There is a skill in estimating how long a Discovery will take.
For mid to larger sized projects, this can between a few weeks, to a few months – depending on scope, size and complexity as well as pricing model: where the requested Statement of work and pricing for the implementation is Time and Materials (T&M) or Fixed Price (FP).
A Fixed Price implementation requires a Discovery that goes into a lot more detail to really understand the solution and get a more accurate estimation for the work.
You are looking at replacing your ERP, ecommerce, CRM and delivery tracking system all at the same time.
We’ll need x number of workshops coveringe a range of topics, including integration points, data migration, functional scope for each of those systems above, as well as all non functional requirements.
Estimating the Discovery isn’t easy, and is best done by a team with prior experience.
The above describes a hybrid project methodology common to consulting projects, with upfront design and analysis, and iterative build with frequent show & tells to manage expectations.
This is because, as a Consulting Partner, we need to manage the risks, costs and expectations of what we are contractually bound to deliver.
Agile Consulting projects are easy (for us) as they don’t normally include a deliverable due to the fact that the client can change their mind at any time, and we would charge out the team on a timeblock basis.
As a customer, if you are ok with having a Partner with the expertise to help you figure out what you want to do by trialing things, and helping you shape your product – then this may be a better option.