By Gustavo Armagno

In today’s landscape, 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 dangers of all kind. Only the most experienced guides, aimed with the right maps, tools, and knowledge, can lead the journey to success. To guide business in the right direction, we conduct Inception Workshops with our clients. During an Inception Workshop we: validate the proposed business model against its potential market, refine ideas, establish formal product descriptions, and create feasible software development project scopes.

Product Scope Definition Workshop

A recent Inception Workshop was with of one of our clients, YouScience. YouScience identified a new business opportunity for expanding their current service — namely, helping students select the right career path based on their interests and aptitudes — to a new audience. The innovation provides a new tool to assist high-school career counselors in helping students make smart decisions about their career options. The idea grew out of years of working with students, high-school administrations, college representatives, and employers from all over the United States. The information was compiled to form a full understanding of their needs and concerns, in order to create a product that address these issues.

Product Scope Definition Workshop

When YouScience came to us, they had already validated their business model, but required our technical expertise to execute the enterprise software product. Due to the nature of enterprise software development, each of our Inception Workshops is carefully planned, structured, and tailored to the needs and requirements of each project. YouScience’s Workshop included: defining the project scope, identifying the main critical risks and obstacles compromising the realization of the product, defining the architectural approach to integrate the new product with the existing one, and estimating the timeline and cost of overall effort.

Product Scope Definition Workshop

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 analyzing and internalizing the product’s vision, goals, risks, roles and use cases, establishing a high-level definition of the system architecture, and beginning the process of defining the technical solution proposal.

Product Scope Definition Workshop

The agenda was organized into three phases, each focused on a particular part of the solution discovery process: 1. the product discovery, wherein high-level product concept and goals were discussed, risks analyzed, and the main personas, roles, and activities identified, 2. the requirements definition, wherein the main use cases were defined, and main flows of the current system analyzed, and 3. the system architecture definition, wherein the new system architecture, and the main functionality flows were established.

The Workshop enabled both teams to come together, and focus on the new project. Through analyzing, discussing and internalizing the new requirements together, the entire team started out on the same page, ensuring long-term project success. This also enabled the development team and other roles to begin working on the new solution immediately, and with the full confidence of our client.