This is where we understand the actual problem that’s trying to be solved and how it fits in the wider ecosystem.
Remove assumptions and understand the risks very early on because what we THINK people might want, might not be accurate. During discovery, we need to confirm that we can actually solve that problem. We produce user journeys and understand the whole end to end process, the risk and the opportunities. The goal is to generate a list of ideas that we can test in the next phase.
We need to take the findings from discovery and begin to experiment with potential solutions. The goal is to test many of those different ideas very rapidly, and we will focus on the riskiest first.
We need to see what works and what needs throwing away. At this stage, it's still easy and cost-effective to do, mitigating risk. We do this through higher fidelity prototypes that we can put in the hands of real users. We can then start looking at the technological constraint as well, and how the entire idea and the whole picture can start to take shape.
When we have a better idea of what the product is going to look like, then we can start building the real thing and an actual working model.
In Beta, we need to plan how our service will integrate with or replace existing services. We need to start playing with real data through the end to end, whilst keeping it secure at all times, obviously. This is usually the longest phase, as we keep iterating over a few sprints. Once we reach a minimum viable product, we might decide to soft-launch in a private beta, just with a few selected users.
We’ve seen some clients or public sector organisations move to a public beta. We label it as "beta", so customers know that it's not the finished article, but it is a working version that is better than what was there before... it helps the users.
Once we have enough feedback to show that our service works for our users and meets all their needs, it's time to go live. We can start thinking about discontinuing the previous service or new service stabilisation. There are plenty of things to consider for migration, like final security and accessibility audits, quality assurance sign-off, how we're going to monitor all the KPIs...
When we reach there, it's a big day so congratulations!