Many people note, correctly, that “discovery is a journey” and that “discovery should be ongoing…” I’m in violent agreement!
There needs to be clear destinations along the journey – destinations that represent completion of sufficient discovery for that portion of the overall journey.
Imagine you are a chef in a restaurant, preparing a dish for a customer. You’ve chopped the onions, celery, and carrots – is that sufficient? Clearly, no! You need to finish the dish – complete the recipe. Completing the recipe represents the destination, in this case.
And yes, while you as the chef could continue to add and change the dish, at some point it needs to be served. Your customer is waiting – and hungry!
Imagine you are a contractor, building a house. You’ve poured the foundation – can your customer move in? (Yes, if they want to live in a tent…) Clearly, no! You need to finish the house – complete building according to the plans. The plans represent the definition of the completed house.
Again, while a house will continue to undergo changes, remodeling, and maintenance, at some point your customer expects to move in!
So, yes, discovery should be ongoing and evergreen, but there need to be significant waypoints – major destinations – along the road. You need to have a major destination for your discovery journeys. Completed discovery documents are one example; completed Great Demo! Situation Slides represent a simple starting point.