The Length and Breadth of Proof of Concept (PoC) in Software Development

author

Cubix

22 Feb, 2022

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8 min read

Every project needs a product development strategy that’s thoroughly analyzed and well-researched if we expect incredible results. Especially when it comes to the software product development process, it sounds like you have "innovation in your hand," but you don’t know the technicalities, strategies, approaches, risks, challenges, etc. When a refined digital product comes into existence, its robustness and fully functional abilities speak volumes of its quality.

But how product development strategy blends all the crucial aspects of product success is something to debate about. Therefore, let’s get into the in-depth details of how successful software development is achieved.

PoC in Software Development

Many wide-ranging digital product development companies don’t really consider Proof of Concept before starting a project regardless of its size. A proof of concept determines and verifies the digital product development idea and provides a path to the product manager with an exceptional approach to initiate the process. PoC helps you identify the worth of the product in the real-world market before beginning the product development process.

Proof of concept highlights the fundamental insight about the project, permits the product owner and workforce to define the success criteria, and enables the team to make decisions for building the product accordingly. In short and precise words, Proof of concept (POC) supports and gives the base of product prototypes and MVPs developments.

Proof of concept represents the idea and functionalities of the proposed product and its worth in the real-world market. When a team intends to build MVPs and prototypes, they need basic information, development data, and estimations regarding cost, customer interest, timeframe, and other crucial elements. This is why PoC is pivotal for building a quality product from the start.

Purpose of Proof of Concept

PoC provides orientation and gives a vision about product development to the technical workforce, which leads them in the right direction for project development. A software development process comprises many risk-involved development stages, challenges, disagreements, rejections, constraints, and whatsoever.

This is why critical thinking is essential in the form of Proof of concept (PoC) and why PoC is called "proof of concept" – a team with a clear concept with existing Proof that the idea is worth implementing in the official project.

Quick Cost and Time Estimation

The critical phase in project analysis arises when product owners and project managers get into the estimations. Many confusions arise when the product owner wants the completed product in 6 months. But the project manager predicts 7 to 8 months for project completion (with his past development experience), and the product development workforce asks for at least a year to finish and deploy the project.

Indeed, business decisions are highly dependent on estimations. Therefore, when the estimations are made, the concerned authorities consider the future of the product and where it will be standing in the next ten years. However, the business fails because of the reasons like uncertainty source in software business decisions. Why does uncertainty arise? It arises due to:

  • Specified Business Domain

  • Sometimes when SaaS companies get a quote for digital product development, they find it difficult to estimate sales through software in the entertainment business industry like games social media than other business domains like inventory management.

  • Novelty of Estimations

  • Estimation is predicted through the conceptual experience of an expert. Estimation doesn’t mean accurate predictions about cost or time, but it paves the way to make the right decisions during Proof of concept. Therefore, if a fresh-minded person estimates value without experience, a business may likely face failure.

  • Long Planning Horizon

  • Another reason for the uncertainty is that professionals and product owners sometimes go too far while looking into the future. They plan for 25 to 30 years rather than emphasizing a 5 to 10 years planning horizon. As a result, the long-term planning horizon is riskier, problematic, and encompasses more uncertainties as compared to the short-term planning horizon.

    Why? Because trending technologies and effective strategies we implement in our project today won’t be effective enough to rock the distant future market, which would be a hundred times more advanced than today.

  • 1. Product Idea Validation

  • The reason why startups and even, sometimes, well-established businesses fail is the lack of research needs to validate the idea for product development. Proof of concept paves the way for the technical squad to get in-depth knowledge about the product they will delve into. Then, when the team knows the future scope of the product, they decide whether the idea is worthy enough to build the project upon or just reject it.

    Idea validation has significant importance as it lays the foundation for prototypes, minimum viable products, and the entire product development. Moreover, idea validation saves a whole team’s efforts from getting waste in the form of product failure in the market.

  • 2. Credibility to Stakeholders

  • Stakeholders need Proof to invest in the product approved by the technical crew. Proof of concept shows the worth of the digital product to invest in it. To that end, project managers require approval from stakeholders so that they can request further resources to start the large-scale development.

    PoC gives a practical business analysis and allows technical project managers to represent the usability and profitability of the project development idea. Therefore, it gets effortless for project managers to convince stakeholders to invest in product development.

    A skilled project manager understands the importance of Proof of concept as they can explain the various advantages to stakeholders right away. To that end, stakeholders can analyze and estimate the success or loss if they invest in it – PoC offers transparency before investing to both parties, i.e., the product development company for the proposed product.

  • 3. Early Risks Analysis
  • The Product Development team analyzes the risks and weak points that could arise in the proposed product development process – early or later. When any project is in the thorough research process, many things uncover and come out to the surface. Risks and aspects of product failures are the common events on which the smart software development team focuses to solve them straightaway.

    As risk detection can be found out earlier in Proof of concept, a product development squad can harness the best and most effective product development practice keeping upfront the potential risks, budget, time span, and other crucial factors. Unfortunately, even the top-notch companies and popular businesses face unexpected failure out of the blue as they don’t analyze and eliminate the risk beforehand, so risks eliminate them from being counted in the number one.

    Well-versed and skilled project managers foresee risk analysis in the early stage of product development rather than regret bugs and errors popping up in the deployment stage. However, Proof of concept doesn’t promise a sleek development process, but it surely does enhance the chances of success rate to a great extent. So, if you ever hear about a project failure, find out whether they considered PoC or not?

  • 4. Practical Learning Opportunity
  • Can we be able to build such a large-scale project with that idea? Of course, any new idea can raise many questions. Therefore, project managers and their adroit technical team need the vision to follow from start to finish. To that end, Proof of concept brings clarity to the process and answers the dev team in the best possible manner.

    PoC gathers the entire team and stakeholders to get into the depth of the idea and create a roadmap that the experts follow. A result-driven PoC comprises information about the customer demands, pros and cons of the product idea, future scope, competitors, marketing strategies, approach to development, and many other crucial aspects that fall into PoC practice.

    Hence, when going straight to development, having instructions in the Proof of concept can assist the entire technical squad working and collaborating hassle-freely. Indeed, besides analyzing different factors, gathering requirements and resources, paving the way to development, genuinely engaging investors and decision-makers wholeheartedly is the priority.

Proof of Concept – A Foundation for Prototypes and MVPs?

Companies often consider the software development planning phase and making prototypes the same. This is why they don’t build profound prototypes, so they fail to hit the target. So, the PoC practice should include the idea of resources feasibility and determine the best possible technical path for quality product development.

Prototypes represent the early versions of a digital product that help the team check the design and overall functioning capability. The team demonstrates the product’s visual appearance, the user experience (UX), and test features that need to be implemented or deleted.

On the contrary, minimum viable products (MVPs) encompass limited features for early adopters. The product development team then proceeds with an actual project based on the feedback given by early users. Once the project manager and the development team get positive feedback, the detailed project development cycle initiates until the project gets deployed.

Leveraging Aspects of Proof of Concept

The PoC verifies the idea, strategies, and theories essential for successful software product development. It highlights the core issue and the feasibility of the product development.

  • Proof of concept encourages investors and decision-makers to give a final answer.
  • It highlights the market demand for the product.
  • Help the concerned authority visualize where the product will be standing in the near future.
  • It lays a foundation for sub-product development like prototypes, MVPs, and actual large-scale product development.
  • It defines the success criteria of the project.
  • Proof of concept proves to be an effective process to estimate the development time duration, team efforts and expertise, and the development budget.
  • It helps determine the resource feasibility before initiating the process.
  • PoC defines the scope of your project.

Key Steps for Proof of Concept?

Often professionals also mix up the Software requirement specification (SRS) documents and Proof of concept, which are entirely two different considerations in the software development process. As a result, PoC is developed and required in the very initial stage – even before building prototypes, MVPs, and SDLC.

SRS is used in the project analysis phase and does encompass the project requirements will be highly dependent. It provides a thorough overview of the proposed digital product and goals. It defines the UI/UX, development, functionality, hardware, and software, network requirements essential to fulfill the need of concerned authorities (stakeholders, customers, users). SRS is created when the team is amid the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

1# Elaborate Requirements

Every idea needs real-life support to come into existence in the form of a robust and fully functional product that works for years. Therefore, a very initial stage of PoC encourages project managers and development teams to analyze real-world problems that the proposed software aims to solve.

Raise and answer the questions while analyzing the cruciality of requirements; what value will this product add to users? Why are we developing this project? What can we achieve from this project? What available resources do we have? How to implement software product development in the planned strategies?

And the truth is, smart developers never stop questioning throughout the process to implement their expertise in the best possible manner.

2# Build Solutions

What would be the best and smart solutions to the problems? This proof-of-concept stage finds result-driven solutions for problems and pain points. Moreover, you can also take your competitors in the loop to find answers to your relevant solutions. Involve veteran developers because they can answer your questions with their experience and tested strategies that they find leveraging in their development journey.

3# Build Prototype

This stage encourages the team to demonstrate the structure and architecture of the proposed product through wireframes, product sketches, product features, UI/UX design, etc. This PoC stage shapes your product idea under discussion and research in the previous phases.

4# Gather User Feedback

To test the first-ever product design and its appearance, ask your potential audience to give an honest review. This stage involves stakeholders and potential users to gather data about the modifications users want to make and ensure the development team that the project is worthy enough to develop and launch in the market.

This stage of feedback and review helps you improvise the strategies and approach to development and elaborate the details about features you neglected. Hence, user feedback gives insight into what’s exceptional for project development and what’s not? To that end, you build a strong foundation at the very beginning, which lowers the probability of failures to a greater extent.

5# Document your gatherings

Gather and save all crucial information and project development data to make a roadmap that guides you throughout the development journey. The document should outline the essential steps concerning each phase of the software development life cycle; planning, designing, development, testing, deployment, and post-launch maintenance.

When to Communicate with Client?

Always and throughout the software development cycle! However, some project development approaches like traditional project management involve their concerned client only in the planning phase, resulting in longer development time and exceeded budget and the unhappy product owner.

On the other side, the Agile project management approach involves the client throughout the SDLC. As a result, more robust and high-quality products came into existence along with happy and satisfied product owners.

It is advised to involve the product owner in the Proof of concept (PoC) so that both parties will have clarity and the project will be built on the mutual agreements and understanding.

We Love Developing Your Software Product with PoC

Clients from all over the world come to Cubix for wide-ranging software product development. Some of the projects we receive require up-gradations and improvisions according to the trending tech stack in the market, and many other clients ring the bell to develop the project from scratch.

To build and deploy a successful project that amazingly fulfills the client’s demand, we take our client into a loop in the proof-of-concept stage. We would be happy if you, just like others, trusted and handed their project to us.

We aim to see our clientele ahead in the technological world, and therefore we develop projects with great zeal and untiring efforts. As proof, our portfolio is a practical representation of who we are as a software development company.

Want to know which frameworks and technologies we use to develop the top-notch product? Visit one of the most visited websites in the software development world.

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Cubix

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