Proof of Concept (POC)

Have you ever been curious whether your idea or solution is valuable and if it would be worth turning into reality? Have you ever wondered if there was a tangible verification which could prove the potential of an idea or solution? To answer these questions, today, a number of businesses and companies choose an exercise called Proof of Concept (POC). In this guide we will explain what POC is and how it could be used to flourish your business.

1. What is Proof of Concept?

Proof of concept is the testing of the finished product based on the idea. Proof of concept tests whether the idea is viable and explores the idea’s ability to be developed or built. Also, it identifies potential technical and logistical issues that might interfere with success.

In addition, it gives a demonstration of a product, concept or process and determines whether it can be turned into reality. It focuses on a specific subject so it is not intended to compare with other ideas, nor is it intended to determine the best production process. For developers of software, it is not only a good way of illustrating features, functions and benefits, but also guarantees that the end product matches your expectations.

Creating a POC normally requires some investment of time, cost and labor but it allows the companies and businesses to see how promising their idea is before approving them for further testing and putting resources behind it. So it might save you money, energy and lower the risk of any upcoming failure.

2. What does it include generally?

A useful POC bridges the gap between expectations and reality. It is necessary to understand and to clarify exactly what your aim is with the product or service. After exploring your needs the POC carefully scopes these requirements for the final product. This scope is followed by a clearly defined way of measuring success.

It includes;

  1. certainly defined criteria for success;
  2. documentation for how the POC will be completed;
  3. an evaluation component; and
  4. a proposal about how the POC would be successful.

Developing a plan is important in determining how a product or service will be delivered to you with less flaws.

7. step: Assessment of the projects viability and sustainable growth

6. step: Making an analysis of the economic, social and environmental effects

5. step: Financial analysis

4. step: Analyzing the project investment

3. step: Analyzing alternative solutions

2. step: Analysis and assessment of needs in relation with the aim of the project

1. step: Analyzing the current situation

0. step: collecting ideas

3. Proof of Concept in software development

3.1. The main tasks in software development:

3.1.1. Identify project goals and methods for their implementation. “Brainstorm”

First, you have to determine the goal of the project, and analyze it. The next step is to create methods of achieving this goal. Essentially, at this stage, you need to focus on the general aspects of the project. How it will work, what main functions it will have, how it will connect to the users etc. Generally, this takes from few days to a couple of weeks. After the implementation plan is done, you can start to collect feedback from future users.

3.1.2. Receive feedback from users and customers.

Feedback is one of the most important part of the POC because you will receive many suggestions for improvement and you will also receive negative reviews which helps to prevent the repetition of mistakes and of failed methods. Also, it helps measuring the customer needs and expectations regarding your software. The key is to listen and collect feedback.

3.1.3. Correct the idea and start implementing.

Having received feedback, you can clearly understand how users will interact with your project. Based on the information received, it is necessary considering what can be changed to make the project more convenient. If you received a lot of negative feedback regarding the essential elements of your software it may be necessary to think about a new improved version. If you received positive feedback, we recommend starting with minimal version (MVP) The MVP will allow to develop the project in the shortest time possible and test your software on real users.

3.2. Different types of software development POC

1) Your company researches a way to use an app to solve a particular problem that arises during its everyday work. Providing an app that can do that successfully will help the company. The question is whether it’s a feasible idea at all. The proof of concept in software development is by far the most important approach in this case. It’s focused on research aimed at finding an optimal way to achieve the desired outcome. So in conclusion, proof of concept regardless from what the idea is has to prove whether your idea is tangible or not.

2) You’re developing a mobile app that allows users to order food from local restaurants. There are many apps like this, but chances are that yours has a twist that will make it different and succeed. Proof of concept in software development may still be necessary, but this time around it focuses on finding the best technologies to use to create a well-optimized app. Even if the optimal technologies are determined, you may still have doubts regarding how successful your idea is market-wise. Since you are still not sure about what your product will eventually turn out to be you may will be testing it with real customers and returning with feedback to the developer.

4. Conclusion

POC is an important stage in the development of a complex and expensive project. Whether this project is about a software or a service POC gives a clear idea of how it will work and what functions it will perform. Typically, the process takes from few weeks to a couple of months and it can save you money and time.

dr. Dobos István attorney at law

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