Back in 2013, we were completely new to the industry. We had some experience working with companies like Google to run Design Sprints for various organizations, but we have never done any client work as such.
Skcript started out as a product company, creating a data management platform for the media industry. Thanks to our team, the quality set us apart early on. This opened up a ton of consulting opportunities for us, where the clients who would want to create a ‘quick yet stable’ product would approach us time and again. We did not say no, since we realized that we were not just in love with building one single product, but we were in love with the process of creating a new product.
For every product that we helped create for our clients, we iterated the process, that allowed us to gather the requirements, know what to focus on first, and then to build the right feature at the right time that the end-user would use. This process of discovering the requirements and building a product that users love, is what we now call “Product Discovery Workshop”.
What is Product Discovery Workshop Process?#
Product Discovery or Product Discovery Workshops are a set of activities to understand the needs of the customers, business and other stakeholders to develop a product that users love.
The PDW is usually the first activity that is done right after an idea to build a product materializes.
You will learn more about the why, what, how and when of PDW in this article.
What is the agenda for Product Discovery Workshop?#
The goal for any PDW is simple:
Translate a business ideas into a product that users would adopt.
The agenda revolves heavily around this goal throughout the PDW process. Typically, PDWs last three working days which involves all the stakeholders.
Though we tend to change the agenda for every Product Discovery Workshop we do, depending on the client, here’s a general skeleton agenda for a Discovery Process:
- Identifying Business Goals (Short-term & long-term)
- Collecting feature-set for the idea
- Prioritizing feature-set to match business goals
- Finalizing the Discovery Document & Product Discovery Card
- Building a UI prototype (if necessary)
- Refining the feature-set based on technical challenges (if necessary)
- Presenting the early-prototype to business teams
- Setting the launch date and agreeing on the proposed 18-month timeline
- Creating marketing/promo materials for launch
- Listing down important changes to be made before launch
Why is Product Discovery Workshop important?#
Every product has to have a clear sense of direction and purpose to succeed in the market. Not all ideas work out. The ones who progress are the ones that were planned and built for a specific set of audience. Product Discovery Workshop helps you get there in a structured manner.
Here’s why Product Discovery or Product Discovery Workshop is important:
- Move from idea to MVP faster.
- Test your assumptions with product analytics.
- Transparent business goals that spreads across all stakeholders.
- Figure out the goals of the users who will be using the product.
- Define success factors and KPIs to measure post launch.
- Reduce time in R&D.
- Reduced risk of product development.
What is a Discovery Document in PDW#
This is literally the wiki of all the discussions that happens during the Product Discovery Workshop. This is the document that acts as the center piece of everything we do during and after a PDW.
The Discovery Document typically contains:
- Purpose of the PDW
- Stakeholders and decision makers
- Business Goals
- Decision Matrix (defines what drove us to building the feature set that we finalized)
- Product Goals
- KPIs (What defines success & what defines failure)
- Proposed Architecture or product workflow
- Required resources (Design & technical)
- Required people (Stakeholders, decision makers)
- 18 months timeline for feature-set development
- Approximate cost of reach
- Business Continuity Plan
- Brand Guidelines
- Meeting Notes w/ date & time
- Miscellaneous notes
The discovery document is an evolving document that changes from one use-case to the other, but the structure largely remains the same.
Who are the stakeholders of a Product Discovery Workshop or Discovery Process#
We typically restrict the participants to fall under the following categories to be a part of the PDW:
- Stakeholders of important BUs related to the idea
- Decision makers of the product being prototyped
- Experts in the field in which the product is being developed
Important questions to answer while narrowing down the feature-set of a product during a PDW#
Ideas are free. Execution is expensive. As a consultant, it is important for us to know what exactly to build and in what time. The matrix that we arrive at is very simple, and answers the following questions.
- What is the measure of impact
- What features achieves the maximum impact
- One feature that is unique to the idea
- What is the investment required to build the first wave of features
How to run a Product Discovery Workshop at your company#
Product Discovery Workshop would be the first step towards building a successful product in any organization. We wrote extensively about running a PDW in your company in a detailed manner here:
Frequently Asked Questions#
What is the difference between Agile or Lean Product Discovery and a Product Discovery Workshop
There is literally not major difference other than the slight change in the process and structure in which the workshop is handled.
Can Product Discovery Workshop be run remote?
Absolutely yes. Our Product Manager handles the end-to-end workflow for handling the PDW remote with our clients.
Is there a difference between UX Vision Workshop and PDW?
UX Vision Workshops are a part of the Product Discovery Workshop. UX Vision basically outlines the user experience workflow of a product, which we will identify in Day 2.
Read on: You can read more FAQs on PDW here.