Product Discovery Workshops - why does an early stage company need that to create an MVP?

Weronika Nowak - Project Manager

According to Startup Devkit, a lack of market fit causes 42% of startups to fail. These companies reported that their products didn’t solve any of their customers’ problems - they were essentially useless to the very people who were meant to benefit from them. Once such a huge hurdle exists, it’s difficult to overcome it - which is why it’s best to avoid it altogether by running a Product Discovery Workshop.

How is a lack of market fit causing so many businesses to fail? The answer is deceptively simple: without clarifying who your target audience is, and which of their needs you solve with your product or service, you risk creating a bunch of useless features wrapped in generic designs. The answer to this problem might seem simple, too. It’s user centered design and product development.

User (or human) centered design means exploring the perspective of your users, discovering their needs, then translating your findings into workable business ideas and strategies. Your goal is to understand your audience and build a solution to a specific problem they have. This way, you can be sure that your product will serve your users.

Product discovery workshops

One way to effectively arrive at the right set of assumptions about your users and your business idea is to conduct a product discovery workshop. These workshops can make a significant impact on the project’s further flow - not only from the project management perspective, but also for the Product Owners (clients). With this approach, it’s much easier for software development teams to understand major business goals and needs.

The product discovery workshop can be adjusted to your specific situation. During the process, all of the most critical parts of the application should be discussed. This includes two major aspects of the project: the business and the technical side. Doing it right will make future cooperation with your team easier and more seamless.

Agile discovery workshops as a part of software development outsourcing services

To successfully run a product discovery workshop, invite your outsourced development team into the process. Some companies, like iRonin.IT, include these workshops in their offer. We do this because it makes cooperation smoother, helps us prioritize the most important tasks and gives us a deeper understanding of each client’s business.

Our product discovery workshops usually consist of the following elements:

  • Clarifying a target audience - this includes considering their needs, looking at existing alternative solutions to their problems, and finding any “unfair advantages” that the client can offer while the competition may not be able to;
  • Setting the requirements for software development - as each project has specific needs, requirements need to be established with them in mind;
  • Preparing preliminary documentation - this is a draft that will be developed further as work on the project progresses. It’s helpful to set up the outline and include crucial business information;
  • Translating findings into user stories - these will be then turned into tasks for developers;
  • Clarifying the user flow - the more we know about the project, the deeper we can go into the user’s experience of the finished product;
  • Creating wireframes - this is an optional step that can be helpful in certain circumstances.

Sometimes, a particular project might require extra steps to get the process right. Other times, the client has already done a lot of the work and we can skip some stages. However, doing this together, with the client, is extremely important. It’s one of the best ways to ensure true understanding between the Product Owner and the development team.

Ready to get started on building the development strategy for your software product?
iRonin.IT’s experts have been helping clients meet and exceed users’ needs for over a decade.

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Author's Bio
Weronika Nowak

Project Manager

Detail-oriented professional with experience in software project management and business development, who has a proven capability of meeting business requirements and making processes more efficient thanks to strong analytical and soft skills. Passionate about looking for new travel destinations and learning the Arabic language.

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