On larger website builds (see also: WordPress Build | WooCommerce Build) and projects a discovery process is sometimes required. This bottoms out the whole environment in which a website build is going to take place and attempts to take account of many wider factors in an organisation such as staff resources, existing contracts, shipping processes and more.
The key benefit of a discovery process is the holistic approach to a client organisation’s needs. Rather than a blank request for a budget, deadline and delegated logins to systems, a discovery process will paint a picture of the key players in the organisation, their capabilities, the business logic behind the build and much more. This is also a great opportunity for management buy-in and a great way to underscore clear lines of responsibility in order to keep the project on time and on budget.
A discovery process will result in a very clear Technical Specification which can be used as the basis to obtain quotes from alternative providers, as well as a Report which will cover those aspects which are important but not solely concerned with the website itself, such as; team member profiles, technical expertise within the organisation, training requirements, equipment used by staff and other extraneous considerations which could potentially impact on decisions about the best way to deliver the project and the recommendations given.
The Difference a Discovery Makes
A good example of the difference a discovery makes is UK subscription businesses, which often benefit from the bulk discounts offered by Royal Mail and so choose to synchronise payments and delivery dates on WooCommerce Subscriptions. This is a different proposition from individual payment and shipping subscriptions systems. The business logic has to be established first and has a bearing on time and cost.
Another example is when clients are tied into a contract for a payment gateway or shipping provider. This may override any potential financial and technological benefits of new providers. Management may need to let us know about this without necessarily bringing all team members in on the decision-making. A full discovery process makes space for these important business-focused inputs.
During discovery, options can be explored and new innovations presented. This is a great opportunity to learn about the potential time-savers, efficiencies and automations that could be benefiting your business and putting you ahead of the competition. From voice-capabilities and VR video to hashtag competitions, there are arguments for everything and nothing, depending on a client’s business plan and current structure. This is a great time to bring the client and the web development team into alignment.