As many of our frequent clients can tell you our often repeated mantra is:
ALIGN …. DEFINE …. PERFORM …. REFINE
This is the heartbeat that we have developed over the last 12 years in executing successful custom software projects. We would argue that the most critical piece to get right, and sometimes the hardest, is ALIGNment between our team and yours on how the project is DEFINED. One of the tools we use to make sure we are in ALIGNment is the “Discovery Workshop”.
Let’s take some time to explore what a Discovery Workshop is, how they are conducted, why they are important, how they build trust between us and a client, and why we feel they are instrumental in delivering successful projects our clients can rave about.
So what is a Discovery Workshop? A Discovery Workshop occurs after an initial consultation to determine if custom software is a good fit and before any major work is undertaken to tackle a project. It’s success is driven by a ton of creativity, inquisitiveness, and collaboration. These workshops are one of the first times our team gets to meet with the client and often involves our creative problem solvers - our engineer crew. Of the entirety of our relationship this is by far the most critical piece to get right. The overall goal is to closely align both of our teams on the problem, the desired outcome, and how to get there.
What does a Discovery Workshop look like? It’s typically one or two sessions spanning a total of six to 10 hours. The first session is all about dreaming - what are we trying to achieve, what is possible, how do we imagine the solution - anything is possible here. The second session is reality - how do we technically bring these dreams to reality. The result of this workshop is one of two things:
- Discovery Summary and Architecture Roadmap Report - this documents all of the outcomes from the as well as our technical recommendation on how to deliver it. Whether it’s with us or another shop, you’ll have a documented path forward.
- Rapid Prototype - oftentimes it’s easier to simply demonstrate how we would build the solution. This often includes building an example of the overall solution, a single screen, wireframes or dashboard. The goal is to prove we have the solution to your problem.
Why are they so critical? Building trust for one, but also ensuring that prior to starting a larger project together, we understand our client’s values, how they see the project evolving and how we will measure the success of it. Successful projects address the root of a problem instead of simply creating a flashier way to do what you’ve been doing before. Not only do these workshops help us discover potential solutions to the project, they provide us with an opportunity to discover how our teams work together. Without undertaking the cost or time involved to fully implement the project, both Industrial Resolution and our client will have a lock-step alignment of what our working relationship will look like and the outcome of the project.
Discovery Workshop is a critical step in client satisfaction and project success. If you are interested in learning more about custom software and Discovery Workshops, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are more than happy to chat!