Discovery and Product Definition Procedures: How to Kick off Your Best Software Project

discovery-and-product-definition-procedures

Everything You Should Know About Successful Poduct Launch

If you are running a tech company or planning to build a technology solution, there’s a common pitfall we wanted you beware of.

It’s been known for a while and many books were written about it. Yet, I see companies make the same mistakes. Over and over again! And the threat is… The lack of requirements management and understanding between business owners and technology owners on how to get to a successful product launch.

  • With the market fit.
  • Within the timeline and the budget that you’ve got.

“The reason I’m so verbose about is cause I noticed the issue back in my student years in the early 2000s. I decided then I’d learn to bridge tech and business. Getting dozens of projects to leading market positions, I got enough experience on both sides of the table. Since then, a lot has changed in technical ventures. Particularly due to agile development methodologies… Bringing more accent on communication and coordination between multiple stakeholders and the execution team”, – says Ian Ihor Pidruchny, Applicature CEO. 

The existential challenge of misaligned expectations remains though. And here’s how we tackle it at Applicature (and recommend the same to you):

Discovery Sessionzzzzz (many!)

Usually, 1-3 hour duration meetings or conference calls with extensive whiteboarding. We leverage multiple formats to achieve a comprehensive consensus on the domain:

BPMN: We discuss multiple business processes laying them out in semi-formal BPMN diagrams.

bpmn-diagram

Roles Map: We describe multiple entities that participate in the workflow describing their desired benefits, obstacles, and tools for achieving their targets.

roles-map-for-product-launch

Interactions Flow: We usually involve this in the later stages of the discovery in order to describe the interactions between components of the system. It usually takes a slide per single end-to-end use case.

product-definition-interaction-flow

Event Storming: It’s a pretty novel practice originating from event sourcing, the entirely different approach for software systems design. Being great believers of event sourcing we have to admit it’s a pretty complex approach though compared to entity-driven development. And benefits from using it have to be validated, case by case. That said, event storming is a brilliant technique you can start using today.

event-sourcing

Product Definition Phase

With the discovery sessions made right, you and your tech team should now be on the same page. Should that have led to a successful kickoff, further product definition activities are worth holding. 

Albeit taking weeks (part-time ofc!) they yield in a well-built understanding of the domain, high fidelity wireframes, and annotations. (For a medium-size software application, it’s not unusual to see a set of 75-150 screens describing the user flows).

As for us, with the partners who get the importance of the activities described above, we managed to design, build and deploy some of the most time- and budget-efficient software solutions.

Here’s the recommended reading list on the topic:

Design: http://domainlanguage.com/ddd/

Event Sourcing: https://martinfowler.com/eaaDev/EventSourcing.html

Scrum Guide: https://www.scrum.org/resources/scrum-guide

Applicature Blockchain Product Handbook: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1HGPkOSJYO6DgeXNbskCbmytywNBkj3dhwdjtdQB8f6k/

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