Product Discovery

This discovery consists of three stages. The whole process takes up to 2 weeks. As a result, a client will get identified business goals, product development strategies and product estimation with time and cost.

Strategic planning 4-20 hours

1

Before we start writing programming code, we use strategic planning to find an answer to the question, “How will a client measure the success of the product that we are going to develop?” The answer has to contain a list of measurable business goals. The quality of this answer will determine the way goals are achieved and the direction of the product team.

Examples of correctly formulated objectives that we can accept are:

  1. Increase the client’s income to $1M per month in 6 months after product release.
  2. Increase Customer Satisfaction Index by 2 times in 1 year.
  3. Client will take 15% of Affiliates Network market in 4 months after the new product is launched.

Lack of business goals or wrong assumptions lead to budget overrun, defocusing the product team and causing problems in the user interface. Mistakes at this stage could be the reason for product failure.

When business objectives are identified, we work on ways that bring business results. A strategy shows who will be involved in goal achievement and how they can help or hinder the project. After all strategies are determined, clients have to prioritize strategies and we help to select the fastest and cheapest strategy among the options.

Impact mapping

Impact mapping is a strategic planning technique. It describes business goals, assumptions and possible impacts. It prevents organisations from getting lost while building products and delivering projects which helps make better roadmap decisions.

The result is a mind map with a root element as a measurable goal with branches as impacts:

Read an article how to use Impact Mapping in practice.

Stage results

A client and a development team will:

  1. Understand why a new IT-product is important.
  2. Accept the client’s objectives and be ready to work for them.
  3. Agreed on strategies and priorities.
  4. Understand the criteria of IT-product success.
TECHNIQUE

Impact Mapping

ARTIFACTS

A mind map with goals and impacts than lead to business results.

RESULTS

A client and a development team will:

Understand why a new IT-product is important.

Accept the client’s objectives and be ready to work for them.

Agreed on strategies and priorities.

Understand the criteria of IT-product success.

Customer Journey 4-20 hours

2

To keep the product consistent and prevent any obstacles for customers while they use an IT-product, we have to look at the product from a bird's-eye view. To fulfil it we discover the user’s entry points, exit points and transactions between product screens. We describe all of these by Customer Journey Mapping.

Customer Journey Mapping

  ·  ·  · Elements on the map Examples
Actors and points of their interactions A user under 16 years old with a laptop, a marketing department in a big corporation, a student, a director of a sales department.
Conditions to move from one state to another It’s a reporting deadline so a user has to write a message to his account manager
Obstacles and problems The call center can’t answer at night so a user is without help until the morning
Artifacts are created while users interact with an IT-product A generated PDF-file, an email

Stage results

  1. Holistic view of IT-products.
  2. A map of a user’s entry points, exit points and transactions between states.
  3. An actor’s life line and interactions.
TECHNIQUE

Customer Journey Mapping

ARTIFACTS

A bird’s-eye view for an IT-product

RESULTS

Holistic view of IT-products.

A map of a user’s entry points, exit points and transactions between states.

An actor’s life line and interactions.

Map of User Stories 4-20 hours

3

We write IT-product features as User Stories. A User Story has the following format:

As a <role>
<explain obstacles if they exist>
I want... <goal/desire>
So that... <benefit>

For example:

As a corporate client
I don’t understand the state of my account so I lose money
I want to stop my work automatically if a balance becomes critically low
So that I can keep my money safe.

One more example:

As an advertiser
I want to buy advertisement traffic about cars only
So that I can spend money effectively by attracting the target audience

We choose a User Story format because it explains features from user experience views and clearly shows business value. That is why a developer can suggest appropriate solutions but not just do what the client said to do.

A User Story will be accepted only if we can link it to a branch of Impact Mapping. Otherwise, a User Story is a “pet feature” without business value and we ignore it. In this case, Impact Mapping acts as a filter for incoming tasks.

User Story Mapping

We sort and prioritize tasks by User Story Mapping. There are two axes on this map:

  1. A horizontal axis is a timeline
  2. A vertical axis is a priority level

A map helps a product team to select and estimate a list of tasks for the next release.

Stage results

  1. A map that consists of the product tasks
  2. A list of tasks are picked up for the next release.
TECHNIQUE

User Story Mapping

RESULTS

A map that consists of the product tasks

A list of tasks are picked up for the next release.

Results of Product Discovery

Measurable business goals and strategies of their achievement

PDF-document with Impact Map and detailed comments

Actors, entry and exit points and interactions in Customer Journey Mapping

PDF-document with Customer Journey Map and detailed comments

A map with sorted and prioritized tasks in User Story Mapping

PDF-document with User Story Map and detailed comments

The list of these documents construct a thorough view for the future client’s IT-product. Based on these documents, a product team creates a project plan with scope, time and cost.

The difference between classical technical specifications and Byndyusoft’s approach is in active understanding of the client’s objectives and working on achieving goals.