Whenever your organization is considering large project efforts, discovery is key. Large projects, the most common being a replatform or platform migration, can include any complex integration where changes to systems essential to your tech stack are made, like a new loyalty/rewards program, PIM, OMS, or ERP.
Discovery is a series of collaborative planning sessions with your team, as well as with your business partners, to solve complex problems. These strategic workshops help define and clarify the vision for your business – identifying market opportunities, requirements, customizations, and metrics for your project’s success – key inputs toward crafting the long term approach and eCommerce solution.
In discovery, all teams take a step back to “get on the same page” and align on the specific details of your organization. A successful discovery gets into the weeds of a new project with all key stakeholders and teams, defining goals of the new project, documenting how your systems work today, and agreeing on how your systems are expected to work at launch.
As a business partner, we typically uncover gaps in alignment during discovery. Once project details have been defined and all teams are aligned, you and your partner can sign off on realistic timeline/budget for your project.
Goals for discovery should include:
- Alignment on key business drivers, pain points & KPIs
- This alignment is needed with your agency partner, as well as internally. We encourage more voices to share in this vision, from stakeholders to customer service.
- Alignment on true requirements that bring ROI
- The more that you’re able to work through and plan out the requirements of the project – features, integrations, business drivers, process that are pain points (not just “we want better-looking site” or increasing conversion rate), the more you can align internally on what you want to achieve.
- Alignment of internal stakeholders on your 3-5 years plan as it relates to your platform ecosystem
- Think through where data is today and your vision of where you would like to be. That will help agency partners scope the project and give more accurate time and budget. Ensure internal stakeholders and agencies are aligned on goals, as well as the requirements for launch and post-launch.
- Engagement of your teams
- Discovery should be a multidisciplinary approach, featuring multiple workshops to discuss strategy, goals, feature requirements, and your technical ecosystem map. With sales engineers, developers, strategists, and UX and design, the workshops typically include 1 around business strategy and goals, 2 around capabilities and features, 2 around technology, and 1 around features and technology combinations. This approach ensures all key areas are covered and all teams are aligned on the project.
With a successful discovery, both your organization and your agency will be best aligned on project scope (launch and post-launch), timeline, and budgets. After defining all the new details of your project, we highly recommend updating any changes to your organization’s technical ecosystem map. Learn more about the value of an ecosystem map.