Vague ideas are the starting point for multi-million dollar businesses. However, before being shaped into real products, ideas must cross a tangled jungle full of detours, dead-ends, and danger of all kinds. Only the most experienced guides, armed with the right maps and tools, can lead the journey to success. Here at Moove-it, we have experience guiding inception workshops, wherein ideas are refined and turned into formal product descriptions and feasible software development projects.
That’s the case of one of our partners, YouScience. They identified a new business opportunity for expanding their current service — namely, to help high-school students select the right career path based on their own interests and aptitudes — to a new audience. The innovation offers a new tool to assist high-school CTE and CTAE directors in helping students make smart decisions about their career options. The idea resulted from years of working with students, private and public high-school and college representatives, and employers from across the United States, to understand their needs and concerns.
Although Moove-it provides software development services and product inception workshops, wherein the business model is validated against potential markets, YouScience had already vetted the subject matter with experts and identified as a business opportunity. However, they required our expertise to: turn the idea into a product scope definition, identify the main critical risks and obstacles compromising the realization of the product, define the architectural approach to integrate the new product with the existing one, and estimate the overall effort.
Each project has its own characteristics, and thus, inception workshops are carefully planned, structured, and tailored to the requirements of each project. After defining the agenda, Moove-it’s YouScience team traveled to the YouScience office in Austin, Texas, to participate in the workshop. The workshop was focused on getting the team to analyze and internalize the product’s vision, goals, risks, roles and use cases, as well as establishing a high-level definition of the system architecture, starting with the process of defining the technical solution proposal.
The agenda was organized into three phases, each one focused on a particular part of the solution discovery process: 1. the product discovery, where the high-level product concept and goals were discussed, the risks were analyzed and the main personas, roles, and activities identified, 2. the requirements definition, where the main use cases were defined and the main flows of the current system were analyzed, and finally, 3. the system architecture definition, where the new system architecture and the main functionality flows were discussed.
The workshop allowed the whole team to come together and focus on the new project. Analyzing, discussing and internalizing the new requirements meant that the entire team started off on the same page. This, in turn, enabled the development team and other roles to begin working on the new solution immediately.