What is Digital Discovery?

What is Digital Discovery

Have you ever been a buyer of software technology in your company? Or been on the receiving end of a software implementation? The chances are that the first time you interacted with the delivery team was stood around a whiteboard, or worse still, brown paper stuck to the wall with a handful of sticky notes. It was discovery, but not digital discovery.

For vendors of the latest technology it is still surprising that so many start their hitech delivery with such a low tech introduction. As an approach to requirements gathering, using pen and paper is vigorously defended. It is somewhat reminiscent of the music industry at the advent of streaming, or the camera film industry at the development of the digital camera.

At the very beginning of a tech implementation hopes are high, there is plenty of enthusiasm and a desire to get going. And then comes the implementation. Timescales over run, people forget the original goal, goodwill dwindles and by the time the solution is delivered it no longer fits the requirements, or it completely missed them.

The solution to this is not just speed but a better understanding of the client’s business and how it works. This all starts right at the beginning, with those initial digital discovery sessions.

The need for Digital Discovery

There are a number of key factors for getting discovery right; speed, engagement and accuracy. Speed is important as those taking part typically have a day job to get back to. They are prepared to take time out to support the initiative but they need to feel they were able to contribute as much as possible. Furthermore, they expect to see results quickly. The longer it takes between interactions the less engaged participants feel.

Engagement is essential to getting teams to buy into any change. While everyone may be aligned at the start it is important to keep them engaged throughout the program. Engagement is as much about contribution as it is to do with speed. Participants need to feel they have had their say. In fact it is essential that everyone does have their say as this is where some of the most important insights will come from.

Accuracy of the information gathered is, again, essential for ensuring the right requirements are delivered in the solution. But also for ensuring the team remain engaged, a participant will quickly realise if something they have shared is misrepresented in some way. They may not always point that out and engagement is damaged as a result.

Successful discovery is a balancing act between these three factors and yet traditional, manual, discovery work typically consists of long workshops writing, moving, rewriting and moving sticky notes around a board. At the end of the workshop photos are taken and scribed into a digital format and shared with the team days, or even weeks later, if at all. There follows several rounds of review and finalisation, taking more time out of people’s busy calendars.

Digital discovery involves capturing the information directly into a digital tool such as Skore. Participants describe their ways of working and these are transcribed there and then. Digital Discovery provides a number of benefits here; firstly the approach is structured so that it is standardised across all workshops regardless of the facilitator. Secondly, the tool makes it much faster to change things allowing participants to focus on the flow of work and reduces distractions and loss of concentration. Finally, the information captured can be agreed in the workshop and shared instantly with wider audiences as required.

The added benefits of the Skore Digital Discovery approach

One of the key benefits of using a digital discovery approach is how it helps uncover hidden issues and unexpected benefits. While the Skore approach is fast it also provides a framework that allows users to zoom in and out of the detail.

This puts the work the team are doing, and therefore their requirements, into the wider context of the business. It allows participants to easily explore other contributing, or receiving, areas of the business. It opens up new possibilities and highlights further requirements that typically get missed in traditional discovery sessions.

Understanding this wider context ensures that the business considers how appropriate these processes are for the technology that’s coming. It shines a light on changes, both process and organisational, that need to be made in order to make the implementation successful.

For the implementation partner it allows them to build a more complete solution and deliver more value to the customer. They understand the customer’s business at a much deeper level and therefore develop a longer and more meaningful relationship as trusted advisors.

Win win

Using a digital discovery approach is a win-win for both tech implementers and the receiving customers. For the implementers it allows them to grow with their customer over the long term and become a real value adding partner. For the customer it helps ensure they realise their return on investment quicker and grow their business faster.

If you would like to try Skore Digital Discovery request your free trial here.

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