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The Importance of the Discovery Phase In a Project

One of the most positive experiences I had recently with a client involved telling them to buy a lower-cost solution than initially proposed… let me explain.

Part of the process of developing Biz Apps with a customer involves a small discovery piece of work to gather requirements and get a real understanding of what the client requires. After this period is complete, we review the requirements spec with the client. In this particular instance, the client had an initial plan of acquiring a CRM system to manage Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing tasks.

This is where the initial discovery phase is so useful. We discovered the following:

  • Many of the requirements listed were “nice to have” rather than high priority requirements.
  • Some of the tasks being performed by each Department didn’t necessarily require a full suite of tools for that department (eg some marketing work didn’t require an entire suite of marketing tools).
  • There was no long term plan to expand the required functionality to necessitate an extensive tool.

Without these takeaways, the initial proposal suggested a multi-module CRM system such as Dynamics 365. After this work, we were able to suggest a configuration of a lower cost, a leaner system that would satisfy the client’s desires.

This process always outlines the importance of really nailing down requirements, as well as the potential benefits of offering a more limited initial application, rather than trying to satisfy too many requirements right away. While in the short term it may result in smaller projects or clients opting not to continue with a full-scale application, it provides the following long term benefits:

  • Users are not overwhelmed with an extremely large and complex application, allowing for better user acceptance.
  • Clients are not over-committed to a system that may not solve their problems, or may not match their changing requirements as the org expands or changes.
  • The developer prevents the risk of the above two issues causing client dissatisfaction, allowing for potential additional opportunities with the client in the future.

If you would like a 1:1 demo or an overview of how Microsoft Dynamics could benefit your business, contact the Biz Apps team today.

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Ian Jones - Biz Apps Solutions Architect

Ian Jones - Biz Apps Solutions Architect

Ian has been working with Aspira for the past 9 years, with a heavy focus in developing solutions for business using Microsoft Technology. He works as a solutions architect with the business applications team, delivering solutions using SharePoint, Dynamics, Project Online and the Power Platform for a variety of clients across many industries.

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