A software development project goes through several phases before completion. One of the earlier stages includes research and preparation which is usually the pre-requisite. All the necessary groundwork includes market analysis, competition study, target audience identification, industry insight collection, exploration of best practices and technologies. The Custom software development companies identifies relevant business opportunities during this exercise as well.
The discovery phase includes all these activities and is the time for the client and vendor to prepare a roadmap. They will be defining the requirements, assigning targets and setting priorities for a successful system launch.
Roles and Responsibilities During Discovery Phase
The designers play an active role in the discovery phase. They are the one handling the audience research, competitor analysis and product vision. Custom software development companies can benefit from the valuable perspective and experience of their designers. They have knowledge of the best practices for UX/UI design and can make significant contributions to the project. They are the ones responsible for delivering an experience that satisfies users hence they need to know more about them.
Technical Officers and Team Leads
Engaging the technical team in the discovery phase is the key to success. Building a digital system requires all software development agency executives to work together and analyze the technical requirements. They are the ones using their expertise to compare frameworks, platforms and then choosing the right methodologies. The project engineers will be breaking down the system into its basic functional components and figuring out the architecture and logic required for each one.
The project manager will be the first one to take action during the discovery phase. They will be studying the goals and aligning them with the market trends. The manager is the link between departments and responsible for communicating with the clients. They provide all the requirements and provide updates whenever necessary.
Benefits of the Discovery Phase
Comprehensive Research and Planning
The discovery phase of any project provides the software development firm the opportunity to include cross-industry perspectives. The hired team is a professional and knows what things are required for the success of a project. This is the time to bring in domain experts and get their recommendations on the next stages of the project. They can contribute to the planning and suggest the best practices. They can advise teams on what to look into and which factors to consider going forward.
Bridge Technical Gaps
Similarly to planning, the initial phase provides custom software development companies the chance to analyze their own technical expertise and whether or not they can fulfill all project requirements. During the discovery phase, the developers make decisions regarding the architecture and framework. It is very important for those who are planning to develop the solution in-house to identify any gaps in their existing resources. They can then plan which aspects of the project to outsource so their project can benefit from the competence of experienced professionals in every domain.
Set the Development Budget
The detailed discovery phase provides custom software development companies enough time to prepare a plan down to the smallest details. As a result, they have the costs associated with all the activities before they begin. They can avoid any delays, unexpected expenses and overshooting their budget this way.
Discover the Competitive Edge
If the software is meant to cater to a highly competitive niche then the company needs to find their competitive edge. Retail is one example where coming up with your unique selling point is essential. A detailed market study, competition analysis and audience identification can help the software development agency discover ways your product can create more value for the user.
The discovery phase involves thorough research and they need time to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of all competitors. That helps discover gaps in their features and how they have failed to address certain user needs. Similar insights can help custom software development companies develop a value proposition for maintain competitive edge in their niche market.
Develop a Vision
One of the main objectives of a discovery phase is to develop a clear vision for the project. The client may be the one that provides the breakthrough idea but figuring out how to execute it relies on the software development firm. The strategy development, collecting necessary data and defining project goals are all part of the initial phase. The research will help teams improve their idea and develop the implementation plan for the product with their fresh perspective.
Reduce the Risks
There are certain risks associated with product development and ample research is required to assess them. The team can find out ways to reduce them during the discover phase. They can prevent investing in features or functionality that has no user demand. It also saves software development firms from choosing poor design methods or technology early on so there are no costly delays later on in the project. They have the time and resources to discover user requirements and prepare to address them. They can identify issues and limitations early on during the project so it does not pose a risk later on.
Accurate Estimation of Resources
Apart from budget estimation, resources should also be analyzed in the discovery phase. It provides clarification on how much manpower, tools and efforts are required to build the system. They can also map out a timeline for the designing, development and deployment phase for the project along with important milestones. Custom software development companies can discover what additional resources they might need for each stage and whether or not they have the expertise to implement them.
Prioritization is one the most important parts of the discovery phase. It helps a software development agency avoid delays and optimize their development process. They can accelerate their progress and add all necessary features in the scope. Prioritizing can be achieved through several methods and during discovery the leaders have data on goals, resources and methodologies to make the right decisions. They can add dates to each task and meet all deadlines for the project.