The first principle of Purpose-Driven Design – Real Value is Discovered – says a considerable amount about the importance we put on the Discovery phase of a project. Getting beyond what a client has stated as their problem and unearthing a hidden root-cause is one of the high points for us as a design agency. That’s a moment when we can have an unexpectedly valuable impact on their organization.

That moment only comes after gaining a deep understanding of their business, customers, competitors, goals, and aspirations.

This principle drives our discovery process and serves as the yardstick to let us know when we have reached the required depth of insight in order to move forward.

Discovery is broken into two smaller phases — Context and Framing and Research & Analysis. During Context & Framing, we will get a high-level overview of the project from the perspective of the client and their customers. We will also lay the foundations for a successful team collaboration. In Research & Analysis, we will dive deep into our assumptions and hypotheses by gunning them through the lenses of data analytics, probing conversations, and unbiased observations.

We will know that we have successfully concluded the Discovery phase of a project when we can articulate a Project Manifesto, a one or two-sentence statement which answers these questions: Why this project? Why now?