Discover and Plan
Our experience is that successful software projects are driven by clear communication and “just enough” planning. Our discovery process ensures you get the features you need (and only what you need need) to solve your problem.
What is Discover and Plan?
Discover and Plan is a structured, repeatable process that identifies, prioritizes, and costs out custom software requirements.
Who is Discover and Plan for?
Any organization that knows what they want to build but need a partner to guide them through the development process. Even if you are only able to describe what you need in high level terms, or have no technical expertise, Discover and Plan will bring tremendous clarity and confidence.
Who shouldn’t use Discover and Plan?
Startups and new ventures do not benefit from Discover and Plan as much as mature organizations do. This often comes down to cost and impact: startups typically "bootstrap" their own technology, prefer to do everything on their own, and will only have a small financial impact if their project fails. Mature organizations will have a more direct path to a solution and return on investment.
Why should I use Discover and Plan?
Software is hard, and we want your risk and cost to be as small as possible. By exploring your needs with Discover and Plan you’re refining the idea with expert facilitation before committing to building a complete project. It's the embodiment of our "do the right amount" core value!
What are the outcomes of Discover and Plan?
- Reduce project risk
- Reduce project uncertainty
- Support project decision making
- Provide the framework for determining final schedule and cost
- Reduce the total cost of the project
- Build trust between parties
How does Discover and Plan work?
Discover and Plan breaks down into three phases:
- Requirements collection. We facilitate meetings with your stakeholders to discuss who would use this software, why they would use it, and what their specific requirements are. We'll bring snacks, have some laughs, and end the meeting knowing we made genuine progress.
- Prototype. We create a clickable, browser-based prototype that allows you to see and interact with the requirements. This prototype looks and acts like real software, only all the data and pages are faked. Expect to go through multiple revisions as we narrow down to the correct vision for each feature.
- Collaborative feature spreadsheet. Because we have a prototype showing exactly what a feature "is", we can quote a price for it. With these prices we sit down together and build the final scope of the project by prioritizing each individual feature based on need, cost, and risk and determining what fits inside the budget. "That isn't worth $400, remove it from scope" and "what are the lower risk alternatives?" are actual phrases you will say!
When the feature spreadsheet has been prioritized you will receive a Develop and Launch quote to complete the project. This quote is based on what we agree you need to meet your goals, nothing more or less. You also own the prototype and all related documentation created during Discover and Plan.
I already have completed the upfront planning, can you quote based on that?
No. There are a few reasons why we insist on Discover and Plan before we are able to provide a cost for Develop and Launch:
- You understand your business and problem, but we don’t. Discover and Plan ensures we learn as much as possible as quickly as we can.
- We wouldn't ask you to work for free, but providing you a quote without Discover and Plan is you asking us to perform unpaid discovery and consulting. Our paid process means we don't have to try and recover these costs as hidden margin in the quote.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. Just like you're an expert in your field, we are experts in ours. Some of the ideas or approaches that you might have decided to take may have better alternatives. We need the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise to build you the best software possible!
- Custom software is a large investment of time and money. Before proceeding, we want to make sure that not only do we understand what we need to do, but that there’s a good working relationship between us and you. Of course, this is also an opportunity for you to ensure we’re a good fit for you before proceeding. By doing this small phase together, we’re mitigating the risk of entering into a bigger project blindly.
Is there a long term commitment after Discover and Plan?
No, you are not locked into a contract forcing you to proceed with Develop and Launch after Discover and Plan. You'll have a quote to make a decision on, but there are a number of very reasonable reasons why you mights decide to not continue. Our experience is you will feel extremely confident in moving forward with Develop and Launch.
What deliverables do I get at the end of Discover and Plan?
- A clear understanding of the total cost and timeline to complete your project
- A functioning, clickable prototype
- A feature spreadsheet of prioritized and priced out functionality
- A quote for Develop and Launch
- A productive, strong working relationship with Code and Effect
How much does Discover and Plan cost?
10. How long does Discover and Plan take to complete?
6-8 weeks from kickoff