When you come up with the idea of a mobile application or desktop software, you, probably, see its realization in the most bright colors. However, the implementation of this idea can bring unexpected outcomes and produce quite opposite results. Why does it happen? Maybe because you missed a Discovery stage in your software production life cycle.
Importance of the Discovery Stage for Software Development
The Discovery or Initiation stage is a complex of methods that allow evaluating the feasibility of a project. Not every project that comes to your mind, no matter how brilliant, is worth implementing:
- It may happen that you invest a lot of money and effort into the development of certain software that will be outdated pretty soon.
- To implement your project, you may need specialists whose work you will not be able to pay for.
- You may not find enough stakeholders interested in your project.
- You may come up with an idea that your competitors are already working on. But they are one step ahead.
Impelling Numbers for the Necessity of Discovery Phase
The Mckinsey empirical data witness that large software projects (defined here by IBM) exceed their initially assumed budgets by 45%. At the same time, they do not manage to get that amount of profit they hoped for. The difference is 56% less.
The situation with startups is even worse. Investopedia claims that 90% of all startups close in the first 10 years of their operation. At the same time, CB Insights studies show that 3 out of 5 reasons for startup failures would have been neutralized if the Discovery stage had not been ignored.
Preliminary Steps to Move to the Discovery Stage
Before initiating the Discovery stage of the software development lifecycle you need to perform certain tasks:
- Clarify for yourselves and your partners (check this Rasmussen University source) and managers the main business goals of the project
- Gather all essential information and documentation on the future project
- Get an approximate quote of the initiated software development process
- Allocate the budget for the Discovery stage that will be the first in the whole cycle
- Determine responsible persons for the project initiating among members of your team
Specialists You Need for the Discovery Stage
Starting the Discovery phase, make sure that you have professional resources to do all the necessary work. Otherwise, contact Agilie team (https://agilie.com/en/blog/how-much-does-it-cost-to-start-the-discovery-phase) whose specialists have the highest possible qualification to perform all the tasks. The following experts should be present in your Discovery team:
- Business analyst who will work with a client base. His task is to define the target audience, its particular needs, and, as a consequence, the features of the future software.
- Designer is responsible for the visual attractiveness of the project, the simplicity of its navigation, and other features important for the market success of the project.
- Solution architect defines the particular technologies that should be employed to reach the determined goals.
What Factors Determine the Cost of a Project
The budget of your Discovery stage depends on the scale of tasks you put before the team:
- You may want to clarify all the details of the software development cycle for yourselves and your managers.
- You may prefer to work out the possible collaboration with potential investors focusing on the features that will interest them.
- You can aim at your target audience from the very beginning of the Discovery stage.
Calculation of the Costs for the Discovery Stage
The price list for the Discovery stage cannot be universal since it can last from two days to two months. The costs are calculated according to the Discovery type you need and the size of your project. There are two types of Discovery phase:
- Onsite: working team meets to fulfill all the requirements
- Offsite: the tasks are performed remotely
In general, the Discovery phase will take from 10 to 40% of the whole budget of your software project. But it’s worth it. After all, this stage saves your future costs and increases the likelihood of a significant profit from the project.
Agilie team guarantees that it will take the process of your software development to the highest level. It knows that the success of the end product starts from the Discovery Phase and depends on how much effort you put into the Discovery stage.