A clickable prototype demonstrates how the product will work and look. Without developers writing a single line of code, you can receive a high-fidelity representation of its digital interface and critical features.

With realistic interactive HTML/CSS prototypes, it becomes easy to test future products’ usability and viability with real end-users, gather user feedback early on, and make the necessary changes at the minimum cost. A prototype coupled with an SRS facilitates the subsequent work of the software engineers, helps save on project management, and dramatically improves the accuracy of the software cost estimates.

Even if you choose another software development company, these discovery stage deliverables will be enough to kick off further product development stages immediately.

Project Plan

This document defines the scope of work, the key milestones in the MVP development and their deliverables, the development timeline and deadlines, and the efforts to achieve strategic business goals. It can include a suggested team lineup and list the resources you need for project delivery.

Detailed cost estimate

Once all requirements for each stage of the product’s design, development, and launch have become clear, we can present a detailed and accurate product development cost breakdown. Typically, we base the calculation on the time estimate per feature implementation or process (e.g., quality assurance) and the corresponding professionals’ hourly rates.

Sometimes, customers are reluctant to disclose their budget limitations, but knowing the available budget, Onix’s experts can help prioritize the features that are feasible for that funding and suggest more cost-effective options.

These results of the discovery phase of project development are sufficient for proceeding to the implementation phase. Moreover, trust, loyalty, and a common vision are built in the process. Customers can evaluate the team’s expertise, industry knowledge, communication, and the level of motivation and customer service.

This workflow’s effectiveness has been proven by dozens of successful full_cycle development projects where we met both the estimated costs and delivery deadline and achieved excellent customer satisfaction.

Onix is here to develop successful software solutions and support them. Our experts know the value of a proper discovery phase in a project, know how to do it well, employ various methods of discovery, and strive for our customers’ success just like our own.

Are you looking for technical expertise or professional advice on your future product’s viability? Doubting whether your budget will suffice? Wondering how to validate a software/app idea without building the product? Whatever your needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Onix.

Request a free consultation right now and get up to 4 free hours with Onix’s experts!

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Office phone:+1 (617) 430-5133