What is a Discovery Workshop? Its Advantages And Benefits Explained

In order to speed up the implementation of the solution and start benefiting from it, the companies often cut corners and head to the design and development phase without thorough preparation. If such an approach brings satisfactory results, it’s a matter of luck. Rush is the greatest enemy of success – it’s worth taking time to rethink the idea and the business objectives behind it, taking advantage of different perspectives. The results may be surprising!

What is a Discovery Workshop?

Design thinking principles-based product discovery workshop creates a friendly environment for the ideas to evolve, making it easier for the team members to put themselves in the shoes of the customer and come up with user-friendly solutions. It covers the discovery phase – a bridge between the conceptual project work and the technical implementation. 

How to run a discovery workshop? Such workshops are usually organized by external entities which take charge of structuring and managing the whole process. An unbiased party can help the team look at things from a different angle and extract ideas that have the greatest potential in terms of market success. While with all the distractions of the project development process, it’s hard for the team members to think out of the box, the workshops create time and space for it.

What does the Discovery Workshop consist of?

The Discovery Workshop agenda may adopt different forms depending on the size of the team, the type of the developed project, the budget, and the industry the project is introduced for. It usually consists of three phases – ideation, validation, and creation. Once the idea is evaluated, and the plan is ready, the team may start preparing personas, user journey maps, wireframes, mockups, and other elements that will later be incorporated into the MVP.

Which stepping stones of the product development process should Discovery Workshop cover?

#1 Definition of the problem and business objectives

The participants should leave the first session of the discovery workshop with a deep understanding of the business problem the designed solution is supposed to solve. With mapping tools and brainstorming sessions, the team members exchange ideas and pose questions that sometimes reveal well-hidden blind spots. This process leads you back to the initial idea – but there’s always a possibility that the concept turns out to be missed from a business perspective.

#2 Definition of success criteria

When everyone is on the same page in terms of “why”, it’s time to jump to the “hows”. It’s essential to define the success criteria at the beginning of the project – this way, the team can effectively measure the results throughout its execution and react when things take the wrong turn.

#3 Project planning

It’s fascinating to watch projects grow in an organic way, but such an approach is extremely risky from a business perspective. You need a plan – and a discovery workshop can help you prepare it. The safest move is to break down the software development process into short iterations. This way, you can keep maximum control over the process and can immediately intervene if some elements require changes. 

What are the benefits of the Discovery Workshop?

Product discovery workshops allow the companies to validate their projects in terms of market success probability and business risks. It helps the team prepare for the whole process – once they kick off with design and development, they don’t have to bother with the conceptual issues anymore. 

The main benefits of the product workshop include:

  • lower business risk
  • the faster and better-structured development process
  • cost reduction
  • stakeholders alignment
  • more effective collaboration