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Scoping Stage

A high-level overview of the scoping stage.

In the scope stage, the problem or opportunity discovered in the brief stage is explored further and a solution is proposed.

The recommended scoping team should consist of a least one designer, tester, and developer, who are
led by a squad lead and accompanied by an account manager.

Typically, this stage can last anywhere between 2 to 5 weeks, with one or two scope meetings run per week. Each meeting normally lasts for approximately 2 hours each, though this can vary a lot.

Scope cycle

Scoping Frequency

The initial scope for a project generally focuses on one or two milestones of development, rather than an entire roadmap. It is only once these milestones have been completed that the team re-enters a scoping phase, looking into the next milestones of work. The scoping timeline diagram shows different timeline examples.

Scope timeline

We recommend that the team focuses only on a small amount of work at any time. This gives the team a chance to become more familiar with the product and its requirements, and once it comes time to Scope Estimations again, they can be that much more confident about how long the future work will take (see the Cone of Uncertainty section in the Scope Estimations page for more information on this).

Scope Stages

There are 4 stages within a scope, each with their own relevant activities, goals and outcomes. The stage diverges at the beginning during the discovery phase (to ensure all possible solutions are considered), before finally converging at the realisation stage with a solution that provides the most value.

Discovery

The discovery stage is where you try and learn everything you can about the product, project and people. The team should attempt to absorb as much information as possible, while researching the solutions and assumptions which were made in the brief stage. Solution finding is kept to a minimum here, as it it should have been completed in brief and in this phase data capture is more important.

A weak discovery stage can prove disastrous in the long run. A rushed foundation to a house can bring the whole thing down, no matter how well you thought you built it.

During the discovery stage, Capturing Requirements begin to be identified to capture requirements.

Inspiration

Once you've got enough groundwork, the inspiration stage begins. The focus of this stage is to start exploring the concept and working out what is needed to achieve the right solution. This is where the team gets to experiment and test out the boundaries, turning research into meaningful answers.

During the inspiration stage, text flows, UI sketches and brand identity begin to form.

Ideation

Once research is complete and the solution boundaries have been explored, the ideation stage begins. This is the team's chance to start refining the solution, continuing until everyone is happy with the direction of the solution.

The ideation stage is a time of rapid iteration where wireframes and low-fi prototypes are produced and tested.

Realisation

By the realisation stage, the solution should have been refined to a point where everyone has a clear idea of the what it is. At this point, it is time to smooth out the rough edges and focus on the visual aspects. This stage is focused on building a working prototype, user testing, and finalising the development roadmap.

Scope Estimations are completed at the end of the realisation stage.

Helpful resources