How does Proof-of-Concept in product development assist in robust product development?
According to Harvard Business Review, more than 66 percent of startups fail to return expected value to the investors. Keen insight but it raises the question — why is it so? What are the reasons for high failure rates?
Could be that the businesses and entrepreneurs often jump straight to product development, missing out on the most crucial part i.e. building a proof of concept.
What is Proof-of-Concept?
In the process of product development, a proof-of-concept is a verification methodology that is initiated at the start of the product development lifecycle. The main purpose of developing a PoC is to test the validity of the software idea and understand the background and requirements of the proposed system, application, or product.
A proof-of-concept is vital to define the vision of the final product and its orientation, pitch, and value proposition. And to further make the process smooth, it should involve all the stakeholders engaged in the development process. A proof-of-concept can take the form of a document, a presentation, and a demo without any involvement in coding or design.
What are the benefits of developing PoC in product development?
A number of products & software are built each day and released into the market with cut-throat competition, but not all of them scale.
According to CBI the greatest reasons for failure are:
- Lack of funding
- Absence of market need for the product
Both of these issues can be resolved with the help of PoC.
Let’s have a quick look at the benefits:
- Understanding technical feasibility
Proof of concept helps business decision-makers to understand the feasibility of the software and helps to assess whether we are moving in the right direction.
2. Understanding product limitations
Creating PoC helps owners understand the limitations, advantages & disadvantages of the proposed product idea.
3. Assisting in making rational budget decisions
With Proof of concept, businesses can better understand their budget requirements and know how to spend money wisely.
4. Accelerating time to market
By creating proof-of-concept, businesses can establish a plan of action for the creation of a new solution that would help them choose the right path from the onset.
Now, that we understand the benefits, let’s move towards steps that are crucial to creating a robust proof-of-concept:
Steps to create a robust Proof-of-Concept
Often confused with the minimum viable product (MVP), proof-of-concept is more of a document of all the requirements whereas an MVP is a workable product that consists of basic functionalities and features.
Here are four main steps to create a viable proof-of-concept:
#1 Define the concept
The main aim of creating a proof-of-concept is to define a new feature or functionality that can be built efficiently from a technological standpoint. Choose the part of the software that is troublesome and describe three features around it to develop and test.
#2 Understand that the proof is necessary
Although we have mentioned that PoC is not always necessary, having one can provide a competitive edge over your competitors and also understand the market needs.
#3 Determine success criteria
To achieve the primary goal of building a proof of concept which is understanding the feasibility of your idea, you need to set clear expectations. A success criterion consists of all the conditions that must be met to align your PoC with the actual product.
#4 Finding the team
Creating a PoC isn’t a daunting task, can take up to two to several weeks. If you are moving forward to hire an in-house development team, you would spend the same time you’ll require to hire a team for product development. And for valid reasons, you can choose an outsourcing development team for your PoC development to make it faster and cheaper.
In conclusion, if you are developing a product or a feature that would amp up the existing product, you must access the implementation of the same. A PoC is all about validating the idea behind the product before you start building it.
If you are someone who is taking their first step on this journey towards creating a successful product, an efficient product development organization would be everything you need. Software development services can assist you in the verification of the business idea and provide you with experienced developers as product managers.