Proof of concept in software development (POC) is an essential step for developing complex and costly projects. It gives a clear vision of whether the idea is ok and how to implement it better. Let’s find out more about POC technology.
What’s a proof of concept in software development?
What is proof of principle vs proof of concept? Initially, PoC also known as proof of principle, is a term that wasoften used in the scientific and technical world for proving and testing hypotheses, for considering the possibility of implementing these ideas in the development of hardware and software. However, nowadays it is no longer limited to the field of science and technology, but is being expanded and applied to many different professions such as film production, engineering, security, business, and beyond.
Today Poc stands for the test implementation of a poc software idea in order to be able to demonstrate the implementability of that idea in practice. In other words, PoC is a form of testing a method or idea to prove its feasibility. In real life, PoC is often used to prove theories or hypotheses to see if it applies to life around or affects people.
This way a proof of concept becomes a visual justification for why an idea is worth turning into a real functioning product and how it can get faster to market. A proof of concept could be a new feature of an existing company product, a product line extension, or a new product for startups, etc.
Thus, proof of concept phase involves the preparation of a specific list of measurable criteria that allows you to evaluate the expected end result which may be the production of any of the abovementioned.
Software proof of concept is not exactly what a typical proof of concept is for other products. The thing is, they may serve different purposes. Poc solution is usually required to show that the idea has some potential and is really in demand. So, the proof of concept in software development particularly is needed to confirm the solution of technical problems, find a specific answer to a functional question, or test newer features via proof of concept in software.
PoC vs MVP vs Prototyping: understanding the differences
When developing ideas for an existing product or expanding it, there are great risks to encounter unpredictable difficulties. This is why software development review and poc implementation are a common practice.
At the pre-product stage, a PoC and a prototype are utilized and only small to moderate investments are needed. With MVP development, you launch a product with the essential features and functionality to test the market’s reaction to your concept. More time and money must be spent on building an MVP than on a PoC or prototype.
TechMagic offers the following requirements data:
On an average level, some individuals believe that a prototype and a proof of concept are the same thing. A POC, on the other hand, is more of a practical assessment of whether the product can be produced with the available technology, whereas prototyping entails actually producing a functional model with some limitations.
Actually proof of concept is a broader concept that may or may not include MVP. An MVP often consists of a completely functional product. It contains comprehensive but basic features, though. A prototype, on the other hand, is a simulation of the software created to appear and feel like a genuine product. It lacks comprehensive features. Mind that.
Benefits of PoC in software development
There is a range of advantages to investing in the lifecycle that begins with POC, progresses to Prototype, and then finally reaches MVP. Appropriate idea testing is about testing the idea’s viability. It’s all about the purpose of creating an application from the POC stage through the prototype and MVP stages in the right way. POC will help attract investment.
Assessing technical validity
Before spending money to construct something that was an idea into a product, a proof of concept poc model can assist in establishing whether it is efficient at all. You can more effectively represent ideas and better understand how these ideas can become products by submitting a POC. Generally, poc design has a range of benefits for your business and one of them is checking the idea, problem and the future product demand on the market.
Each time a startup wants to find funds they use investment platforms and other tools to find prospects. Examples of proof of concept help entrepreneurs prepare an offer for investors, issue securities, receive funds for a project, and often sign an agreement with those who intend to invest in their business remotely after they check on the proof of concept agile.
Making rational budget decisions
When you determine the viability of a particular hypothesis or method for solving a problem before starting development, you spend less time on poc development in the end. Due to a thorough check on the initial poc stages, you avoid serious financial investments in the development of a product that will not be in demand on the market in the end.
Speeding up market launch
Spending several months testing the viability of the concept, is an unaffordable luxury in today’s rapidly changing business environment. While you are testing your idea in practice, you will be surpassed by competitors who have done it in theory. To prevent this from happening, use the PoC method.
Preventing risks & growing your business
In order to stay alive, a business needs to constantly evolve. However, sometimes the wrong idea, designed to dwell on development, can lead to unreasonably high financial investments and ruin your budget. To prevent this from happening, you may come up with a proof of principle (PoC) to check method that allows you to calculate at the initial stage how any innovation can turn out for your business, whether it is the introduction of a new technology in production or the creation of new software, etc.
How to create a PoC
Normally, the proof of concept method is considered to be a rather vague concept and does not have clearly defined steps that are suitable for every business. This is because PoC can be used in absolutely any field: from space or IT development to poc in project management or the creation of a new tourist product or sneaker model, etc. And, of course, testing new hypotheses in different business areas will involve a bit different steps. However, proof of concept stage in design and development is more likely look as follows:
Step 1: Understanding the need
A product idea is probably founded on assumptions when it first arises. This point is about recognizing actual problems that the program will resolve in order to obtain evidence to support these assumptions. You risk having a functional but useless tool if you neglect this step. Engage the target market in conversation to gather insightful feedback and pinpoint the requirements and problems you plan to address.
Answer the following questions to start:
- What are we attempting to accomplish? What’s the benefit added?
- What factors will determine whether the software product is successful?
- What time frame is it?
- What assets do we possess?
- What should the process look like?
- Is there an alternative solution?
Step 2: Understanding the requirements
You must clearly understand what exactly you are checking through poc software development. Which area of the business process changes is planned, what shortcomings it currently has, and what changes you plan to come after implementing the hypothesis. Remember that the right requirement definition may not ensure your success, but the wrong one will definitely guarantee the failure.
Step: 3 Ideate the right solution
Along with your development team, brainstorm potential fixes for the issues and pain points in your poc environment. These problems may probably be resolved in a variety of ways. Consider your financial and schedule constraints as you map out the answers. Also, consider the competitors progress.
Step: 4 Create proof of concept framework
When you pass over to the proof of concept software development, make a model of your future tool. Depending on the type of a product, this could be a wireframe, a mock-up, or a primitive sketch. It should show off the suggested workflow, desired features, and the fundamentals of UI/UX.
Step 5: Test it to gather user feedback
A prototype is made with the intention of displaying it to the target market and taking feedback. In contrast to the other stages, which were mostly internal, this stage involves presenting PoC to stakeholders and potential users to determine whether it has the functionality potential to be successful on the market as a full-fledged product design and development.
Step 6: Make a roadmap
Gather all the data you’ve obtained during the poc software engineering process in the final phase and record it in a roadmap. It should clearly convey the objectives as well as the step-by-step method for generating the best solution. Incorporate all the lessons learned and advice for enhancing top notch software development.
Examples of proof of concept
Here are some PoC examples to illustrate how to write a proof of concept proposal and show the new product features, processes, etc.
1.B2C Proof-of-concept Mobile App from GS1
Mobile Application The PoC retrieved data via the REST interface from the Gateway Service and rendered the XML-formatted data in a native Android user interface using a mobile app that included the Scandit mobile barcode scanner to scan barcodes (www.scandit.com). An app key that was manually assigned a-priori was utilized by the mobile application to access the Gateway Service. In an XML document, the Gateway Service returned data were formatted as key-value pairs. The user was given the returned information in a format resembling the typical nutritional panel that can be found on items. The mobile app’s example screen images are displayed below.
Source: GS1 Proof of Concept Report
2. Another proof of concept technology for Dropbox
The idea was to ceate an explanatory film to test the waters (Dropbox)Making a video is probably not what comes to mind when thinking of a proof of concept. But, that is exactly what Dropbox did in the beginning of their operation. They sought to respond to the query, “Does this solution strike a chord with people?” And, it really did.
3. Gauge demand with a landing page for Buffer
You could choose to create a straightforward landing page or website to gauge demand if you’re not interested in posting your project on a website like Kickstarter. Several businesses, like Buffer Stories, choose to carry out these pre-marketing activities before ever receiving full funding.
Source: Buffer Stories
Tools you need for creating PoC
You may encounter many problems when working on a new project. To create a quality prototype, you can use some graphic design tools to make it flawless. One of the most recommended tools by UI designers remains Figma. This is a program for prototyping GUIs, websites and mobile applications.
Figma is a cloud-based web service that provides native programs for installation on Mac and Windows. In short, Figma is like Sketch, only without plugins and with a slightly different system for implementing symbols and some other functions.
You may also use similar tools like
- Axure, etc.
To produce a proof of concept for mobile apps and other beautiful UX/UI concepts.
Since Fireart has been a leader in software development for decades, the team possess the knowledge, the tools and that’s why may take you through all stages of work on projects as our client smoothly.
Using proof of concept technology, you can avoid financial and reputational risks, refuse to implement dubious methods and solutions, or vice versa, you can convince investors of the high potential of your development.
Note that you will find a clear structure for this method that would suit your particular situation in any business manual. So, the stages and steps of PoC will vary depending on the scope of its application and you will have to determine these best stages yourself.