Of the many reasons why conducting visioning sessions are a critical step in any software development project, none are more important than the way they get all members involved on the same page before any development is started.
On any project team, you may have some team members thinking blue sky possibilities while others are thinking time-to-market and budget constraints. You may also have some members thinking of a robust product that must perform every imaginable piece of functionality while others may be thinking a much more basic solution.
Beyond the obvious cost-savings involved with defining what you want to build before you build it, often times Visioning Session reveal a more cost-effective use of a budget than was previously thought about. An effective Vision Session is not focused on how big of a product can be built in 6-8 months, it’s focused on what kind of minimum viable product can be built in 4-6 weeks. As a result, the conversation during a Vision Session begins to get much more focused.
Here are some real-world examples of what a client first came to us for and what we ended up defining as a result of our Visioning Sessions:
Real Estate Company
- Pre-Visioning Session: “The first thing we need is a points management system.”
- Post-Visioning Sessions: “The first thing we need is a simple marketing website that we can add a points management system to later.”
Medical Equipment Company
- Pre-Visioning Session: “The first thing we need is a marketing website to let people know about our products.”
- Post-Visioning Sessions: “What we really need is web-based software that lets our customers purchase tests and access their test results so we can start generating revenue.”
Public Relations Company
- Pre-Visioning Session: “Our client needs an elaborate Farmville-type of Facebook game that will encourage their customers to fill out a form for a quote.”
- Post-Visioning Sessions: “Our client needs a simple mobile game app that encourages their customers to fill out a form for a quote and share their experiences with friends on social websites.”