Power Platform Solution Architecture: Customer Discovery Meetings

In this next post in my series on solution architecture for the Power Platform we’ll look specifically at the next phase of the discovery process focusing on customer discovery meetings. We’ll look at the purpose of these meetings, and how to kick off your… READ MORE [https://lewisdoes.dev/blog/
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In this next post in my series on solution architecture for the Power Platform we’ll look specifically at the next phase of the discovery process focusing on customer discovery meetings. We’ll look at the purpose of these meetings, and how to kick off your engagement on a journey to success from the word go.

What is a discovery meting?

Okay friends so here’s the thing… we’re not going to chat one format for all here today. Discovery meetings can run in all forms and various formats and really any engagement you do directly with the customer you should see as an opportunity for learning, and information discovery. Here’s a few different formats and when they may be useful based on scenario…

WorkshopsUseful for presenting or discovering lots of information in a short period. Pre-defined agendas should be used to maximise time. Consider various forms of running these such as using digital whiteboards or collaborations spaces for engagement.
SurveysA great form of direct information gathering and discovery that can allow for anonymous feedback. Fantastic tool in finding out actual feedback and how successful something is from the products direct users.
ShadowingOne of the really fantastic ways a solution architect can understand existing business processes, problems and identify potential solutions is to actually just see it happening. Shadowing is an awesome way to have this come to life.

Tip for discovery sessions

So here’s the thing, at the end of the day as solution architects we’re not experts in every industry we work with, unless we specialise and are aligned to an industry. So when interacting with customers we’re going to hear a BUNCH of words which we won’t recognise.

So, keep a dictionary for these things friends! Share it with your solution architect colleagues why not and share terms together to make life easier when interacting with new customers!

Filling the gaps

So let’s now talk about the purpose of ongoing discovery sessions. These are purposed to fill the gaps, and answer any questions you don’t have answers for following the pre-discovery you did by visiting a range of sources where you could find information on the customer from.

In some of the first discovery sessions you have before designing a high level proposal or solution, you should be evaluating various parts of the customers existing processes and architecture, and filling gaps on anything you haven’t yet answered. Every next session should follow this type of format where you answer questions you haven’t previously managed to gain the information for.

Define what success should be

In your initial discovery meetings, you should ensure you define what success looks like at a high level for the engagement. This gives you and your implementation team something to ensure everything works against and a single point or a few points of success you’re working towards.

Success criteria should also be granularly defined at the work item level but should correspond in a sense with the ultimate goal for the project.

What’s coming up?

So friends! Stay tuned, in the next post in this series we’ll start to look at how some of the outputs from discovery sessions should look and some of the next steps you can take in engagements when architecting solutions for the Power Platform. 🚀

Written by
Lewis Baybutt
Microsoft Business Applications MVP • Power Platform Consultant • Blogger • Community Contributor • #CommunityRocks • #SharingIsCaring
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