By: Le'Mina McNair on April 28th, 2022
5 Key Features of an Effective Discovery Process
Even the most sophisticated creative teams with savvy automation and tech solutions still experience blind spots in their workflows. Teams can significantly optimize their internal and external operations by taking a step back and conducting a discovery process that sheds light on obstacles within their processes. What do we really mean when we talk about a marketing discovery process? What are the benefits of performing a discovery process for your creative team? And what elements make up for a discovery process that will genuinely impact your team for the better? We’ll answer these questions and more.
What Is a Discovery Process
As businesses evolve, grow, and restructure over time, teams adjust their processes to meet changing needs of the organization. While undergoing this transformation, existing processes, workflows, and technology can be found wanting, unable to meet the requirements of rapidly developing teams. A discovery process is an in-depth analysis of a team’s needs, workflows, technology, and individuals to assess areas for optimization. The process includes understanding your business and team goals, auditing existing workflows, interviewing team members, reviewing your current technology stack and software, and bringing in an expert perspective to shed light on issues that internal team members might miss.
There are extensive benefits to initiating a discovery process for your team, your technology, and your organization, including but not limited to:
- Improving the workflows and processes of every team member
- Saving time, energy, and budget
- Optimizing communication, both internally and externally
- Assessing current technology to establish opportunities for better, more integrated solutions
Features of an Effective Discovery Process
There are a number of features that can contribute to a thorough discovery process. While an effective discovery process might look slightly different depending on your industry, the size of your team, and your goals for the future, and the industry, these features can help ensure that your discovery process is worthwhile and you get the maximum value out of your efforts.
1. Business Goals and Requirements Review
Before diving into interviews and audits, it’s essential to understand exactly what the business requirements and goals are. If the team wants to prioritize the client communication process, and the business requires that clients have unique and controlled access to materials, these are factors that can be examined throughout the discovery process
2. Workflow Audits
In order to identify opportunities to optimize team workflows, it’s essential to see the big picture of not only individual workflows from beginning to end but also how each workflow impacts others. Workflow audits analyze workflows step by step and organize tasks to help streamline processes.
3. Team Interviews
Who knows the inner workings of team workflows better than the individual members of the teams themselves? An effective discovery process must include interviews with key members of each team to hear both the good and the bad aspects of current processes. Something that works really well for one team or one person may not work well at all for others, so it’s essential to hear from individuals in every area.
4. Tool Audits
Your creative or marketing tech stack may have been efficient at one time, but as teams evolve and grow, it’s important to evaluate your tools and technology as part of your discovery process. The tools and technology to be evaluated include but are not limited to:
- Project Management Systems
- Content Management Systems
- Digital Asset Management Systems
- Email Marketing Tools
- Social Media Management Platforms
A tool audit will not only assess your individual tools but also how well they integrate with one another. This process can help identify opportunities to utilize technology that more seamlessly integrates within your existing ecosystem.
5. Expert Perspectives
Internal members of the team can only step back so far—they are still unconsciously impacted by the knowledge of team members and current processes that it can be nearly impossible to be 100% impartial. An internal investigation often leads to a narrow focus, with limited lines of sight into what could be major omissions or pitfalls.
With this in mind, it’s incredibly conducive to an effective discovery process to include external perspectives that can view your operations with fresh eyes. Working with an external partner allows experts in discovery processes to analyze your workflows with no prior assumptions or biases about your team or your existing operations. Outside experts also bring external knowledge of workflow solutions that have been successful for teams undergoing similar struggles within your industry, bringing ideas and recommendations that may be unfamiliar to you and your team members. For example, IO Integration’s discovery services bring in experts to:
- Understand your unique business requirements
- Review how projects progress through your workflows
- Conduct in-depth interviews with key players from creative and IT teams
- Shadow users to see precisely how they perform production tasks
- Identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement in your production environment
- Review infrastructures to determine the configuration for your specific workflow needs
- Deliver a comprehensive discovery report detailing our findings, as well as product recommendations to maximize your production
Start Your Marketing Discovery Process
Spearheading a discovery process is an essential tool for optimizing your creative team workflows, but conducting it with only internal perspectives can limit the productivity of the discovery process. The discovery experts at IO Integration can see the full picture of your team’s workflows and technology by implementing tested, successful discovery services. To learn more about how IO Integration’s discovery services can significantly improve your productivity and efficiency, contact us today.