Discovery, what's the big idea?

A question every developer has been asked at some point, but a valid one, "what actually is discovery?". In this blog, we look at the importance of setting discovery at the forefront of a project.

Published by Hamish Kerry

The fabled question most software developers that use a discovery centred approach to projects will have heard a multitude of times, “What is the point of discovery?” “What does discovery mean?”, “What does it achieve?”.

At Arch, we sit discovery at the forefront of our projects. Its validity as a practice is acknowledged by the team as being essential to the success of the project. But what actually is discovery? And why is it important?

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the value of discovery, and what it achieves for us and our clients.


Setting up the concept

We begin all projects with a discovery phase to help narrow the scope and to get initiatives rolling in the correct direction. We work through the documents provided to us in the leadup to discovery, be those briefs, reference sites or services, current assets or branding developed by your team to bring to light all of the relevant information that needs to be addressed during the design and development phases.



Deep Diving

During discovery, we run joined team workshops, spend time getting to know exactly what success looks like to you and your stakeholders, be that qualitative or quantitative. This is also our opportunity to gain valuable insights about your users, and what might impact their use of your services. It is in this context that we also set in stone the key objectives of undergoing the project development, learning what your organisational motives are, and associating these to optimum development styles and pathways. Here, we’re able to suggest the best technology and platform options to achieve your goals.



User Personas

Any product's success is determined by what consumers desire - if users are not getting what they want from the product, it will struggle to perform. We utilise personas to visualise the end customers for whom the application is intended, including their surroundings, habits, and interests. This ensures that features in the app benefit those consumers while also assisting the project team in connecting with the target audience.


Formulating the Requirements

The final output of the discovery process is an overview of all project requirements. This incorporates digesting all of the identified requirements of the project and backend systems, personas and research which form the main outputs of the Discovery process. We take all of the information outlined, and formulate a set plan of activity and efforts across the already assigned team. This detailed scope of work provides the necessary basis on which we can deliver to you your final costs.


To conclude

Discovery is an essential part of the development process. It’s the catalyst for the client/developer relationship and the former of guidelines by which all parties will follow. While we haven’t included an exhaustive list of all of the elements to discovery, we hope you’ve gained some insight that will allow you to further appreciate the essential nature of the discovery process.

For more information about our process and the tools we use during discovery, check out our process page here


Written by Hamish Kerry, Marketing Executive at Arch

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