If you want to make the most out of your next facility or space design project, undergoing a thorough discovery process at the outset is essential. Without this step, there is no way to know whether you’re on the right track.

Discovery allows you to uncover who you are as an organization, what you aspire to achieve, and how this new space can help you get there.

And creating spaces that standout and make a difference has never been more critical. Professional franchises are in constant competition to deliver rewarding fan experiences and provide attractive player facilities. And at the college level, pressures from the transfer portal, NIL agreements, and ongoing setbacks from COVID have made recruiting and retention even more difficult.

Whether you’re retrofitting a locker room, building out a new training facility, creating compelling recruiting or donor recognition spaces, or giving new life to an underused club space, the discovery process is a crucial first step.

Key Elements in an Effective Discovery Process

You don’t know what you don’t know. Discovery is a method for unearthing hidden issues, raising new questions, finding opportunities and charting a path forward.

When Jack Porter engages in discovery with clients, we work together to:

  • Establish clear goals. What does success look like?
  • Understand your brand. What are the key components that make up your brand voice?
  • Describe your program’s personality. What makes yours unique?
  • Identify stories that need to be told. What key communication points do you need to deliver?
  • Capture your program’s style. What is the overall impression you want your program to convey?

Each of these areas provides a greater understanding of what we are trying to accomplish with your academic or sports facility or space and can be used to best capture the essence of your program.

Who Should Be Included?

Every project is different, but discovery involves asking many questions, encouraging candid responses and welcoming opposing viewpoints.

It’s vital that you invite all key stakeholders to the table to be a part of your discovery process. That often means including the head coach, a director of operations, a recruiting representative, and sometimes a deputy athletic director or someone who oversees capital projects. You might also invite someone from marketing and communications, depending on the size of the project.

There’s much to unpack, so the complexity of the project will dictate the length and number of meetings. For smaller, simpler initiatives, we might cover everything in 90 minutes. For more ambitious projects, it might require more than one session spread out over a couple days.

Finally, we have, at times, included focus groups as part of the discovery. While not usually a component of the main discovery session, more targeted audiences might be needed for input. For projects on the academic side, we have included students; on the athletic side, we might invite players to participate.

The key is to encourage broad and active involvement so that all points of view are collected.

Make the Best Use of Discovery

Here’s the deal: It’s not on you. It’s on us. This is the beginning of our relationship together. It’s time to trust us and to trust the process.

You might feel like you need to prepare for a discovery session. But you don’t need to have anything figured out ahead of time. We use this session to uncover what we need to put your project in motion.

We’re going to ask questions designed to help you define the problem and what success looks like. We will walk you through, step-by-step, so we understand your brand, your culture, your recruiting pitch and your program. We will pose inquiries in a purposeful way so we can produce a facility or space that delivers on your organization’s promise

Discovery isn't a luxury.

Take Your Facility or Space to New Heights

Discovery isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. And you can’t afford to skimp on it. Proper discovery is like building a lighthouse to guide you along the way to the successful completion of your journey.

Jack Porter uses discovery to develop concepts that lead to projects that deliver deep and lasting impacts. If you’d like to learn more about how we do this, let’s talk.