Discovery Principles

When undertaking a Discovery phase, it helps to remember these principles:

  • A discovery is not intended to come up with the complete detailed project plan. It is an exploration of a problem and potential solutions. It identifies obstacles and risks, opportunities, ideas and more. But it is just the start of a learning journey — not both the start and end.

  • You aren't restricted to only having one discovery. It's healthy to have them regularly. Certainly after six months or more of delivery you're more than likely to need at least a mini discovery as there'll be plenty of change and new learning.

  • A discovery is designed to find problems. Don't be disheartened if it does, be glad they were discovered now rather than later.

  • A discovery needs a full cross-functional team. Don't just get a consultant or business analyst to do it. You need the viewpoints of design and development and so on too.

  • The continuity of team is highly beneficial, as the main output is the thinking and learning journey itself, which can't be captured in a document. Don't expect to get one team to do discovery and then hand a fat document to another team to deliver it.

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