This blog is part of a series. You can find the first one here.
When you are starting a new project, you want to start with clarifying the why, the scope, ask questions and make sure that you also set the expectations around ways of working, communication and so on. I already treated these points in previous blog posts on the importance of asking questions and why setting clear expectations.
Now it is time to take a step back, reflect on all the information you have collected so far, and try and go deeper doing your own research too.
This is to ensure that you did not miss anything, that you learn even more about the company, competitors, market, the specific challenges they are trying to solve.
Basically to look at the situation from different angles, maybe to come up with additional questions or additional inputs or ideas to give back to the customer.
There are many ways you can add your contribution by doing your own research.
- Has this specific challenge already been solved by you or one of your colleagues in the past? Maybe not, but it is crucial to investigate if someone else treated a similar case, so that you can learn from them. You do not always have to reinvent the wheel and learning from someone does not mean that the solution then is served on a silver plate. It means that you would have a nice starting point, though.
- Do you know someone outside of your organization (maybe ex colleague or customer) that already faced a similar situation? Leveraging my network has helped me on different occasions and even though it might feel strange to reach out to someone that does not work anymore with you, an ex colleague or an ex customer, I don't think it should. You are recognizing their expertise on a topic and simply asking for advice and you can always return the favor in the future!
- Can additional research (eg ChatGPT, Google) help? Always! Even if your colleagues or people from your network helped you with their perspective, advice and experience, it always helps to research online too. Maybe you can find some more sources of inspiration to add to your project and some other angles you did not consider so far. Or maybe this will help to raise more questions to your customer or to your expert colleagues!
Now you will have more information, probably you will also have some more questions but most importantly you will own the subject much better. You might even have found additional or possible solutions, use cases, ideas that might help your customer even more.
There are many benefits in taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture after you have done some more homeworks. This is always a very important step. Don't be tempted to dive straight into the development and implementation or you might miss something key!
Please, continue to follow this blog series if you are interested to drill down more.
Reach out if you want to learn more on how we can help your organization.