PD101 is our series on insights and advice into the less common elements of the Product Development Process. Today we talk prototyping, specifically Proof-Of-Concept Builds.
What is a Proof-Of-Concept Build?
A proof-of-concept (POC) build is a small-scale version of a proposed project that is used to demonstrate its feasibility and to test its potential. POC builds are often used in the early stages of a project’s development to flesh out its design and to identify any potential issues before investing a significant amount of time and money into the project. In this blog post, we will explore how POC builds can be used to effectively flesh out a design in the early stages of a project, while minimizing time and cost investment.
What are the benefits of using Proof-Of-Concept Builds?
One of the main benefits of using POC builds is that they allow our clients to quickly test and validate their ideas. This is particularly useful in the early stages of a project, when the design is still in its conceptual phase. By creating a POC build, we can test the functionality of their proposed design, identify any potential issues, and make necessary adjustments before moving forward with the full-scale project. This can save a significant amount of time and money in the long run by reducing the number of changes that need to be made later in the development process.
Another benefit of using POC builds is that they allow us to gather feedback from stakeholders early on in the process. This can be invaluable in helping us and our clients to understand the needs and preferences of their target audience and to make necessary adjustments to the design accordingly. POC builds also allow clients to present their ideas to potential investors or partners, which can be useful in securing funding or partnerships for the project.
They should be cheap and fast.
Creating a POC build can be a relatively low-cost and low-effort process. This is because POC builds are typically small-scale versions of the proposed project and do not require the same level of resources or expertise as a full-scale project. For example, we may choose to create a POC build using only a subset of the proposed features or functionality, or by using simplified versions of certain components. This allows us to focus on the core aspects of the design and to test its feasibility with minimal investment.
One of the most effective ways to create a POC build is by using agile development methods. Agile development is a flexible and iterative approach to development that allows us to quickly and efficiently create working prototypes of their proposed designs. This is the basis of our Design Loop methodology. It is particularly useful in the early stages of a project, when the design is still in its conceptual phase. By using agile development, we can quickly create POC builds and gather feedback from stakeholders, which can be used to make necessary adjustments to the design.
Another effective approach to creating POC builds is by using the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach. An MVP is a minimal version of a product that has just enough features to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future development. This approach is particularly useful in the early stages of a project when we are still trying to validate the concept and gather feedback. By using an MVP approach, we can create a POC build that has only the most essential features, which can be tested and validated with minimal investment.
In conclusion, POC builds are an effective way to flesh out a design in the early stages of a project while minimizing time and cost investment. By creating a small-scale version of the proposed project, clients can quickly test and validate their ideas, gather feedback from stakeholders, and make necessary adjustments to the design before moving forward with the full-scale project. Using agile development methods and MVP approach can be particularly effective in creating POC builds. By using these methods, we can quickly create working prototypes for our clients and validate their ideas with minimal investment.
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