Custom software development: Project discovery phase

When you have a new software product idea for your startups and want to implement it, it is imperative that your custom software developer provide detailed time and cost estimates. But this takes a lot more information than you think, it’s a multi-stage project discovery phase. In this article, let’s learn about this important period with Tech Town.

What is the project discovery phase?

This is the first and most important stage in the custom software product development process. The goal of this phase is to collect information to determine the requirements and analyze the business needs of the startups, thereby giving an accurate time and cost estimate to develop the software project.

The project discovery process is very important not only for businesses, but also for custom software developers, it helps them clarify and identify issues:

●     What are the characteristics of startups and the surrounding aspects?

●     What is the target audience of the software?

●     Who are end-users?

Tech Town always pays special attention to the project discovery phase, discussing with startups about product ideas, business goals and target audiences. We ask questions to deeply explore the field of operation of startups, identify the key points, come up with the best solution and estimate the cost and time of the project.

We provide customers with actionable application wireframes and prototypes, helping startups visualize the finished product and simulate user interactions.

Who does the project discovery phase need? And what is their role?

Usually in a meeting to explore software ideas for startups that includes many developers with different functions, we will list them right below:

Business Analyst/Product Manager

The Business Analyst/Product Manager is responsible for analyzing, collecting, and structuring input data from startups. They facilitated the discussion process and made the list of questions clear. The main goal of the Product Manager is to ensure that both startups and the software development team agree on goals.

UX/UI designer

Custom software designers are tasked with discussing the requirements and preferences of the business and building the product in the right direction. They analyze the target audience, end-users and competitors. This information is vital to building an intuitive and engaging software product based on customer needs. They are also responsible for building user processes for startups’ future products.

Software Development Team Leader

The team leader is the person primarily responsible for technical issues. They analyze the raw materials (documentation or project architectural requirements). It is important for them to ensure that the startup’s idea and their business are fully viable during product development. Finally, technical experts offer the most suitable architectural and technological solutions for startups’ software.

Related parties

Stakeholders represent startups and bring startups’ business ideas to the software development company. They explain what the product is, its goals and the expectations and requirements of startups in a custom software development project.

In short, an effective product discovery process requires the active participation of both the startup team and the software developer. We believe that such close cooperation will help to build successful and profitable software solutions as desired.

Steps to perform the project discovery phase

Phase of discovery of custom software development project

1.  Explore the business field of startups

First, startups and project development teams learn about startups’ areas of operation, analyzing product concepts, markets and competitors. At this stage, startups need to explain how the product works, its key functions, and the user profile.

2.  Identify the knots

When startups provide their product expectations, the software developer analyzes the input and discusses the project’s key points. It may include a certain feature or a logical implementation process.

3.  Discuss solutions to possible challenges

Next, technical experts will provide high-level solutions to possible project challenges. They explain to startups thoroughly about a certain solution that will best meet the requirements set forth.

4.  Identify priority tasks and discuss project scope

In this step, the parties involved in the project discovery phase jointly define the priority tasks and scope of the project. This phase is very important for custom software developers. They collaborate with the Product Manager to efficiently allocate resources and prepare the product development process. Determining project size helps startups accurately estimate user needs.

5.  Estimate cost, project implementation time and develop project documentation

The ultimate goal of the product discovery phase is to develop a documentation, which includes the specification, initial project feature list, and premium solutions. From there, the developer can provide an accurate estimate of the cost and time to complete the project.

Questions to ask in the product discovery phase

Note that key questions in a project discovery meeting may vary depending on the startup’s business, goals, and requirements. However, there are still basic questions that Tech Town will talk about shortly:

What is a business goal?

Developers will ask startups about the key problems their product will solve. This information is important to form an overall product concept.

What is the target audience of the product?

It is important to define the target audience and the customer persona using the product. These stages include identifying the user’s demographics, age, geographic location, habits and interests, etc. This information will help build a user-oriented product.

Who is the competitor?

Competitor analysis helps startups identify the core strengths and weaknesses of existing products in the market. This information is very useful for startups’ products to stand out and provide a unique and valuable solution.

Project implementation process?

The project process helps to track and manage the planned project activities easily and efficiently.

What is the budget for the project?

This information is important to determine if the requirements are achievable. From there, the custom software developer can accurately estimate product features, which is important to both parties.

When working with Tech Town, we always create a list of questions before meeting startups, to simplify the identification of the main requirements and needs of the project. These questions are an integral part of product discovery planning, and we tailor each custom software development project individually.

When we complete the product discovery phase, what we get will be:

●     Prototypes can be manipulated.

●     List of priority features.

●     Architecture of the product.

●     Estimate time and cost.

●     Product specification.

●     Recommendations on the composition of the development team.


The project discovery phase in custom software development is very useful and effective for startups to validate their product ideas. Startups will define business goals, desired outcomes, and get accurate time and cost estimates for custom software development. Through this phase, both the startups and the development team are ready for a clear and transparent product development process.

At Tech Town, we give a lot of attention to this stage, asking questions that allow our development team to explore startups’ areas of operation, bottlenecks, come up with high-end solutions and use the most appropriate technology. Finally, we provide startups with accurate time and cost estimates, product wireframes, and actionable prototypes.

We know the best way to turn your ideas into reality. Feel free to contact us to discuss your ideas!



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