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Importance of Discovery Phase in Software Project

Importance of a Discovery Phase

As per a survey done by McKinsey, approximately 17% of IT project implementations fail and result in company collapse. Around 7% of projects are delivered late as per the deadline and approximately 45% of projects exceed their estimated budget. All this due to poor analysis and bad planning on projects. So, how to deal with it?

A simple answer to this question is by going through a discovery phase first. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s similar to discovering or scoping a particular problem area by collecting and critically analysing the software project requirements. A discovery phase lets you dive deep on technical details with the help of an SRS (Software Requirement Specification) document. Moreover, if you run a discovery phase for your business, it lets you explore the end-users requirements with measurable deliverables.

Discovery Phase Importance

What will be the end-users experience after the product is built? Eventually, how CRM & ERP is going to accomplish business objectives? What features can be expected and how is it going to resolve the challenges of the current system? A client gets to know the scope of transformation where experts recommend the improvement processes and also detect potential pitfalls. This facilitates critical decision-making by a client, company upper management, the organisation’s stakeholders, the marketing team and the project team.

‘Discovery Phase’ is one of the solutions to prevent project failures. It is the prototyping of a software product & identifies the weakness of the current system plus the strengths of the new software. It marks the beginning of each software project. basically, it is the discovery of how the software product needs to perform from a client’s perspective.

How Discovery Phases are conducted?

Around 70% of IT vendors including Target Integration initiate and plan their stage transitions with the help of the discovery phase. If we talk about us in particular, we run multiple discovery sessions with our clients initially to tackle the software project and prevent the causes of project failures.
Depending on the Software project scope, the discovery phase can last from a week to approximately 1 month. If you talk about a typical timeframe, it’s 2 weeks. During any typical discovery stage, a business analyst, a project manager and then dedicated account managers take the lead. They all work together with a client to define scope assessment and design a wireframe prototype in the SRS document.
Discovery Phase standard activitiesAt the onset of any discovery phase, the IT project team may request for multiple discovery sessions and team meetings with the point of contact which can last for half an hour to 1.5 hours. It provides a clear understanding of software product building.

The customer’s role is to be active and responsive. You need to provide initial data (in case of migration), answer to multiple written documents and actively participate in strategic calls. Evaluate the prototype and communicate wherever you require any changes promptly.

Let’s now talk about what as a client you can expect out of the completion of the discovery phase besides, time and budget estimation.

  1. Detailed System Requirement Specification (SRS) document
  2. Preliminary UX/UI Prototyping based on a critical feature
  3. MVP (Minimum Viable Product) Development Plans and EstimatesTo know about Target Integration CRM / ERP Implementation Plans, check here.

Let’s explore some standard activities for Discovery Phase

Sometimes, a client comes with his business ideas, market research, potential users, KPIs, monetisation strategy, required features/functionalities, even design. But there are other scenarios too where a customer comes only with his business idea and as a CRM & ERP service provider, we need to understand, analyse and evaluate all business processes.

The team of experienced software consultants at Target Integration tries to understand the complexity of the project and then conduct the first discovery phase as per the client’s convenience. We do both On-site and Online sessions. You can book your slot here. After a certain understanding of project attributes, we move forward with development and go-live phases following strict deadlines that we proposed to our client.

Discovery Phase benefits by Target IntegrationHere is the comprehensive list of standard activities that Target Integration also performs under a Discovery Phase for Software development.

  1. Business Analysis – Raw data matters most and is mostly mined from competition analysis, end-users potential characteristics, negative feedback, business processes, operational pain points, business history, etc.
  2. SRS Software Requirement Specification – It defines the goals, architecture, features and technology. A client should study this carefully and then only approve for further development.
  3. POC (Proof of Concept) – It is evidence for the software solution and provides proof for the implementation of a business concept and its commercial success.
  4. System architecture and design – This step will ensure the technical vision of a software product with experienced professionals. They define the essential architecture, design(UI. UX), features, and functionalities to be implemented. This help lay aside all redundant features that can save client pennies from unnecessary cost extensions. It also includes details on localisation, restrictions, performance mapping, Portability and scalability of the product.
  5. Integrated Solutions Requirement – Occasionally, entrepreneurs need some extra features that one single system cannot provide but the integration with third-party API or another external software module can do the work. So, brief drafting of all such desired solutions is taken to make the final product innovative with complex technology but with ease of use.
  6. Organisation Branding – If you want the Software product to give the unique essence of belongingness then branding is a critical step. All the brand guidelines are followed and aim at developing a system that builds better communication.

We have helped 35+ industries to make a smooth transition to their digital transformation journey. If you are looking for a business application, check out all details of our software partners here. We have been Saas partners with all & can help you implement bespoke or Off-The-Shelf software as per your need.

Key Takeaways on Discovery Phase

To conclude, it’s reasonable to entrust the discovery phase job with a reliable software vendor that has experience of working with various industries and verticals with custom solutions. Target Integration has worked with 35+ diversified industries across the globe. We have an experienced and certified team of professionals. They can help you identify and recommend the most suitable software tools for your business function.

We are partnered with some of the big software companies namely Odoo, Vtiger, Salesforce, Google Workspace, Microsoft Dynamics 365, MS Dynamics business central, Zendesk, Pipedrive, Clickdimensions, etc. We are also happy to announce that we have started our Business Services this year. Check out the complete details here.

Want to make your software idea a reality? Book here your personalised demo today!

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