An agile, composable platform is the perfect solution to meet current and future IT needs. However, there's also a significant challenge here. What exactly is the best-of-breed for our company? How will the chosen components interact in the future? And will we truly be prepared for what lies ahead? Due to these uncertainties, there's a potential for a "black box" feeling to emerge; it's unclear what will eventually be built and what to expect from the platform builder. This problem is addressed in the Discovery Phase!
The ‘What and How’ of the Platform
The Discovery Phase takes place before the platform's development begins. The development is transformed into a concrete plan, focusing on two main questions: What are we going to achieve? Here, the business vision (the idea) is translated into a backlog in a few steps (specific pieces of functionality).How will we achieve it? This involves designing the technical solution (architecture) and determining the collaboration method.
The project is concretized in various steps.
Beginning: Business and Product Vision (Steps 1 & 2)
Step 1 starts with understanding where your organization currently stands and where it wants to go, i.e., your business vision. For rb2, it's valuable to answer the question, "What's your current and future proposition?" We use the business model canvas for this purpose. We aim to understand how the solution fits into the bigger picture, not just focus on finding the right technical solution.
In Step 2, from the business vision, we deduce which product(s) are necessary to allow the company to make its vision a reality. We use a product vision canvas to capture the product's essential characteristics. Here, rb2 actively advises on how customers can maximize the benefits of technology for their business.
Concrete Actions: Story Map and Backlog (Steps 3 & 4)
In Step 3, a Story Map is created to break down the features the product should offer within the user journey. These features are then prioritized. In the Story Map, we segment the features into releases, leading to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
The features of the initial release(s) are turned into backlog items in a Product Backlog in Step 4. This backlog contains functionalities and tickets that will be worked on and delivered in two-week sprints according to priority.
Foundation for Collaboration
The Discovery Phase also addresses the "how" of the project. Trust is built through understanding and ensuring both parties align. Important questions asked by rb2 might include: How strong is the desire to grow? Does the available budget match the level of ambition? Is an agile approach suitable for your company culture? Such insights help anticipate needed support during execution and identify potential risks, both organizationally and technically.
In collaborative sessions between the client, rb2, and possibly other partners, co-creation makes the project objectives clearer. It's understandable to tread carefully when selecting a technical development partner, but with rb2, there's no initial commitment required.
Trust through the Discovery Phase
Building a modern, distinct platform, whether for e-commerce, subscription, or loyalty, is complex, costly, and time-consuming. The Discovery Phase establishes trust that you're making the right decisions for the business, both now and in the future. The process is demystified, and you get to know each other genuinely. Because while we can introduce ourselves with a fancy PowerPoint, the real test is in the execution. If the initial steps are promising, it inspires confidence to move into the development phase.
Want to learn more about rb2's Discovery Phase? We explain every step in detail here.