What Is Elaboration Phase and Why Is It Important?

It is a common situation when new project discussion comes to the questions like “How long will it take?” or “How much will it cost?”. And it is important to understand that project evaluation is impossible without a clear understanding of the l scope of work, technical details, and investigations.  

That is why we introduce the Elaboration Phase as a part of the product development cycle. 

What is the elaboration phase?

In a nutshell, it is a pre-development stage of the project’s creation. It involves numerous investigations and helps to define the project’s scope and clarify all the requirements. Our specialists are analyzing all the future product’s technical requirements, creating clear wireframes and high-level solution descriptions along the way. 

As a result of the elaboration phase, a client will get to see a full-fledged explanation of what technical solutions and what tools will be used in the process. Also, we forecast possible issues that might arise and provide mitigation strategies. All of this is done to estimate the cost of the resources required to complete each planned project activity and set a timeframe for it.

Vital elaboration stages

The elaboration phase can take from 2 weeks to a couple of months, depending on the project’s scale and complexity. It is paid and requires the skills and time of the project/product manager and development specialists.


Working closely with a client to fully define the scope


The starting point is the preliminary analysis of customer requirements. It is performed by a project/product manager or a business analyst. The customer has to provide as much information as possible about how they see the final product, what functionality they need, and the main principles of its operation. We generate these data by conducting a question-answer session with a customer. Every detail is of paramount importance and should be properly documented.




A wireframe is a visual representation of the product that outlines its functionality, basic elements, and transitions between them. This task is entrusted to a group of specialists or one dedicated expert like a project/product manager, business analyst, or designer. We create clear wireframes using special tools like Figma or InVision to describe the functionality with detailed, logically associated screenshots.


Working out technical specifications


Senior developers determine and analyze requirements from the technical side and create a high-level solution architecture description with techniques that we are going to use.


Documenting project proposal


All details are documented in the form of well-grounded proposals so the client can see a clear picture of what we are offering. It should be a well-structured document with comprehensive information covering the following areas:

  • project overview
  • architecture overview
  • functional elements
  • third-party infrastructure + costs
  • system architecture and design
  • team structure
  • time and cost estimation
  • approach to the project
  • out-of-scope tasks

Why is it helpful to both customers and developers?

Both the development team and the client have definite expectations, expertise, and resources. The elaboration phase is meant to clarify these qualities and reach a consensus. Simply put, it makes our collaboration more productive and eliminates any misunderstandings. 

As a result, customers can understand how much the product will cost and how soon it will be completed. Moreover, a properly coordinated elaboration phase allows for precise planning of the project’s budget and functionality. In turn, the developers get a full vision of the client’s expectations. 


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