We believe that the secret to making successful business decisions is to be pragmatic. That’s why we created a service called Scoping Session which will help to shape your ideas into an action plan and let you decide without taking a bigger risk.
What is Scoping Session and why is it so important?
I can assure you that the success of many IT projects depends on two basic questions being asked at the beginning. These questions concern timeline and budget. To answer those questions in the best possible way, our team needs to know the scope of the work and the specifications of what is to be done.
Accurately determining the price, time, and scope of work is not a piece of cake because we want to understand and meet your expectations. We try to approach each case individually and design tailored workshops with even better results after. That’s why the whole Scoping Session process may last from three to six weeks.
It’s an introductory 30-minute call with our eCommerce consultant. During this phase, we want to understand if this service is exactly what you need at this point and help provide you the best possible value. It is possible we even suggest a different service of ours, that might be a better fit for your specific needs.
We like to start preparing for the workshop phase with a warm-up call. At this phase, we’ll add a tech specialist on our end, in order to give our discussion a proper technical edge. During this call, we’ll establish what form of the Scoping Session will make the most sense for your specific case. After the call, we’re well equipped to confirm the right team composition and approach as well as the deliverables that will follow.
Workshops usually last between one and two business days and are now held online. The meeting is attended by a team specialized in many areas. From the Divante side, there’s usually a Developer, Product Designer, Project Manager, Business Analyst, and Business/eCommerce Consultant. If during the pre-call we notice that your project needs more experts in a specific field, we’ll fill this gap. From the client’s team, usually, there are some business stakeholders, Product Owners, and if the project is about integrations, a Developer. We meet together in order to gather business requirements, precisely define the unique selling proposition (USP), and establish the IT architecture along with key processes.
After we’ve finalized our workshops, we need to do an analysis of all the details we’ve gathered. This is where we prepare the final deliverables that will be handed to you.
Scoping Session goals and deliverables
During the workshop, our team asks a lot of questions, makes notes, does mind-maps and draws mockups on paper to understand the idea and prepare a document with the business requirements. Our main goal is to deliver preliminary documentation that will help both sides to understand the project and will give the decision makers a foundation for further decisions and steps.
The output of these sessions can include:
- A high-level list of business requirements
- The preliminary list of functionalities
- The preliminary integration scope
- UX/UI recommendations
- The MVP scope
- A roadmap, timeline, and estimation
To speed up the work and show your team the solution to test and touch, we can base that on ready-made designs and with a live demo. We often work with proven products such as Vue Storefront, Spartacus, or commercetools.
Scoping Session from the team’s perspective
What do our experts think about the Scoping Session? It’s always good to hear feedback from all perspectives.
Senior Product Designer and Team Leader, Marcin Baran
“I would say that the scoping session is a crucial phase of any project to be successful. This is a time for Product Designers and clients to discover and understand the needs, the context, the users, the business, and to set up the relationship. The main goal for the Product Designer during this workshop is to find a place where business, technology, budget, user, time, and any other requirements are met.”Marcin Baran
Business Analyst, Damian Kłaptocz
“Scoping Session allows business analysts to gather project requirements, but it is often a crucial moment for the stakeholders to meet and discuss their needs. My role as a business analyst is to lead the meeting in a way that allows all the future application users to “argue” on how it should work and what functionalities it should have. It is also a good moment to present recommended solutions that brought success to other organizations we are working with. Based on our eCommerce experience and stakeholders’ needs, we create the overall list of described requirements and the scheme of the solution architecture.”Damian Kłaptocz
eCommerce Consultant, Zelimir Gusak
“Scoping Session has undeniable importance as the first step to any project build. In eCommerce, it is even more so. Simply because there are so many factors that it is hard to imagine an eComm project without proper planning. Everything we prepare in the pre-dev phase, every detail we discuss, every doubt we clear, will help us in the long run. A good plan will enable us to build and launch a project on time with less risk and more predictable costs.
Scoping Session is an initial phase of the project where we get all the crucial stakeholders together. This is a perfect time to discuss important topics in both technical and UX aspects.
In the technical part of the discussion, we try to get to the bottom of things and understand clients’ needs from a technical perspective and from a business perspective as well. We dig deeper to understand what kind of system we are looking to build, what features we need, which external systems we want to connect to, what concepts to introduce, etc.
Ultimately, we connect it with the UX part of the story where we cover the business part again as well as the design/visual part of clients’ requirements. Wrapping all of this with some data in the form of research, analytics, etc. gives us a pretty good view of the bigger picture. Of course, it is not possible to have absolutely everything planned in detail. However, finishing this Scoping Session with an 80-90% of backlog gives us a great starting point. For a client, it is absolutely a must to be able to see the scope, budget, and timelines and plan accordingly. It is also important for us to be able to plan the engagement of appropriate resources on a project and make development a reasoned process.
Only with quality planning can we have good control of the project and its outcomes. I’ve heard a saying, “An hour of planning saves 10 hours in development!” This is actually not true, as one hour of planning can save so much more than 10 hours in development. Ask developers. They know!”Zelimir Gusak
What are the next steps?
For the past several years we conducted about 50 workshops with companies, and we know that sometimes the words “next steps” might have a different meaning. You should be aware of that.
Over 30% of companies decide to start a project with us, but what are the scenarios for the rest of the clients?
- You may be surprised, but the most significant value from the Scoping Session is the understanding that both sides get off the project to be done.
- Sometimes the result of the workshop is to come to the conclusion that, in order to precisely define the plan, time, and budget, a more formal and deeper analysis of some business processes is needed. This is not a problem, and usually, this BA is done in the first or second sprint along with the developers work,
- The next step after the Scoping Session is sometimes the proof of concept development phase and the workshop becomes the first part of PoC development.
Progressive web apps (PWA) is a hot trend this year, and many companies consider going this way. If you want to be a step ahead of your competition, it’s better to think about PWA for your eCommerce sooner rather than later. The Scoping Session is the best way for your business if you want to check us out or make sure it’s a good decision without taking any bigger risk.
Published March 1, 2021