PODCAST #19. Where Does Problem Solving and Product Management Intersect? HealthTech PM Shares Some Insights

In this episode, we had a chat with Rany El Diwany, who’s the Director, Product Management at Athena Health, about handling payments from patients and dealing with insurance issues. 

Rany told us about how problem-solving and managing products are related. He also talked about the usual hurdles he comes across in his job managing products. 

The article below presents a summary of our conversation.

Companies’ Endless Pursuit of Solutions without Problem Clarity

In product management, the focus is not solely on building software but rather on solving business problems. As a product manager, your role is to lead a team in understanding and addressing these key problems. One effective approach is to explain the problem in a simplified manner, ensuring everyone involved shares a common understanding of the issue.

“Always start by making sure you have a full understanding of the problem before even getting to the very first solution that you want to think through.” 

Rany El Diwany – Director of Product Management at Athena Health

However, it is crucial to remember that before jumping into solutions, you must thoroughly understand the problem. Take a step back and examine the problem from different angles, exploring its nuances and complexities. This is where the double diamond principle comes into play.

Exploring the Double Diamond Principle

The double diamond principle is a framework that consists of two diamonds, each representing a specific phase: discovery and definition. 

The first diamond, the discovery phase, involves gathering a wide range of qualitative and quantitative information. You’ll want to collect customer feedback, stay informed about industry trends, and analyze relevant data. This phase aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the problem space.

During the discovery phase, patterns and recurring themes will emerge from the gathered information. These indications of convergence signal that you are getting closer to identifying the core aspects of the problem. It’s important to pay attention to these signals as they will guide your next steps.

Convergence leads you into the second diamond, the definition phase. At this point, you organize the collected information into different work streams, horizons, or categories. With a clearer picture of the problem, you can begin prioritizing the identified areas. Prioritization is especially critical in complex domains like healthcare, where limited resources must be allocated effectively.

Once you’ve prioritized the areas, you transition from the discovery phase to the definition phase. You select the highest priority item for further analysis and solution development during this stage. While other areas are temporarily set aside, they remain in your peripheral vision for future consideration.

How to Navigate the Problem Space

“If you haven’t aligned with what you’re trying to solve and agreed on what the definition of success is to start, you’re certainly gonna arrive at an end state where not everyone is happy.”

Rany El Diwany – Director of Product Management at Athena Health

Mr. Diwany understands the significance of grasping and aligning with the problem at hand. He believes that measuring success and achieving alignment among team members heavily relies on a solid understanding of the problem being solved. Moving forward as a cohesive unit is challenging without a shared comprehension of the problem and its definition.

At Athena, Rany‘s preferred method for building alignment is by utilizing pitch decks. These decks serve as comprehensive presentations that outline the why, how, and overall plan for addressing a specific problem. They provide a foundation for sharing information and conducting readouts with stakeholders, including leadership, customers, and partners. 

In Mr. Diwany‘s view, alignment is not a one-time event but an ongoing effort throughout the product development journey. Regular check-ins, discussions, and feedback loops are essential to maintaining alignment and adjusting the course if needed. By continuously revisiting and refining the understanding of the problem, the product team can stay on track and adapt as necessary to ensure that their solutions effectively address the needs of the business and its stakeholders.

By thoroughly understanding the problem space before diving into solutions, you establish a solid foundation for your work as a product manager. This approach allows for a more focused and effective product development process. You can confidently explore solutions, knowing that you clearly understand the problem you’re trying to solve. This ultimately increases your chances of developing a successful product that addresses the needs of your customers and your business.

Strategies for Analyzing and Understanding Complex Problems

From Mr. Diwany‘s perspective, objectivity is a key principle when making decisions. Emotions should not drive choices; rather, data should be the guiding force. To achieve this, asking the right questions and gathering qualitative and quantitative data is crucial. 

Identifying the broad categories of the problem is only the initial step. Delving deeper and analyzing the underlying layers is equally important. This can be achieved by utilizing well-known practices such as the “five whys” technique, which helps uncover the root causes and significance of the problem. Product managers can gain a clearer perspective by breaking down complex issues into simpler components and developing an intimate understanding of the problem’s intricacies.

Effective communication is paramount throughout this process. As a product manager, you are responsible for conveying the problem to various stakeholders, including customers, leaders, and team members such as engineers and UX professionals. The goal is to ensure everyone involved shares a common understanding of the problem. Any misalignment in problem perception can lead to challenges and hinder efforts to solve the problem effectively.

Product managers should actively evangelize their comprehension of the problem space to promote a shared understanding. Even in their absence, others discussing the initiatives should be able to explain them consistently and accurately. Ron emphasizes the importance of maintaining a shared language and perception, as it ensures everyone is on the same page and facilitates effective collaboration in solving the problem.

How to Unravel Bias and Build Effective Roadmaps

“Your roadmap should be problem-focused and not solution-focused, especially because you don’t know what you’re going to learn between now and something that you might have queued up.”

Rany El Diwany – Director of Product Management at Athena Health

Maintaining a problem-focused approach is crucial once the discovery and definition phases are complete and pitch decks and roadmaps are being developed. Ron believes that roadmaps should revolve around the problems that need to be addressed rather than being fixated on specific solutions. This is because, throughout product development, new learnings and insights may emerge, potentially rendering previously planned solutions obsolete.

While it is possible to anticipate future problem areas and prioritize them in the roadmap, the exact solutions may not be known at that stage. As the work progresses and solutions are developed, Mr. Diwany emphasizes the importance of measuring their impact and assessing if they effectively address the critical aspects of the initiative. Defining appropriate metrics to validate the impact and success of the solutions becomes crucial in this context.

“Human bias is there, and it’s easy to get attached to a solution… you need to remove that layer of emotion from the equation and be confident in the metrics that tell a successful story.”

Rany El Diwany – Director of Product Management at Athena Health

Rany believes that within the realm of product management, it is essential to constantly remind oneself about human bias. It’s natural to become attached to a particular solution and emotionally invested in its success. However, he emphasizes the need to remove emotion from the equation and instead focus on finding the right metrics to gauge success. If a solution fails to yield the desired results, it becomes necessary to pivot and adjust based on data-driven insights.

Similarly, Rany notes that while the agile framework is valuable, it is not a rigid recipe but rather a flexible framework that should be adapted to suit the unique needs of each project. These challenges highlight the complexities inherent in product management. He believes that by recognizing these challenges and remaining open to continuous learning and adaptation, product managers can navigate the dynamic landscape of their role and strive for success.

What Are the Main Drivers of Lack of Transparency Costs in Healthcare?

One of the significant challenges in the healthcare industry revolves around understanding how different insurance companies handle various scenarios. Mr. Diwany acknowledges that each insurance provider has its policies and rules, which adds complexity to building software solutions based on logical patterns. The diverse approaches required by different insurance companies make it difficult to achieve consistency. To tackle this issue, Ron emphasizes the importance of promoting transparency, especially for patients who often have limited visibility into the internal workings of healthcare.

“We want to get to the point where we have transparency… helping patients understand what costs may occur before they actually see the provider.”

Rany El Diwany – Director of Product Management at Athena Health

Transparency is pivotal in helping patients understand and appreciate the information typically hidden from them. It involves providing patients with upfront cost information, enabling them to make informed decisions. Ron notes that healthcare’s lack of cost visibility sets it apart from other aspects of the US economy, where prices are known before purchasing a product or service. Building trust through transparency becomes crucial, as even professionals within the healthcare industry may have doubts about their healthcare bills.

Trust can be fostered by being clear and upfront with patients about the potential costs associated with their medical encounters. Establishing transparency and trust creates an environment where some of the challenges faced by healthcare practices can be addressed. Overcoming these barriers and transitioning to a system where patients are willing to make payments or down payments for services rendered requires a significant journey.

While progress and efforts are being made to establish transparency and trust, Rany acknowledges there is still a long way to go. 

Mr. Diwany explains that several functional aspects are being improved within the focus area of cost transparency. 

  • One of these areas is insurance selection, which can be challenging due to the many insurance companies and the wide variety of insurance packages. Accurately identifying the appropriate insurance for each patient is crucial to ensure successful claims submission and payment. 
  • Patient eligibility is another key component of cost transparency, involving understanding copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and out-of-pocket limits. Having this information is essential for estimating costs accurately.

In addition to cost transparency, Rany emphasizes the importance of enhancing payment options. This includes exploring various methods such as digital wallets and platforms like PayPal and introducing automated payment plans. Offering flexible payment options is particularly important for patients facing financial difficulties, allowing them to pay outstanding bills over time without significant financial strain.

Opportunities and Qualities for Success in HealthTech Companies 

As a PM, you’ll collaborate with diverse teams, including developers, user experience experts, analysts, customers, and leadership. 

The success of a product hinges on aligning all stakeholders toward solving the identified priority problem and achieving the desired metrics. Building strong relationships and working collaboratively with people from various backgrounds and roles are crucial skills for a PM. 

At Athena, the company values respect and intelligence, regardless of cultural, ethnic, or sexual orientation differences. Therefore, having strong communication skills and the ability to work with diverse groups of people are vital in this role.

“Being a PM and then being a PM in the enterprise B2B space and healthcare, there’s definitely some additional work that goes into play. And it’s hard; it’s a hard job, but it’s rewarding.”

Rany El Diwany – Director of Product Management at Athena Health

Rany highlights that introducing the healthcare dimension adds complexity to the PM role. Unlike the focus in some PM literature, which is often business-to-consumer (B2C), healthcare often involves business-to-business (B2B) interactions. PMs with experience in B2C and enterprise B2B environments understand the thoughtful coordination required when planning, building, and developing solutions.

Athena Health serves a significant number of healthcare providers, and any changes made to their workflows can substantially impact their business operations. Coordinating deployments and providing thorough training and insights to customers is critical to minimizing disruptions and ensuring smooth transitions. Being a PM in the enterprise B2B space within healthcare demands diligent efforts to ensure that solutions enhance workflows rather than hinder them.

While being a PM, particularly in the healthcare industry, comes with challenges, Ron also emphasizes the rewarding aspects of the role. Being a PM in the healthcare industry requires unique skills and a deep understanding of the importance of effective communication and collaboration in driving successful product development.

As a product manager at Athena, Rany is invested in driving company initiatives promoting healthcare transparency. He believes leveraging technology, data, and collaboration can make significant progress in this area. Athena is about creating a system where patients have full visibility, enabling them to make informed decisions and engage in proactive planning.

You Can Foster Psychological Safety With These Two Essentials

Psychological safety is crucial for effective teamwork and innovation. Creating an environment where everyone feels safe to contribute ideas, whether good or bad, fosters creativity and innovation. Mutual respect is key. Rather than an “us versus them” mentality, the focus should be on solving problems collectively. 

“One of the most important things is psychological safety, right? No one is bringing a bad idea to the table.”

Rany El Diwany – Director of Product Management at Athena Health

Building motivated and cohesive teams that enjoy working together and are enthusiastic about tackling challenges is essential. Encouraging open dialogue, valuing diverse perspectives, and creating a culture of psychological safety lay the foundation for successful problem-solving and driving innovation within the team.

Which Future Changes Should We Expect in Consumer Cost Management?

When it comes to healthcare practices, understanding and navigating costs can be complex. Practices have contracted rates with payers, but these contracts often involve intricate stipulations. For example, different charges may have different reimbursement percentages, or certain charges may not be reimbursed at all. 

Helping practices gain a clear and simplified understanding of the contracted rates in various scenarios is a crucial first step. Currently, efforts are underway to provide practices with easier access to published information from payers. 

While Medicare and Medicaid present additional complexities, simplifying the process for practice users to have transparent insights into contractual rates is considered a critical foundational milestone. This step will assist practices in managing costs more effectively and making informed decisions that will sustain them in the future.

Bottom Line

Below are three major takeaways from our chat with Mr. Diwany:

  • Thoroughly understand the problem before diving into solutions: Product managers must invest time in understanding the problem space from different angles before developing solutions. 
  • Transparency and cost management in healthcare: Cost transparency benefits patients and healthcare practices, leading to better financial experiences and streamlined operations.
  • Psychological safety for effective teamwork and innovation: Creating an environment of psychological safety, encouraging open dialogue, valuing diverse perspectives, and fostering collaboration are essential elements of effective teamwork.








The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.

Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?

Please find out about all this and more in our podcast. Stay tuned for updates and subscribe to channels.

Listen to our podcast to get some useful tips on your next startup.

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What is The Project Discovery Phase, And Why Does it Matter

How often do you meet clients so inspired by an idea that they can’t wait to start development right here, right now? They are passionate about their project and driven by a natural desire to see the final product as soon as possible. Hence, they constantly push the entire management and development team. And this may seem logical – start earlier, finish sooner; what’s the point of fighting the moonlight?

However, in software development, the primary role is played by preparing the project itself. It is the Project Discovery Phase that is crucial for successful development. After all, if the product doesn’t meet the market demand, it won’t matter how well it is made.

Starting work without proper planning is like putting together a puzzle without having a picture of what needs to be done. Of course, all the pieces will fit in the end, but how much time will be lost? As many developers confess, in almost half of such cases, the development process goes beyond the original financial and time limits, while the result leaves much to be desired. And all because the starting stage was conducted carelessly or even skipped in order to start work on the spot.

The better you prepare for the project, the more likely it will go smoothly. Although it will delay the launch, it is undoubtedly worth it. This preparation is the Project Discovery Phase. Let’s understand what goes into it, and what depends on it.



What Is the Discovery Phase

Usually, the project life cycle includes the following stages: initiation, planning, execution, control, and completion. Of course, the better groundwork you provide for the project at the initiation stage, the smoother the path your team will be able to take later on. 

The Project Discovery Phase is the planning phase of project initiation, when team members gather information about the project, determine a budget, and form precise project boundaries. The purpose of the discovery phase is to be able to make data-driven decisions and reduce all risks associated with product development. 

This includes gathering and analyzing information about the project, its target audience, scope, and objectives. This phase also examines additional information related to the development process, such as primary and secondary functions and measurable performance.

The Discovery Phase can last from a couple of days to several weeks, or even months, depending on the project’s complexity and scope of work. The Discovery phase is usually placed in the first sprint in a modern Agile management system. It helps to determine how well the software development team and  business owner understand each other from the beginning. 


What Happens in the Project Discovery Phase?



The Step-By-Step Process of the Product Discovery Stage

In the Discovery Phase, it is important to follow a consistent algorithm of actions; modern Agile management framework helps the team in this. If you follow it steadily, then the software development project will become a predictable and pleasant activity for the client, just as a house is built quickly and smoothly according to the drawings of an experienced professional architect.


It’s worth talking to clients first, finding out what they already have in their pockets. They may have already done user research themselves, have a software development team but not enough people to manage all the processes. Or, the customers just came in with an idea and very rough budget, and all these “floating” elements need to be put together with a directive strategy that turns into a rock-solid roadmap. So, how do we start project discovery checklist?

This step helps determine the main problem you want to solve with the software. Based on this, decide who will be the primary contact person on the implementer’s side.

The first phase of the Project Discovery Phase involves discussions with the founder or owner of the product. The survey method gathers as much information as possible about the vision and future product, its goals and business needs. The data is then passed to the executing company’s internal use to move on to the subsequent phases.




This list should include product owners, project managers, administrators, end users, developers, investors, and any other categories involved in creating or using the finished product.

Determine who serves as the key facilitator. Provide the manager with any current information or documentation about the project. This person decides what is missing and what is hindering the project.

The project manager, business analyst, and account manager lead in the discovery phase. Sometimes they may be joined by developers and designers. They help with SRS, prototype wireframes, or scope estimates.

The project management role during the discovery phase of a project is extensive, from planning and organizing internal meetings and recording all the details discussed to ensuring productive interaction between developers and the product development team on time and within budget.


Prepares the project’s usage scenarios and requirements, goals, and target audience. In addition, he/she will be responsible for researching the product’s niche, competitors, and customers. The business analyst decides whether the product is needed in the market as the customer sees it, and whether to make any changes based on the collected analytics.

During the Project Discovery Phase, the developer keeps track of what technologies and languages need to be used, suggests alternative and more appropriate ways to approach the development of core features, or notes the lack of implementation. This person is responsible for creating the architecture and logic of the future software project.

Responsible for creating user experience aligned with project goals: user-friendly navigation, intuitive design, and visually appealing design. Creates sketches, mockups, wireframes, and prototypes to bring the vision to life.


Sometimes gets involved in the discovery process to explore possible problems in the execution phases of the solution.

Selecting such a team and having them work together allows for more than a short list of business and technical requirements and estimates during the Project Discovery Phase. In addition, it provides an incentive for customers and performers to work on the same wave, without asynchrony, as all participants get a holistic view of the project as a whole and, in particular, why a specific feature is needed.



Developing successful software projects requires a complete understanding of the target audience. A market analysis studies its size, amount of competitors, financial and technological features, and trends. The data collected takes into account the needs of the stakeholders, as well as the needs of the product’s end users and competitors’ experience.

Building the user journey and defining the target audience will be vital in creating the product, as it enables the formation of effective marketing strategies. This requires the software development team to analyze how, when and under what circumstances the intended product or solution will be helpful. For example, what will make a user visit a particular site or download a mobile app?

The virtual portrait of the target audience includes information about the likes and dislikes of users, their hobbies, professions, and much more. In addition, we identify the problems our users face and find ways to solve them with the product. Finally, using information from user feedback, we modify the initial plan to reflect real users’ expectations, needs, and pain points.

Through market research, we can understand what the industry is doing concerning similar projects and adopt market best practices. Ultimately, this helps us set realistic expectations for the project, create valuable benchmarks, and calculate the time and cost required to develop a full-scale product or MVP, bringing us to our next point. 

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Once you understand the competition better, it is time to work on the product specification. At this discovery stage, we form a product requirements document including software requirements – design details, recommended tech stack, feature set, architecture description, and so on.

This document will ensure that development goes smoothly; the product requirements document lists all the planned features and functions. In addition, requirements development defines the complexity of a given functionality. This establishes the effort required in the design, development, testing, and project management phases.

In this step, the information architecture is also developed. It helps to outline the essential elements, how it should all work, what roles exist, what functions you will have, and how they should relate to each other.

Based on the information gathered during the sync of all the participants, the development proposal helps ensure that the project discovery team will create a product that meets all of the client’s requirements and expectations. It also clarifies the project vision and minimizes entire project development risks.



After forming a product requirements document, we start working on an interactive prototype. Simply put, this is a model of a particular piece of software that functions just like the final product. It helps to test functional assumptions and identify potential technical problems. In addition, a prototype model helps the software development team better understand the project, and you can focus on improving the user experience up front.

A prototype is a demo version of an application design based on a technical specification. It represents how the application should work, not the visual components. It is an integral part of the discovery phase of a software project.

UX/UI-rs work on the project’s design concept and visual representation in the form of mockups or prototypes. Creating clickable prototypes is considered good practice for thinking through how critical features work.

At this stage, developers choose which programming languages, frameworks, and services will be best for the project’s success. They can compare what will work best for certain product parts or think about which web application architecture will be most efficient, saving time and costs.


The ultimate goal of preparation is to reach a stage where the discovery team can give an accurate estimate of the time and cost required to create the MVP or full-scale product.

This stage includes finalizing the team’s composition, key milestones, and the likely timeline for each step. Based on these, you can create a timeline and calculate the approximate total cost of the project. Ideally, you also map out the project’s success.

Another essential document that the discovery stage leads to is a complete project schedule with specified milestones, deliverables, and timelines.

When the discovery team relies on a clear set of requirements, they can accomplish every task of the development phase without any postponements or changes. All those responsible know the intermediate project goals, deliverables, and deadlines. This is the bottom line by which you can move forward with confidence.


Benefits of the Project Discovery Phase

Project Discovery Stage gives confidence in the stability of the project thanks to the following:

  • In-depth niche market research allows you to make decisions based on data, not assumptions. It’s about more than just the proven usefulness of the product but also about refinements based on feedback from potential users.

  • A clear framework for the project’s cost at the very beginning due to the strictly defined goals and phases of work avoids surprises. The price is not subject to change at each new stage. In such a situation, finding investors is much easier.

  • Saving the customer not only money but also time, avoiding the need to make costly edits in the final stages of the project.


Collaborative work at the Discovery Phase provides a lot of opportunities and avoids misunderstanding and other unpleasant moments, among which:

  • A vague idea. Sometimes customers come to development companies with a vaguely formulated project at the idea stage, and the client needs help understanding how to implement the project. What business processes should accompany it, what stack and features the final product will have, and what can be limited to the MVP stage? And finally, does the target audience need the potential product? Without detailed elaboration of all the nuances “onshore,” you should not start “sailing.” In the next step, there will be questions, problems, miscommunications, and inconsistency of expectations and results.

  • An undetermined amount of work. Suppose you do not prescribe each step in advance (what should go after what, what is a priority, what can wait, what is the logic of importance). In this case, the amount of work will constantly change, missing deadlines will be revealed, and implementation will be greatly delayed.

  • Uncertain budget. This comes out of the previous step. If there is no clear roadmap, the duration of work and goals are constantly changing (upwards), which means the funding costs will also change. Sometimes budgets get so bloated that it’s easier to drop the idea.

  • Forced downtime. The steps depend on each other, so if you break one of them, it can stall subsequent efforts. Without clearly defined steps, regulations, policies, and technical documentation, you can’t just change the development team you’re unsatisfied with because no one from the outside will want to get into the mistakes of others; it’s better to start from scratch. So the client also wastes time looking for a “rescue” team and concludes that beginning with the Discovery Phase is necessary.

  • Unsatisfactory result. If all the stages of work were done ad hoc, and instead of developing a quality product the team was busy “fighting fires” because of mistakes, it is hard to imagine that the product will be good, in demand, and meeting the expectations of the client and end users.


A carefully planned Project Discovery Phase usually takes about 10% of the total duration of a project. So, as you can see, it is not as much as may initially seem, and the benefits far outweigh the costs.


The Bottom Line

It is important to understand that the Discovery Phase is not a whim of a development company trying to get as much money from the client as possible. On the contrary, by going through this process, the customer gets a predictable roadmap, in terms of time/stack/finances, for working on the solution. Furthermore, they may save a lot of money through getting market research which confirms that the game is not worth the candle, and the idea abandoned without investing time and resources.

We have our own SWAT at The APP Solutions, who will quickly guide you through the Discovery Phase – we will answer all the questions of interest, give an estimate of the cost and duration of the project, as well as what you can do to improve your product and much more. So contact us if you want a quality analysis and guidance for your idea in the shortest possible time.

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Inception Phase of Software Projects with The APP Solutions

The inception phase is a unified process that helps business owners validate their business idea, define risks, clarify the project’s requirements, and make the development process run smoothly.

This article will share The APP Solutions experience describing the inception phase of a software project, its main stages, deliverables, and explaining why it is crucial for a project’s success. 

What is the inception phase in agile?

The inception phase is a unified process of gathering objectives for the project and getting ready for the development phase. The inception phase brings the following benefits:  

Predicted results. We break down your project into smaller parts called use cases and user stories to clarify how one or other features should perform and then confirm the results with you

Flexible project scope. With the big picture of your project at hand, you can easily change the project’s MVP scope 

Reduce development costs. Agreed project specification, architecture, and tech solutions allow us to describe the project in more detail, prioritize tasks more effectively, and schedule the development phase in a better way

Do you need to hire us for an inception phase for your particular project? Let’s find out. 

What is inception in software engineering?

When you start a new mobile app project, there is tons of work to be done – selecting the best mobile app development team, shaping the business idea, clarifying requirements, creating technical documentation, and finding the most appropriate tech solutions.

 There are too many tasks for a non-tech person. To complete all of these tasks you can hire a development team to start the inception phase. 

The inception phase is a unified process of collecting and analyzing information about the project for: 

  • Creating a project knowledge base for accessible knowledge transferring to avoid unnecessary development alterations and ensure a quick onboarding time
  • Structuring a team of people with the required experience and expertise
  • Mitigating risks which occur during software development
  • Performing project monitoring and providing excellent customer service – constant business function assessment, clear separation of responsibilities, transparent decision making, and escalation path

The business analysis part of this phase helps to understand the end-users, their needs, and requirements. 

The technical aspect of the process leads to the system requirements specification that includes information necessary for development—for example, primary and additional features, measurable deliverables, and more.

At the end of the inception phase, you’ll have a well-rounded and in-depth understanding of the project goals, scope, and limitations.

What is the inception phase scope of work?

The scope of the unified process of the inception phase includes the following activities:

  • Elicitation of business goals, requirements, and other drivers that affect the implementation of a solution
  • Description of use cases of the solution
  • Generation and justification recommendations and decision options to implement the solution
  • Creation of prototypes of UI/UX design of the solution
  • Estimation of implementation scope and preparation of resource plan for the implementation phase

Inception phase deliverables

The App Solution team will prepare and deliver these deliverables to the client:

Technical documentation structure for the MVP phase

Documentation covering the MVP scope and including:

  • Elicited requirements and constraints
  • Defines solution use cases
  • Written solution architecture recommendations and decision options

Prototype of UI/UX

Our designer will create 3-4 screens of design proposals or assessment reports of existing designs. 

theappsolutions inception phase uiux prototype

[UI/UX design prototype, made by The APP Solutions. Try it on the link]

Resource plan for implementation 

Our team estimates the implementation of the project and plans the development resources for the next phase.

What factors are estimated in the inception phase?

Since the inception phase is a unified process that includes many tasks from different areas, we gather the following team members that have specialized expertise in a particular sphere:

Business Analyst for:

  • Driving requirement sessions
  • Performing requirement analysis and prioritization
  • Collecting and writing use cases 
  • Writing documentation

Solutions Architect for:

  • Initiating architectural sessions
  • Performing architectural analysis
  • Writing architecture vision or assessment report
  • Composing and estimating the implementation road map
the example of the project architecture the app solutions inception phase

[Example of project system architecture made by The APP Solutions Solution Architect]

UI/UX designer for: 

  • Running UI/UX sessions
  • Performing UX analysis
  • Creating and preparing UI/UX design of the solution

Technology Experts for: 

  • Contributing to the architecture analysis within their area of technological competence
  • Participating in the architectural sessions 
  • Contributing to the assessment report, estimates, and presentation
inception phase environment vision

[Environment vision example made at The APP Solutions]

Client’s Obligations

The client acknowledges that the completion of the Deliverables under this proposal depends on and requires the client’s commitment to provide all information needed to complete deliverables, give access to the necessary product owners and technical participants, and provide access to assets required by this phase. 

You, as a client, agree to timely provide the mentioned above resources for The App Solutions to fully comply with its obligations under this proposal.

What are the inception phase stages?

The inception phase kicks off after you’ve signed an NDA, given us the project vision, and approved a rough project estimation. The inception phase includes the following software project planning activities:

Step 1. Initiation

During this planning phase of the software development life cycle, our business analyst schedules a call with you to clarify your project objectives and strategy, including target users, monetization models, an estimated number of users, and project scaling perspectives.

The main activities during the unified process of the inception phase are: 

  • Introduce the team to stakeholders 
  • Review your business case and project goals 
  • Define the current state of the project 

Step 2. Research 

Next, the Business Analyst (BA) conducts market and competitor research to find out whether there is a place for such a business case in the market and to show how many similar projects already exist.

Main activities include: 

  • Define business goals and needs
  • Demo of an existing product 
  • Requirements elicitation session 
  • Identify stakeholders’ concerns, risks, and issues

Step 3. Gathering requirements 

We write down technical requirements for your project’s business case and start creating project technical documentation with use cases, user stories, suitable technologies, and third-party integrations. 

Main activities are: 

  • Technical assessment session
  • Requirements elicitation session
  • Collect functional and non-functional requirements
  • UI/UX review session
  • Identify and verify solution use cases

Step 4. Prototyping 

Using the use cases of your project, our designer starts making layouts, wireframes, and prototypes while consulting with you on each result.

Our team is busy with the following actions:

  • Define scope boundaries
  • Prioritize the scope
  • Define MVP scope
  • Prepare outcome documentation 
  • Validate outcomes with stakeholders

Step 5. Preparation for the development stage 

Now, using a technical project specification, we prioritize features to identify the MVP’s scope, i.e., the list of functions sufficient to verify your business model and estimate the time and money required to implement one or other features. 

Main activities are: 

  • Finalizing outcome documents
  • Sending outcomes to the client
  • Final meeting to present deliverables to all client stakeholders

What happens after the Inception phase? 

When the inception phase is over, you have several options: 

  • You can use the technical documentation to launch the development stage with our team 
  • Compare our technical specification with specifications provided by other developers and select the best one
  • Extend your existing development team with our specialists to build your project using our technical documentation

The inception phase adjusted to your needs

There are three main scenarios in which we provide clients with the inception phase:

Project lifecycle objectives from scratch 

In this case, the main inception phase objective is to disprove or confirm your business idea. To achieve this, we create technical documentation so that you can build the project’s MVP. 

The main deliverables are user stories, use cases, mockups, diagrams with system architecture recommendations, a list with technologies, third-party integrations, and precise estimation of project cost and length.

Project prototype without tech specification

If you have a ready-made project design and prototype, you can hire us to shape the technical side of your project, such as system architecture, user stories, and feature lists. 

In this case, you will receive technical documentation that will include high-level requirements, use cases, user stories with general user flow, project system architecture diagrams, detailed project cost estimation, and project timeframes. 

Improvement of a ready-made project 

Such clients have ready-made projects, but they do not meet their business goals or work improperly. For such clients, we conduct a code review and show you how we can improve the project. 

We provide a list of system errors and gaps, as well as recommendations on how to fix your project. 

The unified process of the inception phase for clear objectives for the project

In a nutshell, the inception phase of software development allows us to achieve predictable results in business and technological solutions, reduce risks, decrease project costs, and receive a bigger picture of your project.

If you are ready to launch an inception phase for your project with us, drop us a few lines and our sales manager will schedule a call with you.