Kick-Off Your Digital Transformation Project With Discovery Workshops

Vin Vijayan - 30/05/2019

Digital transformation is generally defined as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, resulting in fundamental changes to how it operates and how it will deliver value to customers.

According to Forbes, 84% of all digital transformation project fail. Experts agree the most common and expensive mistakes that cause failure are related to not investing in the experiences a customer wants and not planning project requirements, customer journeys or flows correctly. These can be identified and addressed very early on in the project lifecycle by having a discovery workshop straight after project kick-off.

Discovery workshops help the project team solidify its understanding of the business’s vision, goals and needs from the transformation. It further ensures the team develops a solution to meets the business’s brief and that the solution is useful, engaging and beneficial.

It doesn’t matter if you are a consultancy, a digital agency or team within an organisation tasked with delivering a project – having the workshop will provide you with deeper understanding of your users’ requirements

Who needs to attend?

The workshop must include appropriate user representatives from the business and relevant members from the project team, such as the user experience (UX) expert, development lead, business analyst and the project manager.

These sessions are highly collaborative and the team come together to discover the features required for the solution. Ground rules must be established at the start of the workshop and it is imperative to have open and transparent discussions for the workshop to be successful.

The sessions will generally involve the discovery of the end-user personas, brainstorming of the various scenarios and goals of the end-user. The project team will come up with a mock-up or a prototype.

Why is it useful?

The discovery workshops help the project team to understand the different user personas that the solution will cater to and identify each persona’s unique needs.

The relevant scenarios for the personas, helps in the identification and establishment of the data flows and customer journeys the solution needs to cater for.

As there is representation from the relevant business areas and the project team, everyone gets the opportunity to contribute and provide their perspective. This allows for greater team engagement.

Discovery workshops also ensure all the project pain points have been identified and addressed.

It also uncovers questions or areas the business hasn’t thought about and requires clarification and decision making. This will minimise any nasty surprises in the future, it’s essentially risk management.

The mock-ups and prototypes created during a discovery, act as a “try before you buy”, it helps the business to visualise the solution and drives effective discussion around the intended solution.

At the end of a discovery workshop the team will have a good feel on the amount of development work i.e. the size of the project and whether or not it can be delivered within the current budget. This drives the discussion on prioritisation of features.

In conclusion, make sure you kick-start your digital transformation project by running effective discovery workshops, it’s a worthwhile exercise that will ensure your project is meeting the right needs for the business and most importantly, its customers.

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