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What is the discovery phase in project management?

In project management (specifically in the project lifecycle), what is the discovery phase? Why does it exist and what are the typical activities that happen during this phase? Does it happen prior to the initiating phase? Is it equivalent to the initiating phase?

Who's involved (other than the project manager) in the discovery phase?
asked 10 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

The PMBOK Guide defines 5 project management processes, however some like to extend them by breaking up one process into two or more. Some project management methodologies (mostly "home grown") and Agile development incorporate a discovery phase.  The discovery phase may take place as part of initiation or planning.  The purpose is to discover information that might be important to the project.  The project manager and/or business analyst conduct interviews with the project sponsor and other stakeholders   Analysis such as Cost Benefit or Total Cost of Ownership may be conducted.  High level designs, prototypes and models may also be developed.

Of course we know that good project managers include these types of activities within the planning and/or execution phase of a project anyway.  If you are going to capture project records, this type of work and the time, resources, and budget needs to be counted.
answered 10 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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