Any successful project begins with a first step. But it can be difficult to take that first step. It’s not enough to have a great idea- you also need to be able to demonstrate the viability of that project to key decision makers. The answer? Prototyping.
While many business owners know that innovation is crucial, it can be difficult to convince the right people that your project is worth the risk. That’s where prototyping comes in.
Here’s why prototyping is the secret to kickstarting your project:
Have you ever explained an idea or theory to a friend or coworker, only to later realise that something got lost in translation? Maybe they thought you were trying to say something very different to what you were attempting to communicate?
Communication is at the heart of any successful project. And lack of effective communication can mean that your project never gets off the ground. With so many groups and individuals involved in the software and application life cycles, prototyping is an effective communication method for stakeholders and teams.
A prototype is a mockup (often interactive) of a system, demonstrating how it would be used. This means that ideas are easily communicated since everyone can see how the product would look. This prevents lost time and confusion.
Functional prototypes allow you to mock up your projects quickly, so they can be shown to stakeholders and investors early on. That means you can get real-buy in before the actual development process starts.
It took James Dyson 5,127 attempts over 15 years before he finally perfected the bagless vacuum cleaner. Each prototype was a step closer to his goal. While you’re not going to need 5,127 prototypes for your project, each prototype tackles problems and issues as they occur.
This means that objections from your boss or stakeholders are easily overcome with the next prototype. You can demonstrate that your project will be viable, decreasing risk in the eyes of the people who hold the purse strings. Your project will be more likely to go ahead, and you’ll save time that you would otherwise spend explaining just why it’s likely to be a success.
Time is money when you’re developing a product. The greater your teams’ efficiency during the first stage of your project, the more likely it will go ahead. Prototypes can also help developers determine the most efficient tools and techniques to use in development.
Prototyping is a great way to help plan your project. You can create and manage your project objectives, while visually confirming that each has been achieved and implemented correctly.
You can develop an effective metric program during the initial stage of your project, depicting scope, durations, averages, constraints, and goals. This demonstrates feasibility and ensures you’ll stay on track once you get started.
Preparing For Your Prototype
If you’re feeling frustrated with a lack of forward momentum with your project, a prototype can help you get key decision makers onside.
One of the biggest hurdles to getting a project off the ground? Proving that it won’t waste precious time or money. The workflow that you follow when using prototyping allows you to be innovative while bridging the gap between ‘what we have’ and ‘what we can create’.
First, you need to gather and catalogue your project specifications and requirements. If you’re using a prototyping tool, you can often integrate these requirements within the tool. And if you’re using a software development firm you can discuss these with your developer.
If you’re sick and tired of objections and procrastination, prototyping can help give your project the kickstart it needs. At Intergy, we use prototyping throughout our development process, so get in touch to learn how we can help.