Software development goes through some phases; the initial idea, putting together a team, development phase, QA/testing, and going live. And of course, the countless hours and effort put into completing the project. It might not be noticeable but, in this process, the risk of project downfall is high. The reason is that there is one minor, yet very important phase missing and that is Proof of Concept.
Proof of Concept (PoC) is the outcome of the discovery phase that can help in authenticating the client’s idea. In software development, PoC is the first step of technical implementation of the client’s idea, so things can be managed efficiently and a more robust final product can be delivered.
The Need for Proof of Concept
Coming up with new and exciting software development ideas is nice but it’s generally better to test the idea before you start working on it. This saves time, money and reduces the risk of project failure.
PoC can also be used to persuade stakeholders that your idea is worth investing in. Whether it involves working on an already existing software or building something from scratch, proof of concept can somewhat ensure that stakeholders are spending money in the right place.
Proof of Concept Approaches
To understand how proof of concept works, it helps to think that there are two approaches;
Proofing the Technology
If the client is building something completely new, it might include new technical requirements, new tools, new technology or new business objectives. It’s hard to be certain it would meet expectations or not. However, with PoC strategy, a software developer might take a minor but well-understood part of the project and develop something to show how it will actually work. This can include anything from applying integration to writing code that might not even end in the final product but can help in proving whether or not it’s smart to make the next move.
Proofing the Company
In this, the client already has an understanding of what needs to be built and they want the right custom software development company to assist them in building it. Here, the client can get a PoC developed to help evaluate the company’s approach, talent, and capabilities before making a larger commitment.
Proof of Concept and Software Development
A PoC can help both the client and the software developer get a better understanding of how the project might pan out. Asking relevant questions about an idea is the first and foremost step to success. The idea can be authenticated by having an open discussion with the clients and by understanding their business requirements, discussing their expectations, identifying pros and cons, and eventually listing short and long-term goals. Finally, these requirements are analyzed and the best possible solution is proposed to the client.
Normally, a PoC lasts for 1-3 weeks considering it is just a small, yet very important part of the project. Its major aim is to do the following:
- Verifying the minor technical assumptions before the development begins
- Giving an idea of what the project is supposed to look like.
- Keeping the client one step ahead of its competitors.
Before your project begins the development phase, it is always important to make sure your idea is worth the effort. This is why PoC has been proven to be very useful. Here are some of the advantages of using Proof of Concept for software development:
Helps validate the idea
If you are already aware of what the final product may look like, it becomes easier to validate how feasible and practical your idea will be.
Saves unnecessary investment
If you have any idea that you don’t know will work out or not, you can use PoC and if it doesn’t work out, it will help you save money, time, and valuable resources invested.
Increased chances to succeed
With the help of PoC, prove the idea’s worth. With this, your project has more chances to succeed.
Potential risk awareness
You’re aware of the potential risks from the start so you can deal with them better.
PoC Development Flow
Like any other project development, PoC has its own flow.
Step 1: List down a detailed description of the idea
In order to understand this, the client needs to understand that PoC is the Discovery Phase of the product development. The client needs to share the entire detail of the idea that possibly answers the questions; what should the final product look like? Who is the target audience? What are your end goals? Who are your competitors?
Step 2: Set your PoC project requirements
Set specific requirements. Such as goals, KPIs, target audience, and more so that it’s easier to compare the end results with your project-specific requirements. If your requirements match your end results, your project success is viable. It’s better to engage stakeholders throughout this process. Document everything being done and perform a roadmap development which is a process of PoC in software development building. This helps determine the next step.
Step 3: Select the right team
It’s comparatively hard to invest in a team of PoC considering that the idea might not work out. This is why it’s important to make sure the team you’re selecting is aware of your project goals and sticks to them till the end.
Step 4: Test your idea
This is important and will help make or break your idea. With the help of testing, you will be able to understand whether or not your project would be successful. It will also help in getting feedback on how to improve your product.
Step 5: Make changes from feedback
After gathering the feedback, if you think the project may be a success, make improvements and see how far you can go with it.
The PoC approach should be considered by every project manager/client. Before investing time, energy, money, and effort into an idea, it’s better to build a map that can help prove if your idea is going to work out or not. Techverx understands the importance of Proof of Concept and uses the discovery workshop services to help you authenticate your idea, determine objectives, define budgets and establish project scope while keeping you completely involved throughout the process.