Learn who should be present at the product discovery workshops and what steps to take before sending these calendar invites.
Professionals Involved InThe Discovery Workshops
This article is part of the series “How to choose a software development partner”.
As Tom DeMarco once said: "Get the right people. Then, no matter what else you might do wrong after that, the people will save you." And we couldn't agree more with that. Working with the right people is crucial to succeeding in the software development project/ as a whole.
The discovery workshop phase already tells us a lot about how important it is to choose the right people for your team. The right people in the right place can elevate your project to the next level, making it as good as you imagined or even better.
But from our personal experience, many people don't know who should be involved in the discovery workshop phase, both from the side of the software house and the client’s. And trust us, professionals involved in the workshop make a difference. The people in the workshop sessions, each representing a certain domain of the process, from architecture and design to development and QA, will often reflect what one could expect when cooperating in the actual process of building software. To help you achieve the best possible results, we’ve put together a guide on team roles in the product discovery workshop.
Who Is Involved In The Product Discovery Workshop?
Who is involved in the workshop phase depends tightly on the scope of the project. On the one hand, people involved should be the ones who will add value in that stage and will work with the project during the development phase. On the other hand, you need to remember that it's good to have people with different perspectives, so the project can grow.
From our experience, there are several key roles from the service provider side that cannot be missed during the workshop phase:
● the sales representative,
● a business analyst,
● a senior software engineer,
● a UX/UI designer,
● a Quality Assurance Engineer.
Let’s see into their respective roles in detail.
We can compare this role to a bridge between the client and the development team. The sales representative is a person who should understand your vision and explain it to the development team. What’s more, knowing the internal organization can help both parties to find a common ground.
The business analyst will focus on helping to define the problem that you're trying to solve, identify the solution, and support its implementation through the entire software development lifecycle. We can call this role a facilitator who will give people a nudge by offering another perspective.
Senior Software Engineer
Having a senior software engineer present while running the workshop will improve the proper translation of your vision to the technical requirements. Moreover, it can help surface feasibility issues and technical risks in the early stage of your project. Additionally, a senior software engineer can acquire knowledge about the market and the reason for this product to be developed. This will translate into better motivation and, in the long run, a better product. Isn't it what it's all about anyway?
Everyone involved in the workshop phase should leverage their knowledge and creativity to be better prepared for the development phase and better understand the deliverables. This specifically refers to UX/UI designers, whose role is to gather as much information as possible, so that they can execute user experience research after the workshop. Based on that input, they will be able to design the user interface with the right colors, topography, etc.
Quality Assurance Engineer
QA engineers' role during the discovery workshop is to detect potential technical issues and track their roots. The skillset represented by QA will help improve the overall product durability and performance.
No one is perfect, so don’t be afraid to invite experts outside of your team if your project requires that. Outside expertise can be called in to cover a topic that both parties are not the expert in, and can be initiated both by you and your service provider. In both cases, it’s a good sign of commitment and professionality.
What Is So Great About Having The Project Team Spend Time On These Discovery Workshops Anyway?
There are many benefits to having the project team spend time on discovery workshops. One of the most important ones is that it allows the team to get a better understanding of the project requirements and product vision.This can help to avoid potential problems later on. Additionally, discovery workshops can build team morale and improve communication between the team members.
It impacts the relationship with the client’s team as well. The discovery workshops are a way of building and maintaining strong relationships between these parties and provide an opportunity for them to get to know each other and learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They also help to identify potential conflict areas and means of resolving them. The workshops are a valuable investment of time and resources that can pay off in improved communication and collaboration between the team members.
In short words, the exact composition of your discovery workshops team depends greatly on the project, the scope of work, and the results you want to achieve within the workshop itself. However, we believe that some roles are vital to the process regardless of the details. A sales representative, a business analyst, a senior software engineer, a UX/UI designer, and a QAEngineer will all definitely have a helpful insight to your project, which will translate to better quality of the development process and the app itself.
Remember that you don’t need to be an expert in all fields – if need be, going for an outside expertise can go a long way.
Did we dispel your doubts regarding the professionals involved in the discovery workshops?
We hope so! Feel free to reach us if you have any further questions on this topic.