When a development team approaches Discovery lightly, they set themselves up for failure.
The first weeks of any build should be about forging a strong working relationship and coming to a consensus on how the product will work. We do this by learning all of a client’s challenges and business goals. It’s a longer Discovery process than most development teams commit to, but that’s how we protect against the emotional and financial costs of a struggling project.
Here’s a glimpse into what better Discovery looks like in practice.
Commitment to the Process
The lack of a detailed Discovery was one of the key problems a recent client, LoanBoss, had with its former development agency. That agency never truly understood the complex financial calculation required for the platform, and the result was a failed delivery. When LoanBoss came back to us, we started by asking questions.
At Kingsmen Software, we spend four to six weeks building business models, technical models, use case diagrams, and feature maps to make sure we understand exactly what our clients want and how the application will work. The process helps clients clarify their vision and gives them confidence that we’ve thought of and planned for everything.
By the end of the process, we have a plan that details what we will deliver and when we’ll code it. And just as importantly, we demonstrate to clients like LoanBoss that our team understands the client’s business goals and can help businesses achieve those goals.
Prioritize Development to Gather Feedback
Working with a team that can deliver code quickly is essential.
Here at Kingsmen Software, we specialize in delivering code consistently. Our two-week sprints and iterative processes mean we regularly deliver features and have a prototype ready by a specified date.
Getting things built on time isn’t a given for some development agencies, as was the case with LoanBoss’ former development partner. It was quickly apparent the first team did not have the financial services domain expertise nor the appropriate technical skills to understand or successfully deliver the platform. This gap led to delays and a loss of revenue for LoanBoss until we were able to remedy the situation.
Delays also meant that LoanBoss missed out on valuable feedback. Users will always be able to highlight improvements to apps, so the quicker we can get a solution into a client’s hands, the quicker we can get feedback on what needs tweaking. In doing so, we also speed up time to market and time to revenue.
A dev team’s first task is to understand a client’s business needs. LoanBoss learned this the hard way by initially working with a low cost agency.
We got their business back on track by committing to a thorough discovery process, building a collaborative relationship, shipping code on time and plotting all of that work out thoughtfully in advance.
If you’d like to learn more, download our LoanBoss case study.
Image by: Sebastian Pandelache