How Product Discovery Can Make You Proud of Your Products

Digitalization is the new black, and this trend can deepen and overlap the gap with the real-life processes simultaneously.

For example, as Deloitte Insights reports, the digital supply chain enhances the traditional model but brings in new challenges in the case of improper implementation. In this context, a proper product discovery process is the solution that minimizes such risks.

Product Discovery Process

Product discovery is the process aimed at establishing a sustainable link and bringing true confidence in the products you make especially while collaborating with an outsourcing software development team.

In this post, we’ll describe what this activity is and provide a step-by-step guide for you to implement it in your company.

What Is Product Discovery?

In essence, the process of product discovery stays at the heart of any customer-centric approach.

In practice, it’s a flexible period during which you and your outsourcing team concentrate on finding the right thing to do without considering how to build it at the moment.

Through a given number of iterations, this way to discover new products unlocks the link between your product and its right audience.

In addition, this time is needed to bring more confidence into the concept and not lose its sense during actual development stages.

There are two main dimensions to define discoveries in products:

  1. Problem space. Providing the set of problems linked to research and alignment.
  2. Solution space. The outstaffing team searches for the solution through creation, ideation, validation, and refinement to comprehend the users’ problem accurately.

Among these two types of activities, your partner team should dedicate the most time to the problem space, or the process of prioritizing, defining, and detailing the complete set of problems your users experience.

This is needed to provide the substantial groundwork for understanding the real scope and intensity of their “pain.” In simple terms, it’s all about the disciplined methodological seeking for getting the deepest understanding of the users' problems.

How Long Should the Discovery of Products Last?

There is no given amount of time needed to do the thing right. In reality, the stage of discovering new products frequently goes in parallel with the product delivery activities, connected with actually building the product.

In this case, product discovery activities happen every time something goes wrong with the product understanding.

Product Discovery Phase

To give you a concrete recommendation here, you should participate in the process as long as needed to become confident about making the right product.

What Is a Discovery Workshop?

The discovery workshop is the preparation stage for creating a new product. Basically, this is the meeting where defining and planning activities happen between a company and its outsourcing partner. The common process involves:

  • determining the validity of the idea,
  • setting the full scope of the project,
  • describing the core functionalities,
  • making considerations on preventing issues,
  • defining success indicators,
  • planning the production.

As you can see, most of the things done refer to the product discovery process. That’s why each meeting here can be a discovery workshop.

Generally, the discovery workshop meeting involves a value-producing team, budget holders, and holders of mission-critical assets. In practice, these roles can be played by different specialists in your company.

Who Should Be Present during the Product Discovery Workshop

There are three main groups needed at any meeting under the discovery workshop category:

  • Team members who are directly involved in the product discovery (core lead);
  • Fellow product teams who can occasionally participate and bring in some fresh ideas on the given process stage (collaborators);
  • Visionaries who check the conclusions made align with the corporate mission (supporters).

The exact team roles in your company of these people can be different, but the presence of all these three groups is crucial for elaborating the complete picture.

For example, you can invite a Customer Support and COO during the problem space stage, but find the exact solution together with the CEO and development team. It depends on your product scope, team size, and how well you know your target audience.

6 Key Steps to Define Discoveries of Products

As we’ve mentioned above, there is the problem space and the solution space for the discovery of products. In this section, we’ll describe in detail which 6 activities happen there.

1. Alignment (Product Space)

In the alignment stage, the role of a Product Manager becomes critical. This team member is responsible for clearly articulating the importance of product discovery, expected outcomes, and when and why certain team members are needed.

Otherwise, the overall product discovery process makes no sense from the very beginning.

Persistence and trust are the most challenging things at this stage. It’s crucial to distinguish the corporate aims, personal ambitions of each team member, and the real-life problems of your audience.

It’s the task of the Product Manager to reach not total agreement but compromise on the commitment to investigate the real customer pain.

Product Discovery Team

2. Research (Product Space)

Once the product discovery team is set up and all the roles are clarified, the research of user problems starts. Your team members should ask as many Why-questions about the challenges your users face as possible at this stage.

Here, the presence of customer support is highly valuable as these employees talk to your clients every day and have tons of observations about their pain. Think of other contact points with your customers, and invite those workers too.

Basically, even a room made in a hotel can share a lot about your guests’ pains once invited to a discovery workshop meeting.

In methodological teams, you can pick among behavioral, qualitative, quantitative, and attitudinal research techniques. Combine them in a way that suits your product discovery aims the most.

In the end, the more people, questions, and methods you involve, the closer you come to the truth.

3. Ideation (Solution Space)

The ideation stage opens the solution space in your product discovery. It’s crucial to maintain the broad picture achieved at the problem space now not to fall into serving corporate ambitions.

Here, your ability to arrange effective brainstorming sessions is crucial. Frequently, they turn into regular department meetings where the loudest team member speaks a lot, nobody argues with the CEO, and most of the crowd is too lazy to talk.

As a Product Manager, you need to create a comfortable environment for people to share their ideas freely. They shouldn't criticize each other and wait for your final decision.

Of course, you can try clustering identical ideas and voting, but turn this meeting into a creativity-and-smartness competition. Brainstorming means elaborating the articulated ideas together, not fighting to become the winner of a game.

4. Creation (Solution Space)

Building a prototype is a pragmatic way of turning your ideas into real-life situations. At this stage, focus on simulating the experience and consider it as the method of idea validation that happens out of your conference room.

All the convergence and divergence activities are important here, meaning the constant involvement of the development team in making the necessary steps timely and elaborating the product steadily.

5. Validation (Solution Space)

After making a working prototype, the idea elaborated requires validation from the standpoint of resource allocation. Simply put, it should prove to be good enough to dedicate the time, money, and workforce needed for its implementation.

Also, you should discover that product change since the initial planning is not dramatic. It's high time to come back to the fundamental questions asked during the problem space stages to establish the sustainable link between the idea elaborated and the observed customer pains.

The final aim of validation is strengthening the confidence in the need for making the right thing chosen.

6. Refinement (Solution Space)

Finally, the results you obtained after the discovery work done need refinement. It means polishing the concept and making it easy to execute by all the team members involved in making the product.

That’s the final stage of collecting everything you’ve found on the way of product discovery and putting it together in a shiny product.

Product Discovery Development

Does My Business Really Need Product Discovery?

In reality, all product teams discover their products to a certain extent — the problem is not knowing how the process works and not digging deep enough to touch the users’ hearts actually. Our experts would be happy to teach you!

We, at Intellectsoft, provide a set of software development solutions to companies worldwide. Also, we empower corporate workforces with innovative approaches. Let us help your Product Manager guide your team with our product discovery platform!

Talk to our experts to get the consultation on the product discovery peculiarities and arrange the date of your discovery workshop.

If you want to check our work, you can find the results of our workshops in the recent blog posts on digital health strategy and about the webinar for proactive retailers. Let’s discover your great products together no matter what industry you are in!

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