What is the discovery phase in agile?

Agile delivery has different phases and the first is the discovery phase. Discovery is the first phase in the process of designing and delivering services or products. Whatever project or solution you are working on has to undergo a process. 

The first, discovery phase can determine whether the entire project is a success or otherwise. This is the phase where you understand better what problems you are solving, what your target users need and want, and how to get your deliverables to please them.

The point is that without a target user, market, client, or audience, there are no sales. So the discovery phase helps you better understand them and what aspect of the challenge to prioritize. If you want to learn more and understand what the discovery phase is, follow the link.  

This article explains in total what the discovery phase in Agile is. Read on to find out.

What is agile discovery?

The agile approach to service and product design and delivery takes four phases: Discovery, Alpha, Beta, and Live. The discovery phase is slated to take up to eight weeks but can also be completed in four weeks. 

This is the stage where you do some research into what challenges your target users are having and how to solve them. Since the aim of every service or product is to meet a need, this phase becomes very essential in achieving that aim.

What are the essential steps in the discovery phase?

Given the importance of the discovery phase, you have to approach it systematically to ensure that it is properly done. Here are the steps involved:

1. Get competent teams

There are people with specific skills that are relevant to the discovery phase. These are the people that can make a competent team. These people can take up tasks in the discovery phase that will culminate in the team meeting the target. 

You will have to incorporate subject matter experts and stakeholders that can bring positive results. The development team can consist of a project manager, user researcher, designer, business analyst, developers, and other necessary team members.

2. Get a research plan

Before you embark on research, which is a core activity in this phase, you should have a plan for it. What testing tools do you need, where you will meet, what every team member will work on, what approach to use, and so on. 

Also, get approval for your plan. Considerations like spending and ethics will need some review and approval before you can kick off the research properly.

In your research plan, you should also include what platform the team will meet and discuss. Collaboration is smoother and more productive when a team has a comfortable meeting point. Depending on some factors, the meeting space can be physical, virtual, or blended.

3. Set a budget

It is advisable to have a budget to better allocate funds to different aspects of the discovery. The discovery is only successful if you have enough money to cover every area. Of course, you might have the needed money at the onset, but what matters is whether you can finish well with the money.

4. Do your research properly

This is where you go onto the field, meet with your potential users, and hear what they have to say. Ask the necessary questions to cover the project scope and meet project goals. 

When doing the research, it is advisable to have success metrics. Set an expectation and work to achieve it. Your research will also help you find out existing and trending market approaches to incorporate for good.

5. Create a list of user stories and preferences

You will meet with a lot of potential clients. Your aim is to find out what problem they have, what they prefer, how they will like their needs to be met, and other essential aspects. Then you have to work with the result to build your service and product. In your list of user stories, have a priority. 

6. Speak with the necessary people

You have to speak with some people to have a better idea of some key areas and how they will impact your work. For instance, you know about the law when it comes to legacy, copyright, etc. To have a good grasp of the current business process, you might need to interact with policy owners, the service delivery team, and so on.

7. Set to work

By now, you have ample information from the feedback and comments to start your project’s development. This is the step where you do some analysis and planning, and begin the development process. In the end, you should meet business goals and the target audience should be satisfied.

Why the discovery phase is important

The relevance of the discovery phase rests in the advantages it has. If done properly, the discovery phase can help in:

  • Understanding your target users’ needs- These are the challenges that your service or product will solve.
  • Knowing their preferences. Your target users have preferred ways of meeting their needs. They may not like an idea or approach you think is the best. 
  • Creating a product or service that people need. Perhaps the crucial reason for the discovery phase is to avoid creating a product or service that no one needs. It would be a waste of money and energy.
  • Creating a great user experience. The experience your target market gets from interfering with your service or product will determine if they want to stick with you or look elsewhere.
  • Gathering all information and data to know the requirements and solutions with the necessary features. This will help you create a value and quality experience for your clients.
  • It will help you create a prototype.

Also read: Top Reasons Why You Need A Sales Funnel Consultant


In the discovery phase, a company or brand gets to know everything their target users need. Some factors like ample research, analyzing feedback, and implementing ideas make the discovery phase a necessary step. 

The content of the research and the number of popular preferences can lead companies to build better outcomes for their clients. 

The discovery phase is an opportunity to make the most of your target market’s thoughts to create a unique product or service.