The Planning and Discovery Phase

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Planning and discovery is the process of identifying business and technological drivers that motivate a speech project, as well as collecting data about current systems and their performance. This phase is important because the information gathered during discovery is used as the basis for a design requirements specification (DRS) document. The DRS contains a vision and/or mission statement defining the overall objectives and anticipated tradeoffs of the project.

In this phase, define the basic parameters of the project. Consider the points in the following list.

  • Is it good for business?
  • Is it technically feasible?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • Who are the major stakeholders?
  • What is the payoff?
  • What exactly is it?

This phase also includes collecting extensive application-specific data and documentation such as the items in the following list.

  • Live agent call scripts/touch-tone call flow
  • PBX logs (histogram of time/duration/seasonal variations/type)
  • Transaction logs (data from any back-end systems)
  • Enterprise system data models
  • Business projections (revenue/transactions/employees)
  • Service standards
  • Infrastructure audit with software versions

Scoping and Staging

Planning and discovery is the phase where functionality, overall scope, and the steps whereby features will be individually developed, tested, and deployed are discussed and agreed upon.


It is necessary to get consensus not only on who the stakeholders are, but what their range of influence on decision making is going to be. Keeping the plan on-course — and ensuring that best practices within the user interface itself are kept — requires effective cooperation which must be negotiated early.


During the planning and discovery phase, develop increasingly detailed specifications from which the design will emerge.

Design Requirements Specification

The DRS is a rigorous and detailed description of the entire project, including assumptions, business issues, straw man designs for the dialogue, anticipated return on investment, containment measures and other metrics, costs, provisioning, and timelines. The topic The Design Phase describes the DRS.

To See
Go to the next step. The Design Phase
Start from the beginning. The Speech Project Lifecycle
Get more information on gathering the information to create a Design Requirements Specification. The Planning and Discovery Phase
Get more information on deploying the speech application. The Deployment Phase
Get more information on optimizing a system after deployment. The Maintenance and Tuning Phase