How we work as a team to create the best products possible during the Product Discovery process

Marta Przyłęcka
12 February 2021
4 min read

Innovation never happens alone. Synchronized teams create the best products, and the most effective way to teamwork is, of course, through workshops. We're following these guidelines when developing products with our clients. At Startup Development House, using our experience, we lift each other and help our clients create leading digital products.

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What is the Product Discovery?

Our teams encourage clients to take a step back and spend some time on research and ideation, even if they have a strong vision for the MVP they want to develop. The product idea is crucial; that’s why even before starting to code, together we’ll make sure that the customers’ needs are fulfilled and that the MVP will meet previously defined business criteria. We believe in the process and try to combine creative, open-minded thinking with a realistic approach. The Product Discovery process is divided into two parts: a deep understanding of users, then using that knowledge to design a desirable product.

Part I: Product Discovery Workshop

Before each product discovery workshop, we examine clients’ concept for the product and targeted market closely. Based on that, we will suggest a tailor-made set of activities and plan for our workshops to provide the client with maximum value in time-boxed sessions. At the core, Product Discovery workshops are divided into three days:

Day 1 - Empathy

Together, we get inspired and curious about what people want and record behaviors through empathy maps. During this day, we'll learn about users' customs, pains, and challenges. We'll go through biases and stereotypes and search for the real insights.

We will help the client choose the targeted customers' segment. Depending on the product or service, we'll use different exercises like a customer journey map, product life cycle, or process mapping. Moreover, we'll fill out the customized persona canvas. The most important information about the user we'll try to collect is jobs to be done (social, functional, emotional), pains, gains, how to reach them, and motivation to use.

Day 2 - Ideation

It's the day of unlocking team creativity. We'll tackle each user challenge one by one and come up with as many ideas as possible. As part of the team, you'll boost cleverness using some design thinking exercises like reversed brainstorm, scamper, or Osborn's questions. Here, the basic rules for brainstorming are crucial: first quantity, then quality. New ideas are built upon others.

After the creative part, we'll set the business criteria and vote on the ideas with the most significant chances to meet them. We'll end this day with listed and prioritized ideas for the MVP.

Day 3 - Structurization and prioritization

User Story Mapping is a great way to define the project’s scope and make sure everybody is on the same page. It’s essential to provide the client with a detailed plan for further MVP development. We're documenting every step so that the outcome is clear for the client, and it’s easier for them to show our progress to investors and stakeholders or just think about it after the workshop.

Part II: Prototyping & User testing

Having this game-plan set, it’s time to go out to the real world and see what the potential users think about the product. We want to test our concepts as quickly as possible during the second part of the Product Discovery process. We prepare a clickable prototype and conduct a series of remote user testing sessions supported by experienced product managers. Many start-ups do this part with a developed MVP, and at that point, it’s much more challenging to adjust the product. But if done right, user tests might save weeks or even months of development time. 

What’s most important about that phase?

 

  • A chance to quickly turn scoped MVP into a prototype that will give users the feeling of a real product.

  • Possibility to gather a lot of helpful feedback quickly and decide what to adjust to the prototype.

  • An opportunity to create a community and gather interest in clients’ product in the early stages.

 

Assuming the concept passes this first test, we will have valuable feedback, structured and detailed ideas, new areas to explore, and material for development and testimonials from potential users.

Part III: Roadmap & Budget

At the end of the Product Discovery process, we want the client to be as development-ready as possible. That’s why our next step is to estimate development time and help them scope and prioritize features in the final version of MVP according to their budget. Based on that, together, we can prepare a roadmap and realistic timeline for the project.

What is next?

We know that creating a product is a very complicated process. Still, if we think systematically and divide it into smaller parts, it's easier to not only grasp everything but also not to lose focus in the meantime. Join our experienced team of developers, QA specialists, designers, and project managers, work with the client on projects’ backlog, advise on the most suitable technology, and help them deliver the product’s first release. We work using scrum methodology and a user-centric approach that makes us as productive as possible. We believe that trusting the process and honest feedback build teams that can accelerate almost any project to its full potential.

Start the Product Discovery Process as part of our team!

 

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