Any project requires the input of time and resources. To make sure that we are not chasing a fruitless pursuit, we should understand our proposed activity from top to bottom. Good project management bears successful projects that meet the demands of the client and the company. By being a window into what the company’s stakeholders expect, project discovery is a key tool in the success of an enterprise.
Project discovery is a procedure where you will collect the needed information that will influence the success of your project. As the name suggests, you discover the needs and wants of the clients, the investors, and the nature of the project itself. From the start, define and outline the goals of the activity so that you know what you will be working on. You can perform background research on the project and its place in its industry next.
Project discovery documents stemmed from the practice of law. Before a case is heard in court, the plaintiff and the defendant’s parties are required to present to the other side the information they will be using during the trial. Accomplished with a discovery plan, the procedure gives the other side ample time to prepare a defense or scrutiny of the information. With modification, the business industry adapted the project discovery process since knowing first what you’re getting into isn’t true just for the legal profession only.
Skipping project discovery to save the company’s time and resources is counterintuitive. When you decide to launch a project, you are investing effort and money on it. A lot is riding on that project’s success. A spur-of-the-moment idea and hocus-pocus-based assumptions might bring you pots of gold, but that is rare, if not never. And you will lose more money going with guesses. Not to mention, you are putting your brand’s reputation at stake. When you keep on giving out flops, you are hurting the integrity and the industry’s perception of your brand.
Avoid this blunder by making informed decisions. When the project requires a deep understanding and working knowledge about a specific topic, market research, although important, isn’t enough. The production can be successful, but it might flop in the market when it just doesn’t fit what users would want. Or your project might be able to attract a following, but the project isn’t true to the nature and goals of your company. Therefore, project discovery is helpful to make sure that you are not wasting your money or that you found the best compromise that satisfies all the stakeholders: management, investors, and users.
Make the pivotal people in the industry, from management to consumers, happy and know how to keep them so with project discovery.
A capable and skilled project management team can’t be without project discovery documents. Take inspiration from the following templates in delivering the best project outcomes.
Most project discovery phase stand on an established backbone. Although there can be multiple steps and approaches that are tailored for a specific project, the process of project discover generally adopt the following outline.
When your manager assigns you the project or a client reaches out for help, ask the right questions to understand the nature of the project and the expectations. Clarify things like the project’s objectives, the time and cost constraints, as well as the target market. Build the project around the wanted specifications so that project will be in line with the original vision, unless you can make it better. Just be sure to communicate any change to the project plan.
Start working on building what you know and can know about it. Gather intel like what the project entails, its role in the industry and in consumer’s lives, as well as what the company stakeholders would be interested in. When you are handed out minimal information, check out other resources that you can use. Resources like the company sales log or public census records may give you a good footing on how to frame the project.
Take inspiration from experimental research from the academe. Whenever possible, create a prototype for your project. This is especially helpful for websites, apps, software programs, or physical items. You can test the waters with this beta product. You can gather data like initial impressions and helpful reviews that are useful in improving and refining the project. Foster a user-centered experience that are still in line with the image your company identifies with.
It isn’t enough to say that the project went well. Create performance indicators to monitor to know if the project is successful and by how much. With a definite matrix, you can monitor the progress of the different stages of the project. You can use spreadsheets or gantt charts to check for the development. You will have a basis of what you and your team should aim for. Quantifiable success performance will also help your company’s image and you in forwarding your career.
It goes to show that not all cost-cutting measures actually work, some will cost you more when you bypassed a recommended route. Being adventurous and spontaneous might make you the life of the party, but the business industry requires hard numbers, calculated moves, and fruitful risks.