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Why a Proof of Concept is key to software development success

Mervyn Graham

Proof of concept (POC) is predominantly used in the software development process, to check potential solutions validity before committing to a project with resource backing. 

The proof of concept stages means you are conducting the initial testing and feasibility of the idea based on real-world scenarios - the first steps to turning the idea into a digital product. However, it does not mean that it is working in situ or how it will work when integrated with existing software.

The purpose of a proof of concept is to provide enough evidence for stakeholders to see the potential benefit in progressing further down the line. It also allows them to validate their theories and highlight any concerns early on, avoiding costly mistakes later on.

Business managers and those without technical knowledge can use a POC to understand what could be delivered. The proof of concept document is created by conducting more detailed research, clearly defining and validating the concept. It allows an informed decision before committing financial and human resources. The result can also serve as a reference point for future improvement phases where the design can evolve based on previous experience gained.

Key benefits to using a proof of concept in the software development process:

Validates the Concept

A proof of concept allows you to test your idea and see if it is feasible before investing time to build a prototype and so on. Within the document, it should prove the need and understand prospective users pain points by speaking to potential users and stakeholders. Using this information from stakeholders can help refine the digital product idea and create a priority list of functionality.

Saves Time and Money

The research conducted is to support the product or solutions idea, to confirm it is the right project for the company. A proof of concept can help avoid expensive rework later on, such as functionalities that users do not need or will not use and ensure that the final product meets customer expectations - if all the research is done beforehand. If your project involves sourcing investors to support your project, the POC could also be used as part of the funding pitch.

Gives Clarity to Business Management

A POC will provide details such as timescales, the functionalities included, the target audience for the product and what the likely return on investment will be. Whether the proof of concept is to digitalise internal processes or for a customer-facing solution, a well-validated POC will allow Business managers all the relevant information to make informed decisions about whether or not to invest in a project.

proof of concept in software development

This process should be carried out for any new digital product that needs validating, especially when there is a risk that the proposed solution may not meet customer expectations or even be too costly to implement. By using a proof of concept, you can avoid these potential problems and ensure that your business has the best chance of success in today’s competitive market.

Zoosh Group's Product Studio provides businesses with the cloud technologies they need for success in a competitive market. We can help you achieve digital transformation for better efficiencies and productivity, working with you to validate your ideas and translate them into a usable cloud product. Contact us today to find out more.

If you are looking for some hints and tips on how to start your new digital product development, check out our on-demand webinar on 'Building the right digital product or service'.