Discovery Planning

This is a meeting that happens either at the very start of discovery, or a little in advance.


  • The delivery team

  • The product owner


The meeting is best done in person, but can be done on a call if necessary.

The timebox is 4 hours. (allow for a good break in the middle).


  • You need 4 different colours of sticky notes, some big wall space (or the digital equivalent if on a call).

  • Write up the names of the discovery modules, one per sticky note. Use a different colour for each subject area (eg business, design, technology)

  • Everyone will need some planning poker cards (the cards 1-5 from the deck) - or another method of quickly boting 1-5.

  • Write the mission for the discovery somewhere prominent in the room, in big bold letters.

  • Make sure there's plenty of good coffee, tea, and water. Extra points for healthy snacks.

  • Renind everyone in advance of our meeting principles.


For the first half an hour (timeboxed), review the mission for the discovery with the product owner. Probe, ask questions.

Then, pick a module stickynote at random. Each specialist on the team pitches the modules in their area of specialism, What value would they provide here? To what depth should they be delivered? What risks would they address? What knowledge gaps would they help fill. There's a 5 minute (timeboxed) pitch per module.

Everyone then votes on that module, using the planning poker score cards, against the following Top Trumps style strengths of that module where 1 is a low score and 5 is a high score:

  • Addresses key risks

  • Addresses key knowledge gaps

  • Opportunity for innovation

  • Level to deliver module to (1 is a basic level, 5 is an advanced level)

In the same way as with planning poker normally, shared or close scores are accepted, outliers are discussed in a quickfire way. An agreed score is reached. This process is repeated for all the modules. A moderator needs to lead the meeting and keep discussion brief and focused to stay on track. In the last hour of the meeting the high scoring modules are gathered into a backlog and priorities are discussed, until there is a rough consensus on priority. The depths to which some modules are delivered may be altered. Modules may be split too, so for example you could say its a high prioirty to deliver module x to at least level 2, but a much loer priority to then deliver it to level 4 later.


A prioritised backlog of discovery modules to deliver.

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