The final Develop stage will take everything you've done through the Discover and Define stages to provide you with the information and confidence to brief your development partner. You'll be building a 'minimum viable product', or the smallest possible version of your solution, and working out how it works for your users and organisation.

To give your prototype the best chances, you'll be creating a pitch deck that captures what you've done, what your product does and how you'll be testing it with users.
By the end of the Develop stage you will have a working digital product and a plan for how you will test and pilot it with real users.
Briefing Dev Partner
Build MVP
Service Map
Pitch Deck
Piloting and Testing
Briefing Your Development Partner
You now have everything you need to give your development partner all the information they want to get started. In your first planning meeting, you can discuss what's going to be in your product and how it's likely to work, as well as the sorts of technologies your partner will be likely to use. You can also agree how much it's going to cost and how long it will take, but be prepared to also consider what won't be included.

If you're looking for a development partner and aren't sure where to start, try using this Conversation Menu. It has been crowdsourced by CAST, NeonTribe and charities to help guide you to have the right conversations and ask the right questions of an agency or freelancer you're looking to partner with.
Build a Minimum Viable Product
Over this stage your development partner (with your help) will be creating an MVP, which is the smallest version of your final digital product. It helps to keep it small, so that you're not wasting time and money on more than you need to test with your users and your organisation. Reusing existing tools might also help you to test and deliver a service, faster and at a lower cost.

Service Map
Creating a service map can be helpful in planning out, how your product will be used and what your organisation might need to do, to make sure that your product works as planned. You might realise that you'll need some time or budget to ensure you have staff to operate your product, or to be trained in how to use it.


What you need
  • Post-its
  • Sharpies
  • Flipchart paper

A service map or blueprint is a document detailing all the moving parts including technology, infrastructure, back-office systems and human effort required to support a fully functioning service.

Start by writing down the different touchpoints that your user will have when using your new product or service, one per post-it. These will all be 'front stage' interactions.

Then start thinking about what needs to happen behind the scenes for those 'front stage' touchpoints to work. This could be staff actions, like replying to someone on an online chat, or it could be a piece of technology, like for example a confirmation email being sent after someone signs up for your service. These are all known as 'back stage' interactions.

What is the customer experience and journey through this service?
What needs to happen to provide a seamless experience for the user?
What support systems are needed?
Who is involved through the process?

Visualising this can really make your service come to life, and is a great way to communicate to everyone what it will and won't do. The blueprint should also help you notice any gaps in staff knowledge or resource, specific tasks that need to be assigned, as well as any dependencies you may have missed until now.
Create a Pitch Deck
You'll create a pitch deck that summarises what you've done, what the product does and your testing plan. This deck is great for presenting to your organisation at the end of the Develop stage, as well as to potential funders who might want to support you further. You can use the pitch deck to capture what you've done through the three stages as well as some suggested next steps for the product, budgets and schedule.

We've created this Google Spreadsheet template with all the sections you might want to include to make the case to your stakeholders or funders - simply make a copy, tweak the content, put in some of your own images if you have any, and you're good to go. Good luck!
Piloting and Testing
Once your MVP is built you're clear to pilot and test! The good news is that you can be sure that what you've put together is based on really solid user research. Now you have to test with your users to discover whether the MVP is what they really want!

In testing you'll have to consider the metrics that will show if your MVP is working successfully, and take into account changes and improvements that your users might suggest.

Here's a simple testing framework that can be handy to start thinking about the things you want to test, how you might go about measuring if they're successful, and which tools you'll need to use. There are a couple of examples in there to show you how it works, but feel free to make a copy and make it your own.
It is critical for us to have the correct technology to grow, to make processes more streamlined and for our partners to be able to link with our schemes more effectively and CAST have provided a wealth of expertise and understanding who we are and what is important to us an organisation.
— Kelly Lindsay, Director Friend in Deed
We use cookies to provide the best site experience.
Ok, don't show again