A product discovery workshop is a part of the initial definition and planning phase of creating a digital product. When we say digital product, we primarily mean custom software, mobile applications, web applications and interactive installations, but the definition can be stretched out to include even more types of digital solutions.
In a couple of years that we have been actively organizing and conducting product discovery workshops for our clients, we noticed a number of different benefits both for us as a development company, but also for our clients. Here are 5 main benefits of product discovery workshops that our clients usually single out as most important.
Benefit #1: the overall product idea will be improved and upgraded
The first thing our clients notice when we start with a product discovery workshop is that we have a fully dedicated team of industry experts who will be completely involved in their project. That team includes designers, developers and business strategists who have fully researched our client’s company, potential benchmarks, competition and market opportunities.
“Bornfight sent a two-person team to visit our office and used that time to learn about our business. We then visited their office for a week to scope out the work. For the first time, our platform is intuitive and enables users to onboard quickly.” – Mutiu Fagbayi / CEO of Performance Fact Inc.
You see, our goal is not just to define the elements of the product we should create, but also maximize its chance of succeeding on the market. Sometimes it means increasing the scope of the project, sometimes it’s all about focusing on a single thing and sometimes the key is to completely shift the perspective. Regardless of the strategy we end up taking, we always approach this part by clearly defining target users – personas who will be using the final product when it launches and hits the market. This is a crucial element because by knowing who’ll use our client’s digital product, as well as their expectations from it, we can actually structure and define all the other features, functionalities and core elements of the project – we can fully tailor the final product to match those users’ needs.
By putting our top experts to work together with our clients on defining user personas and those core elements of the project, we ensure that we’ll find that one ideal solution for the problem our client is trying to solve, define its key elements and see that it hits the market.
Benefit #2: general production costs will likely decrease
The number and the overall complexity of features and functionalities are the aspects that can greatly affect the production costs of a single product. When clients approach us with their ideas, we’re usually looking at one of these two scenarios – they only have their idea and want us to help them define everything else, or they come with large lists of features they would like to implement into their digital product. This second scenario is where we can most clearly feel this decrease in production costs, because we can usually split features on those lists into three groups – crucial, nice to have and unnecessary. And it’s the product discovery workshop that actually shows us which feature goes into which group.
Sometimes clients think they need a specific feature to make their product work, sometimes they think they need one type of product while they actually need something else and sometimes they don’t know there’s a simpler way to create the product they need. Whatever the case may be, product discovery workshops will show exactly what our clients want to accomplish, what problem do they want to solve and how should the solution be structured.
This is also one of the key benefits we present to them when they ask why do they need discovery workshops in the first place. The answer – we show them a couple of clients we worked with where the initial project estimate was 30% to 50% larger than the final estimate we gave them after the workshop.
Benefit #3: time needed to create the product will decrease
This benefit ties in closely with the previous one, and the reasoning behind it is extremely simple. A fully defined structure of the product with a clear list of elements and features that need to be created and implemented is the crucial aspect that enables our team to define a detailed estimate of the time that will be needed to produce the entire product.
This estimate then helps us create an entire production timeline, all the way from the first meeting until the product is launched and on the market. The timeline we create shows when our team will work on which part of the project, what needs to happen before we move to the next section and what comes after.
“Bornfight is incredibly responsive. They stick to our timelines and are always available whenever we have questions or concerns. Their team went above and beyond in understanding our brand and providing excellent service.” – Erin Falter / Marketing Director at WOLACO
A combination of all these elements enables us to maximize efficiency by minimizing downtime or idling, and that ultimately results in our clients having their product launched sooner than it would have launched if we didn’t start with a product discovery workshop.
Benefit #4: chance to encounter problems will be minimized
Modifying ideas and handling issues is much simpler and cheaper for our clients if it happens before any production begins, than it is when we’re heavy in design or development phases. That’s why we want to avoid any surprises that might occur and why we’re extremely detailed when it comes to defining potential problems. That is also why we see the process of analyzing and defining pain points and potential issues within our client’s idea as one of the key elements of every product discovery workshop.
During the product discovery workshop, we analyze both the business aspect and the production aspect of our client’s idea, and we do it to:
- Resolve or evade any and all potential problems early on
- Minimize the chance to encounter anything unexpected during production
- Ensure everything is within budget and going according to the timeline
- Make sure the idea is market-ready and maximize its chance of success
You see, as our clients’ ideas are usually not completely defined right from the start, we use the discovery workshop to define them, and that results in a much more streamlined production process both for our clients and for our team since we all know exactly what to expect during each phase.
Benefit #5: client will receive a fleshed-out production plan
The last benefit our clients single out is the project blueprint. The blueprint is actually a detailed production plan – a document we prepare for our clients after the workshop is done. It’s a detailed overview of the entire project that includes everything we defined during the product discovery workshop and additional elements that describe how the project should be handled and developed. Some of the key components it consists of is the explanation of the overall idea, business strategies, design elements, technologies that should be used, answers to all issues and detailed solutions for every single aspect of the project.
“We were all very impressed with what the development and design teams came up with. They’re also flexible in working with limited budgets, and they’re able to create a campaign that keeps our end goal and key performance indicators in mind.” – Chloe Ravat / Marketing Manager at Lufthansa
Based on the type of the project, the blueprint comes with some of these elements:
- Product vision
- Product purpose
- Main goals the product needs to achieve
- Defined primary target users
- Defined secondary target users
- Detailed user flows
- Defined proto personas
- Detailed user scenarios
- Low fidelity wireframes (page element lists)
- Design style moodboard
- Functional requirements & tech stack
- MVP definition
- Project roadmap
- Product development strategy (build strategy)
- Prioritized features
As we always like to say, this blueprint is so detailed that it enables our clients to go to any development company, show them the document and they’ll know exactly what they need to create and how to do it in the most efficient way.
The optimal way to start a project
If you’d like to learn more about product discovery workshops, why we organize them and how we conduct them, take a look at some of our other blogs from this series:
- What is a product discovery workshop and why you need one
- Why discovery workshops save projects
- How to fill out a pre-discovery questionnaire