Before we ask any of our clients to commit to a project, we do a discovery phase, but what does that actually mean?
16 April 2024 by
Doubly Good, Leigh Garland
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Setting a goal for discovery

The purpose of this is to ensure that we have a clear picture of the problem to be solved.

This means learning about:

  • What your users are trying to achieve
  • Any constraints on the service to be built
  • Understanding the needs of the business
  • Opportunities to improve things

The goal of the discovery phase, is to quantify the value of solving the problem. This enables you to make an informed decision whether you want to proceed.

The needs of your users

We start by learning about the intended users of the service. This means understanding what they’re trying to achieve and how they go about doing it.

This often leads to understanding how their work might be part of a bigger process, and where any new service might begin and end.

Learning about your users abilities and constraints means we can design a service that’s appropriate for them. 

Understand constraints

We’re an imaginative team, and can often think of many potential solutions to a given problem. This is why it’s really important to understand any constraints on a new service, such as:

  • Legislation
  • Existing contracts or business arrangements
  • Time expectations
  • Existing processes and systems

This keeps potential solutions grounded in reality, and helps you identify areas to challenge.

Identifying improvements and opportunities

We have found on past projects, that understanding the complete user journey throws up areas for improvement in the wider business, and opportunities for new services.

Sometimes this might even mean that the problem can be solved in a completely different way than expected.

Of course, there may even be opportunities to turn the service into a saleable product in it’s own right.

How long will discovery take?

In our experience, we’ve found that it typically takes 4-8 weeks to do a discovery process, depending on the project.

Typical activities would include:

  • User and stakeholder interviews and workshops to understand needs
  • High-level mapping of technical architecture and business processes
  • Defining the key objectives of the next phase of work.

How do we know when discovery is complete?

If you’re confident to make the decision about whether to proceed with the build of the service, then the discovery is complete.

You need to feel comfortable that you have the answers to the following questions:

  • Is there service that could be built, that would make it easier for users to do the things they do?
  • Does the value of creating the service outweigh the cost?

We aim to give you the best possible information to help you make this decision.

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What next? How we support your next steps

Should you decide to move on to the next phase of delivering a new service, Doubly Good can help you in a number of ways.

  • Leaning on the findings of the discovery, find the right problem to solve first
  • Explore and prototype technology choices
  • Help build the right mix of internal and Doubly Good people that can support the delivery to launch
  • Work with users and stakeholders to help them understand progress
  • Launch the service!

What now?

Book a pre-discovery call and let's see how we can help...

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