Why do a Product Inception?

Adriana Campoy and Rafael Morante
October 6, 2020

When it comes to building a new software product, every stakeholder may have a different idea of what an effective solution looks like. At the product inception workshops led by sophilabs, we gather stakeholders as well as representatives from the design and development team so that we can come up with a unified vision for the product and agree on a road map to take us there.

It's an undertaking that involves several distinct and important phases, including defining project goals and surveying the current landscape (i.e., why we are here); identifying opportunities to drive outcomes (i.e., thinking of solutions, agreeing on what's important); and determining scope and defining a minimum viable product (MVP). At sophilabs, we offer product inception workshops as a complementary service for potential customers.

But why bother with product inception if you want to start building as soon as possible? Why go to the trouble of getting all the different stakeholders on the same call when what users need seems clear and straightforward? Is there really so much to be gained from a few guided workshops? Our answer is a definite yes, and here are just a few reasons why.

Save time.

Product inception ultimately accelerates time-to-market. With a defined scope and clear priorities, the development team can focus their efforts on creating what delivers the most value to your business. Time won't be wasted on unnecessary features, and the team can minimize the need to rework parts of the solution to truly fit the business need. When everyone is on the same page about what's important, the team can collaborate efficiently on building a high-quality product that achieves the desired outcomes.

Save money.

Hand-in-hand with saving time is the ability to reduce costs. Product inception sets you up for a more focused development process in which the team can truly deliver value every sprint. The learnings from a product inception allow developers to better understand your business, which makes them better equipped to tackle challenges with your users and your business interests in mind.

Reduce risks.

Product inception enables you to anticipate and prepare for potential challenges. Aligning stakeholders before a single line of code has been written allows you to work out the product's priorities and avoid future headaches and misunderstandings. In addition, product inception provides you with a better understanding of users' goals and journeys, ensuring that your product will truly fulfill their needs.

Build a better product.

Ultimately, product inception sets you up to build a more effective and successful product, one that truly addresses the most important opportunities and that will help users achieve their goals. Product inception puts you on track to building a scalable MVP that you can adapt and add to as you collect user data and receive feedback.

At sophilabs, we see product inception as an extremely useful way to define an overarching product vision and a common understanding of what we need to do in order to achieve our product goals. We have seen how the learnings gathered from product inception contribute significantly to customer success, and we highly recommend it to businesses looking to build a new software product.

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"Why do a Product Inception?" by Adriana Campoy and Rafael Morante is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Jamie Street.

Categorized under #agile / Research and Learning.