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What is a Proof of Concept, and why do you need it

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Have an idea? Test it first with Proof of Concept (PoC)

Why is Proof of Concept important in the software development process?

Proof of Concept, Minimum Viable Product & a Prototype

The process

Summing up

Once upon a time, there was an idea to make a product that will revolutionize the market. The proud inventor found a software development company and asked them to create a product design. They accepted it. After days of hard work and a lot of client’s money, they still couldn’t develop the final product. Finally, the team decided that the project is impossible to make. As a result, they wasted time and money to prepare an unsatisfactory design. So what went wrong? What the team missed in the process? The answer is simple. It’s a Proof of Concept (PoC).

Yes, software development is time-consuming. There’s no doubt about it. Resources needed for this aren’t small. That’s true too. That’s why every new idea should be tested first. Not only in terms of business proposal to convince stakeholders but also product’s feasibility. Is it worth pursuing? Exactly.

Have an idea? Test it first with Proof of Concept (PoC)

PoC is the first app version prepared before we start creating a new digital product. It can be a PoC project on the mobile app or web one. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that when there’s a business idea, and especially if it’s an innovative and risky one, it’s worth checking it first to see whether the concept is feasible and works effectively.

We’re looking for technical proof of the proposed product. Hence, beginning from the stage of PoC is vital to building the right solution. Above all, PoC proves the product’s feasibility and allows verifying the functionality of assumptions for a given technology. 

Proof of Concept (PoC) in software development

Why is Proof of Concept important in the software development process?

In-depth research of the problem

Before we start building the PoC, we focus on all the potential obstacles that stand in the way to the final product. We check everything that concerns the project – technology itself, market demand, budget, customer base, etc. All of this is to choose the solutions that are the best-suited to the potential users’ needs. This, in turn, has an impact on the product’s success.

Reduction of possible risks and problems

Proof of Concept allows you to diagnose all limitations at the earliest stages and better understand the project. The risks are minimized even more if you follow the development phase with prototyping. This allows for further testing, thanks to which you get customer feedback on the early version of the product. We can’t stress this enough – the testing stage is extremely crucial in software development.

An increase in team creativity in the research stage

Because it’s a small project, we can devote more time to the analysis – we’re able to verify and change the product’s assumptions. As a result, the project will be more refined and better fulfil its primary purpose with the core functionality.

Knowledge if the product is useful and successful 

You know in advance if your product idea is going to succeed. And owing to market analysis, there’s a chance that it’ll stand out from the competition.

The objective of a PoC is to test whether an idea can develop as a marketable, profitable product. Can I fill the gap in the market? What is the potential customer base? How do I maximize an investment? The PoC provides answers to the questions and validates the idea before committing money, human resources, and time.

You won’t lose money, time and the company’s reputation

The main goal of PoC is to demonstrate the functionality of the final product – to make sure it has a lower risk of failure. So you can be certain that you won’t spend your money away. Every investor wants to know that he supports a winner, but no serious investor will “finance”. A PoC provides proof of this concept’s financial viability. Hence, it’s a great way to attract potential investors.

Proof of Concept, Minimum Viable Product & a Prototype

PoC, Minimum Viable Product and prototyping – these 3 concepts are beneficial during the initial stages of software development. PoC proves that the product’s idea is doable, while a prototype demonstrates its functionality. At the same time, thanks to MVP, you get to launch a basic version of your actual product to the potential users and gather customer feedback.

the difference between Proof of-Concept (PoC), Minimal Viable Product (MVP), Prototyping - idea's feasibility, idea's viability, idea's functionality

Learn more about the prototype process and its benefits from How to make a digital product better using app prototyping.

The process

Proof of Concept (PoC) in software development process

During the Proof of Concept process, we’re always looking forward to new collaborations. Each client is treated individually, and each project requires a proper approach and analysis. From the first meeting to the workshop, we get to know the client, his idea and the business. 

As a part of the research, we advise building a Proof of Concept. With PoC, we aim to reduce business and financial risks as well as to estimate the cost of the project. Here’s how we do it:

Predetermined timebox 

First of all, before the research starts, we set how much time we need for it. In this way, we know our goal and how to spread the workload across the team. We have to keep in mind that it’s a small experiment to see if the assumptions for technology are enough to make a digital product. Remember, it’s a test, not a real project, not yet.

Set of detailed questions

What we’ve learned during the PoC process is to define the issues and the research area precisely. Thanks to that, we can later identify gaps in the project and prevent any misunderstandings. 

We conduct the study by following our set of questions. If we don’t find a solution to one of them, we inform the client and discuss what should we do next. Sometimes some restrictions can stop the whole project. In our work, we have often encountered issues due to software or devices. So we know how important it is to diagnose those problems before the development starts. We also keep an open mind to new solutions and technologies. When we decide that some approach may work better with the idea, we try it out.

Communication and effectiveness

In the Proof of Concept process (or any other process involving software development), there must be a strong focus on communication and productivity. The team working together talk about the progress and encountered difficulties with each other and with the client

Staying in touch with them allows us to explain everything about the project. From costs to tasks we perform. This way, they’re aware of what is going on at the given moment. The client is a part of the process too.

Research data 

By collecting the data from questions, we can better adjust the project to meeting the market requirements. From our experience, we know that very often, the primary assumptions change and evolve.

Simultaneously to PoC, we do a market analysis to know the competition and target prospective customers better. Thanks to this, our client will get a product that stands out from the competition and that clients will want to use.

Summing up

Proof of Concept is a small investment that can bring a lot of benefits to the client. Thanks to the PoC, we can identify the potential setbacks and prevent them. It’ll point in the right direction toward measures that need to be taken, which will help in further product creation. Sometimes there’s another technology more suitable for the project, but it can be discovered only because of Proof of Concept. Thus, it should be a part of every software development process.

We’ll thoroughly analyze your idea and your business. Book a free consultation with us, and let’s turn your idea into reality.

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