Having completed the Discovery Phase of the project, and armed with our Discovery Key Findings Report, it’s now time to start defining the Scope of the project. Scope comes down to defining exactly what were are going to make, how we’re going to make it, who it’s for and how it will look and feel when it’s complete. Like the Discovery Phase, Definition starts fairly broad and abstract, and through a series of progressive steps becomes more and more narrowly tailored and concrete with each subsequent step building from the previous step.
The Definition Phase puts a high level of emphasis on prioritization. The team will constantly be challenged to reflect and think critically about the findings from Discovery and use those findings as a yardstick to measure which users are the most important users, which use cases must be accounted for now, which solutions will have the most impact towards the success of the project. It is in this way that we can manage the Scope of a project and ensure that it doesn’t fall into the trap of perpetual development and scope-creep. In short, this is how we ship.
Definition breaks down into three general sub-phases:
Core Strategy – Here, we focus our attention on defining the scope of the project. Core Strategy is where we examine the best approach to attacking the project. What methods will we use and what deliverables make the most sense for the specific problems surrounding this particular project given what we know now coming out of Discovery?
Ideation – Here, we set about the task of defining our solutions by harvesting relevant precedents from the wild, synthesizing new ideas, and prioritizing solution ideas to best maximize the impact of the final design.
Project Blueprint – With our solutions defined, we can now map and model our entire solution system to be sure we have not missed any key interactivity or content needs. We also set about breaking out our system model into its constituent parts, ultimately generating a backlog of functional and content requirements we can design and develop against.