As an Agile app development agency, Ventive works around the clock to build great software for our clients. This means that we value collaboration, and prioritize individuals and interactions over processes and tools. We believe that we can take on clients from any industry and serve them well when we adhere to these principles. One process that aids us in achieving our goals is the discovery session. In a discovery session, we’ll talk with our clients about the problem their product solves. Some clients have a very good idea of what they want to do with their product and others need some guidance from us. We think of it as an opportunity for us to sit down with them and see what they know, learn what they want, and develop a plan together.
Give Your Product Release an Edge
Discovery sessions help us guarantee that we understand what you want, and it puts every stakeholder on the same page. Discovery helps us avoid mistakes, prevent budget waste and align with your product vision. It’s a deliberate process that validates your idea. If you’re stuck in a product rut, we’re here to get you out. We meet often throughout the discovery process to uncover all of the possible solutions so that you'll be satisfied with the result. From our extensive app deployment experience, a thorough discovery session will lead to a successful product launch.
What a Successful Discovery Session Looks Like
At Ventive, we focus on two phases of discovery. In the first phase, we strive to understand the problem. We spend time mapping out how things are done now, using flowcharts and other tools. In the second phase, we take that knowledge and go into ideation sessions to generate a good solution. For example, we’ll ask, what technology exists, and how can we apply it in a similar way to provide a solution for a customer?
Before going into a session, we’ll create a goal for the meeting and draft an agenda so that the client has time to prepare. To make the most of our time together, we’ll focus on how to ask questions that get to the deeper aspects of what we discuss. It's about using empathy to pinpoint what a user would experience, such as a process they go through that we might not understand.
Project Manager Roman Kolyvanov at Ventive sees it like playing the role of an investigative journalist in these sessions. He says, “Over the years, I’ve loved learning how systems and industries function. Those industries span the diamond industry, durable medical equipment, real estate, and many more. I like applying ways to make people’s lives better through the apps we build.”
The Introductory Discovery Session at Ventive
It’s common for many of our clients to have a one-to-three-year timeline before their product release. When you sit down with Ventive for the first time, our company’s CEO or CTO will chat with you about the problem your product or service will solve on a high level. Sometimes, they’ll invite a product owner or project manager to join the conversation. We’ll tease out the problem, look at your value proposition, and determine the best strategy to launch your product. And if you’re not quite sure about your ideas or the resources available to you, we can help you gain clarity moving forward.
Ongoing Discovery Sessions at Ventive: What to Expect
Once you’ve had one or two introductory sessions with us, we’ll gather a team to discuss future iterations of your project. You’ll be working with a project manager (PM), product owner (PO), user experience designer (UX), and subject matter experts (SMEs). Typically, our team will meet one to two times per week with you or another stakeholder, and those sessions last about one to two hours.
The PO will build a relationship with you as they learn what your wants and needs are. They’re also responsible for relaying important information to their team and understanding where the project is going.
Your team will ask you, “Where’s the best place to start?” After talking to you about your goals for a product, we’ll choose a starting point and define the scope of work. In the case of big projects, we’ll start with the minimum viable product (MVP), and focus almost solely on that as we approach project release. Then we’ll look at the backlog and prioritize what’s next based on the information you provide to us. We realize that information changes quickly in the digital age, and because we work so closely with you to bring your app to life, we can adapt to using new software or approaches if needed.
The next step is for the product owner to create a project roadmap, which condenses all available information down to what is useful and meaningful. They’ll refer to the project roadmap often and refine it as developments and new information surface. The point of the roadmap is to keep things on schedule and reach product milestones.
A Look at Internal Discovery Sessions
On the Ventive side, we’ll have a daily check-in run by the PM or PO that ensures that your project is moving forward in the direction you want to go. Individual team members will take time to research and prepare for future iterations on their own.
What We’ll Research for Your Project
- Learn about and define your audience.
- Learn about your competitors by taking screenshots, signing up for free accounts, and testing user flows/ journeys.
- Look at similar ideas, services, and functionalities.
- Conduct user research interviews: ask an SME and talk to customers.
- Read articles and other authoritative sources about your industry.
Tools We Like to Use
A few notable tools we’ll use for product discovery include:
- Apple Notes (or other note-taking app/ notebook)
- 30,000-ft. to 5,000-ft. view
- A day in the life
- Show me how you would do “X”...
Ventive values honesty, pursuing excellence as a team, and solution thinking. If there’s conflict or confusion during a discovery session, we ask questions to get on the same page. Our collaborative approach underscores that there are multiple ways to solve a problem and that each team member contributes to the team’s overall success.
“My favorite part is getting to know what the client’s expectations are,” says Shane McGonigal, PO at Ventive. “I enjoy figuring out the opportunities we have to provide a solution that works really well and meets the client’s needs.”
When you choose Ventive, you can feel confident knowing that your app will undergo a thorough discovery process to provide an amazing experience for your customers. If you're not ready to book a discovery session with us, give our Product Development Plan generator a whirl today!