Software Projects

Project Discovery Phase: A Crucial Part of Software Projects

Every software project does not succeed. One of the factors responsible for this is the skipping of some crucial phases in the project. Before the design and the implementation of the project, you have to understand and address some key issues about the project. These key issues include the project’s purpose, audience, scope, and limitations. By understanding and addressing these issues, you can create a successful project.

This is why the project discovery phase is crucial and should be your starting point. It potentially determines the success of the project. Now that you know it is crucial, this article will address some of the doubts and questions about the concept of discovery phase. Keep reading for more information.

What is the project discovery phase?

The project discovery phase is the first stage of project development. It serves as the compass that directs other phases until you achieve the main purpose of the project, which is to launch the app or web. It is aimed toward intensive research into the market, the likely users of the product, having a clear roadmap, and reducing the risk of failure. This is the stage where you have an insight into the feasibility and usability of the product and an estimation of the timeframe.

You cannot build a project on an uncertain foundation. In software development, it is unlikely that you will be able to correct any mistake at the initial stage and the development stage, especially the one you do not envisage. The main aim of the project discovery phase is to prevent any unanticipated mistakes that could ruin the project.

Why is the project discovery phase crucial?

The software development project should not start until you integrate the project discovery phase. It involves intensive research that will direct the project. The phase is crucial for the following reasons.

Provides you with real data

This is the phase of intensive research that will serve as the compass for the project. The phase begins with an understanding of the idea, the target audience, and competitors, the business goals, and analyzing how it will be appealing to the user. The data you get from the research will reinforce the idea for the project, help in identifying the likely risk, prepare the budget, save time,  and avert some likely problems in the implementation phases.

It helps in designing prototypes

Transforming the idea into a real project takes time. Once you know the requirements such as specifications, functionalities, and features of the app, a prototype could be designed. This will represent how the app should work. You can then use the prototype to test your idea through users’ research in the market. 

Any perceived errors or weaknesses of the idea will be refined before you launch the final project. Also, designing a prototype helps the team to understand the project better.

For the development of an acceptable project

There are many failed social media platforms because of the identical functions and ideas that they share with popular platforms. Thorough research during the project discovery phase is crucial. When you have the current data to work with your idea, you can develop a project that will be the perfect fit for the audience. Moreover, it will be launched at the right time.

Risks of skipping the project discovery phase

Due to overconfidence, some software companies skip the project discovery phase. The result, in some instances, is always disastrous. Some of the risks of skipping this phase are highlighted below.

Difficulty meeting project expectations

The beautiful idea about the project might not be the expectation of the target audience. Also, there are several niches in the software market and the idea could be a replica of one of the niches. The implication of this is that the project could fail.

Change in plans

The project discovery phase gives the project roadmap that will be followed. Lack of proper planning could lead to a change of plan in the future. This is mostly caused by an unanticipated mistake or unexpected result. There is a high chance that the developer will miss the project deadlines without a plan.

Stakeholders in the project discover phase

The participants in this phase go a long way to determining the success or the failure of the project. The type of project will determine the type of stakeholders that will be involved in this phase. Below are some key stakeholders and their roles.

Project manager

The project needs someone that will coordinate all other stakeholders in this phase, including the client. The manager is responsible for a number of activities, including but not limited to scheduling meetings with other stakeholders, documentation, assigning roles, and also productively engaging everybody in the development team.

Software developer

The majority of the technical and development aspects of the project are handled by the software developer. The software developer is in charge of writing the code for the platform and creating the final product to be used by the target audience.

Business analyst

The primary responsibility of the business analyst is to research the market, determine the main objectives that could make the project appealing, know the potential value of the project, and determine if the project could fulfill the business objective through analysis of the available facts.  

UX/UI designer

The UX/UI designer is responsible for producing a mockup of the idea behind the project. This includes sketches, wireframes, interfaces, and the features of the whole project. The person will provide other stakeholders with a projection of what the project will look like upon completion.

Benefits of the project discovery phase

The project discovery phase is not optional in software development. What you benefit from this phase varies, depending on the nature, size, and the stakeholders involved. Below are some of the benefits.

Working with real facts

When you have a plan and real data obtained from empirical research, responsibilities will be assigned and there can be a projection for the deadline of the project. Working with the facts will eliminate some of the risks. 

Blueprint for the project

The whole process that will be involved in the project is mapped out in this phase. This also gives direction to the design, coding, and other technical aspects.


The project discovery phase is essential to the success of any project. It allows you to understand the scope of the project and what is required to complete it successfully.

It also allows you to meet the team and get to know their strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge is essential in order to create a cohesive team that can work together to achieve common goals. 

By understanding each team member’s individual strengths and weaknesses, you can assign tasks and responsibilities in a way that maximizes everyone’s strengths and minimizes everyone’s weaknesses. 

This will result in a more efficient and effective team overall. The team will be able to work together more cohesively and be better equipped to handle any challenges that may arise.