How many times have you stumbled across a milestone that gave you a headache? You’ll be looking for various solutions, but none of them will work. The right one will be a business roadmap.
A business roadmap is much like the journey path that you outline for your company. A stable platform for your business ideas to grow successfully while avoiding expensive mistakes. There are many ways to make it yourself. However, where are the direct guarantees that your business will pull through?
Therefore, as a digital product development company, we want to share a tour approach to save your time and expenses—a business roadmap or a startup roadmap designed explicitly for young entrepreneurs. Our team presents you with a special interview about the development process in the Design and Discovery phase.
– Hello there! Could you introduce yourself to our audience?
– Hi Mark, my name is Server Ashyrov! I’m a lead business analyst at JetRuby, who specializes in providing essential and mandatory artifacts for startups in their preliminary preparations for the MVP phase.
– How long have you been working as a business analyst at JetRuby?
– Well, technically, I work already five years as a business analyst and still enjoy it to this day! In my previous companies, I have worked as a project manager for various business and IT projects.
– Why did you decide to change your career path to a business analyst suddenly?
– As I have been working and involving myself in many different projects, I have always found myself attracted to initial digital product development. There’s something magical in it, I swear. When you try to visualize and glue the puzzles in a singular picture (both from the client and your side), it feels truly unique.
When I just started it out at this digital product development agency (JetRuby), I remember that when I sat at my office and started our first project, I cannot go back to anything else. The process of creating all niche and necessary tools has seriously interested me and found what I truly wanted to do.
If we roll back just five years ago and look at our company’s state, we’ll say that we didn’t have any analytical team members and any working platforms for startups. During the time of hard work, our department had undergone some profound changes. Apart from team assembly, we gain an insight into how analytics work in companies, what they do, and their central role in startup roadmaps and projects.
After gaining enough experience and knowledge, we formed a Design and Discovery phase. We are continuously supporting it to assist various startups in their early development days while providing multiple business analytics services. Some of them would be: filling up the business canvas model, researching product competitors, and determining entry requirements for a new product in a given business field. All of that will assure a solid product launch of a startup.
– Can you briefly describe the Design and Discovery Phase and how important it is for startups?
– Yes, of course, I guess every reader has already thought to himself: “What is Design and Discovery anyway?”. I’ll get straight to the point.
JetRuby and me, as a co-creator, define the Design and Discovery Phase as an initial stage of any product idea that creates a clear vision of a future product and the correct development path. It’s like a business roadmap, specifically designed for young and aspiring entrepreneurs. The ending deliverable artifact is a project plan with projected deadlines and an estimated budget prepared for an MVP. We typically help fresh startups or those who may not have full insight into their product business goals during it.
Design and Discovery Phase is a very flexible tool that helps to launch your project, understand its goal and avoid numerous surprises along the development stage, where you’ll be motivated to work productively, as you’ll gain an insight into what you want, how you want to accomplish it, and how much work you require to do. In short, this is a definitive guide on “how to develop a digital product by yourself”.
This phase or step is a simple solution for the core functionalities to gain a precise understanding of your future creation. It is also about laying a correct business roadmap for the outcomes to guide you towards a successful and selling product.
– How did you or anyone else form the idea of the Design and Discovery Phase? Where are the roots of it?
– Oh, that’s an interesting question!
I think I remember the very first steps towards the Design and Discovery phase. It started when we noticed a sudden spike of creativity waves that soon defined a new design trend, which resulted in the generation of many design sprints. We carefully examined some trending ones from various companies that have shared them publicly and based on the default ones, and we created our innovative ones!
While this creativity wave was still in the sea, we caught it, and surprisingly for us, we got ourselves the very first client! He expressed his desire for this kind of work, and we executed it specifically for him.
It wasn’t the same Design and Discovery phase as it is right now, as it was just the cut version. Once our head of client engagement has completed it, we understood that we could further develop it and assist young startups.
– When you handle the project, are you the only one who is in it? Or you cooperate with your BA team too?
One business analyst is responsible for one project only. So he is making all calls to the client and manages the entire process of the Design and Discovery Phase. Sometimes, if there’s a need, we can discuss some uncertainties or questions with the team after the client’s call.
When a business analyst is getting assigned to a specific client, he won’t be transferred to any additional work. The Design and Discovery Phase is a pervasive and complex project. And one business analyst will be in charge of constructing every future app aspect.
And if, in theory, you’ll get assigned to another project and you’ll be creating another business roadmap, you’ll deliver a single project with two ideas combined. This can happen because you continually involve yourself in these solutions.
– What exactly makes you motivated in the work that you do?
All of the jobs that I am doing are interesting. And what makes me motivated is that you are prototyping and projecting the initial steps for future digital product development that might change the world for the better. You are at the wheel for launching the future of the product.
This is an intriguing creative process that I execute with various professional tools along with certified practices. They involve the iOS, Android, or Web applications guidelines that have been adjusted for easier product releases. We combine them along with the client’s perception to get the desired result.
– Thank you very much for the opportunity to talk with you. I’ll be keeping in touch with you for future topics!
– No problem, see you soon and Happy New Year!
– Good day, Dmitry! Can you introduce yourself to our blog audience?
– Hi Mark, of course! My name is Dmitry Baklikov. I am the head of the client engagement department.
– How exactly did you join in the process of the Design and Discovery Phase?
– Honestly, it depends on the role that I am taking during any given project. Sometimes, I am acting as a “Sales Manager.” In that case, I’ll be signing the contract during the engagement stage and observing the project development process. The agreement itself consists of 2 parts: MSA (customer relationship management) and SLW (all stated work tasks and results).
However, most of the time, I act as a “Project Manager” during the Design and Discovery phase. The very first thing I do is launch a kick-off meeting. Its purpose is to introduce the team, get acquainted with each other, present the required steps and deliver results in the Design and Discovery phase. Also, while doing so, I discuss all questions from the client’s side.
Once the entire phase finishes, the final step is to present, together with the team, a complete plan for MVP. Inside of it, we describe what kind of product functions will be done, how it will be done, what kind of technologies will be used, etc. So we can say that this is pretty much like a business roadmap or startup roadmap, which comes way before the MVP stage.
Once the client sees it, he has two options: he accepts the proposal and moves on to the MVP stage with us, or he’ll go to other digital companies with the complete plan and ask to assess his idea.
– Can you tell me more about the very first project that happened during the Design and Discovery phase? How was it?
– Well, it was quite a long ago. Since that time, the Design and Discovery Phase has undergone various and massive changes. That’s why the very first results that we achieved were a simple spin of the wheel.
The results that we produced were good, and the platform was launched. However, the difference between what was done before and now is colossal. The client of the “Help My Task” project came into our Lviv office in Ukraine with only an idea. At that time, one of our sales managers was right there, so he successfully explained all the benefits and advantages of the Design and Discovery phase so quickly.
I have thoroughly described all of the required steps necessary to be implemented for the project to succeed. His platform’s idea was born from a few analytical articles that Google has expressly given us on the search, a marketplace for freelancers.
If I were to summarize the overall score of the very first project that we did, I’d say that it was completed in a raw format and its only purpose was to get the very first and initial results. We didn’t think through further digital product development (aka MVP) cause the stated two weeks of research and development wasn’t enough for us to cover up every aspect of the app.
However, as of right now, the Design and Discovery phase has mutated very quickly. The majority of the projects have changed their direction of development. For example, our fellow project “Beazzy”. A business selling marketplace is now heading towards the MVP and further scaling plans necessary for its healthy development.
Overall we are glad that the Design and Discovery phase has changed so much. Now, it is correctly sending various startups on their right paths!
– What exactly do you enjoy the most during the Design and Discovery phase?
– Didn’t expect this question to pop up here suddenly!
I can say that I pretty much like every stage in the Design and Discovery Phase since every step is an inalienable continuation of the previous one. Some of them are a bit complex if viewed from our point of view. If broken down, one can easily label it as instruction on “how to develop a digital product with a solid business roadmap.”
Any step could involve any effort that requires the creation of specifications, like, for example, the user journey maps. There is practically a lot to be covered and visualized. It is a huge step that defines the app’s concept and how it will look like.
– In your opinion, how should one improve the Design and Discovery Phase?
– I think that as of right now, we miss more qualitative competitors and market research processes.
As you might see, almost every digital product development company is actively starting to focus its attention on testing various business ideas and gaining more business audience. Each makes its relevant products/services more professional and reliable towards this type of audience.
And this connects directly with us! Our team perfectly knows that any business has two parts: the product and the marketing/sales part. Our team handles both aspects well enough. However, what we are currently trying to do is to teach the right guidance of business development. In this direction, I think that Design and Discovery Phase should be further progressing and making further improvements.
– Appreciate your opinion and for your time. I guess we’ll meet another time, for another topic?
– Yes, I think so. I’ll be waiting for more “podcasts” stories from now then! See you next time!
Without a clear and distinctive business roadmap, lots of startups won’t launch their products with success. As a digital product development company, we were glad to share some insights and spread how you can solve it with our proposition. Next time, we’ll tell you the JetRuby startup story, so wait ahead and be prepared for it!
We value your time and appreciate every effort that you pull to get closer to success. That’s why we want to reach out to you and show exactly how your business roadmap can benefit from our Design and Discovery Phase. So check out why and how our digital product development agency can assist your young startup in walking on the right path.