Discovery Workbook — DoR (Definition of Ready)

This is a checklist of things that are needed in order to start a Discovery successfully. If you need to sell a Discovery, please see the previous article “Discovery vs Inception”.


  • Discovery Champion — accountable representative to ensure access to stakeholders and tools nominated;
  • Shared Purpose — get buy-in to purpose and need for Discovery;
  • Discovery Space — final location for deliverables to live;
  • Accounts Setup — accounts and access to systems provided.


  • Context check-up — (e.g. company history, budgets, investments, commitment, previous attempts, expectations, cultural fit, … );
  • Need evaluation — evaluate “Discovery vs Inception”;
  • Discovery Explained — explain “Discovery vs Inception” to stakeholders;
  • Stakeholder map — map your contacts and their connections;
  • Team setup — onboard cross-functional team:
  • (IF POSSIBLE) who can speak stakeholder native tongue;
  • (IF POSSIBLE) with previous discovery experience;
  • (IF POSSIBLE) Skilled facilitator, UX, Tech, Product.
  • Relevant documentation — request product and technology docs.


  • Arrange joint checkpoints — book “Playback” and “Touch Base” meetings (see “Hands-on” section);
  • Agree tooling — ask where to store documentation: suggest using a white boarding tool for remote work (e.g Miro);
  • Output list — agree core output documentation.


  • Kick-off — start the Discovery!


  • This articles and the series was written together with Simon Shepard;
  • This article is the first one in a series entitled “Product Discovery Workbook”;
  • The articles were written based on work done @ Equal Experts, so it’s written mainly from a consultancy point of view, but they can be either used in any “product” company.



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