PoC in Software Development: Crucial Stage of Every Big Project
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IT projects are considered a relatively high-risk investment as not every project brings the expected profit. That’s why the investors of clients for whom we develop software products often want to check how successful the product will be once it enters the market.
The problem of checking the correctness of business concepts isn’t new, and the world has long learned how to cope with it. For this purpose, the Proof Of Concept (or PoC) methodology was created, which unites different methods and is applicable to situations in almost all spheres of activity. In this article, we'll look at the meaning of PoC, what you need for PoC development, and explore examples of PoC.
What is proof of concept (PoC)?
Proof of concept engineering is a proven method for evaluating new technologies and tools for a new product. It represents an area of the system (hardware and software) to verify the technical feasibility of a concept or to demonstrate the practical suitability of an innovation. PoC development often depicts technical areas of a new product that have not yet been implemented in the predecessor products.
In terms of time, the development of a PoC occurs before the actual development of the product or at a very early stage in the development process. If several technical innovations need to be tested on a product, it can be done in several independent PoCs. These innovations can relate to technical features as well as to usability or business models. If the innovations can persuade even after the PoC development, then stakeholders have a solid basis for making decisions about further allocating appropriate budgets or project schedules.
Why is creating a PoC important in software development?
Testing the workability of a business concept is actually a research activity, so not everyone is willing to allocate funds to conduct it. However, when planning work on a large-scale, expensive, and long-term project, PoC development is a must. Such a study will help to identify bottlenecks and adjust the task in advance, or to make sure in advance that it’s not feasible and avoid large unproductive costs. Basically, the PoC development is useful when you need to:
Verify the validity of the proposed approach
The main purpose of PoC is to make sure that the software product load is chosen correctly. In other words, PoC provides an opportunity to verify that a reasonable and technologically sound solution exists at all under given conditions. In addition, with PoC you can identify limiting factors, make sure that within the identified limits the future system will be effective, and check what can happen if you go beyond the limits set. Ultimately, you can test the workability of the proposed idea plan, get a product prototype, and determine the best technology to implement the proposed concept.
Verify the value of the application
Any application is valuable only if it is interesting to the users and able to solve specific problems. PoC allows us to find out if it is possible to find a balance between the initial idea of the application and the needs of users.
Save money and time
PoC is a very simplified app, often with no design and only one function. With it, you can look at the approximate result, spending less money, time, and effort than when creating a full application at once. This approach is very beneficial for startups with a limited budget.
Get the first statistics and feedback
If you develop PoC to MVP, you can get the first data about the app attendance and usage which will determine the further vector of its development. Particularly it helps to find out the number of daily users, frequency of visits, average time between registration and making the first purchase within the app, revenue for a certain period of time, and other data.
PoC development process
Maximum clarification of wishes
Before you start the PoC development, you need to identify what the needs of the customer and the end-user of the product are.
Formulation of the task
This is probably the most responsible stage of PoC development, where the task is formulated, the initial conditions, the basic technology, hardware, etc. The more accurately the task (or several tasks) are formulated, the easier it will be to overcome the next stages.
Data collection and analysis
You need to identify the array of available data, its attributive composition, consistency, and completeness, analyze the collected data, and assess its reliability. Based on the collected data you can build a product model.
Calculation of economic efficiency
This is the final stage of the PoC development, the most important for the potential investor. Here you see whether the task solved by the potential product will bring you profit.
Development of the MVP
This is the next stage after PoC development. Often, objective verification of a business idea in the IT industry requires the construction of an MVP, i.e., a minimal viable product. This is an already more or less ready product prototype capable of solving the main task.
TOP 3 the best tools for PoC development
Given that PoC development is more of a theoretical stage, it is difficult to identify any specific tools for its implementation. Nevertheless, the following software is often used in PoC development:
Miro is the most popular tool to build maps of user journeys. Such maps help to model and study the customer's path to purchase. Miro can be used to design scenarios of user behavior in an application from registration to payment.
In Figma, you can prepare layouts and screens for a future app in just a few days. This service allows you to make a prototype of a future application and watch the product come to life: transitions and animations can be added to design elements before PoC development begins.
Zapier is an automation tool that allows you to connect around 1,500 apps and services and make them work according to a certain scenario. For example, if a user entered an email address when registering in an application, this address was automatically added to the database in Google Tables and Mailchimp mailing list, and from there the user was automatically sent an email with recommendations for working with the application.
Proof of Concept (PoC) Development Example and Cost
RexSoft developed Proof of concept (PoC) of a corporate website for the Introserv project. The company-customer provides Data solution (backup, data storage and protection) for corporate software. PoC included the development of a website mock-up (15 pages) and a detailed, clickable prototype.
|Detailed, clickable prototype
It took 40 hours to develop 15 pages of mock-up, 6.5 hours of which were spent on the development of the main page, the designer spent 1-2 hours on other pages on the mock-up.
The designer spent 110 hours to develop a clickable prototype consisted of 15 pages, 25 hours of which on the main page, on other pages - 5-10 hours.
The cost of PoC development, which included mock-up and a clickable prototype for 15 pages of the website - $5250, for the main page - $875.
Recommendations on creating a PoC
Identify the problem
This sounds like a given, but it's a very important step of PoC development. Write down the problem your product solves in the simplest language possible. You must clearly show the problem in order to properly label the solution.
Determine the market and its size
Again, this is pretty obvious, but we think it's important to note this step of PoC development. Without a big market for your product, everything you do is an expensive hobby. Determine the size of the market to confirm that the product has a chance to be profitable.
Is anyone else solving this problem? Your competitors can tell you a lot. Look at what's wrong with their offerings and learn from their shortcomings. If you can fix what's missing in their application, you have a better chance of attracting your users.
Find a trusted technology partner
You need to enlist the support of reliable technicians who can make your idea a reality. At RexSoft we almost always use PoC development as an important step in realizing large-scale and complex projects. This strategy has repeatedly proven itself in practice, as it allows us to focus the developer's efforts on the functionality that will really turn out to be in demand by the customer.
For startup founders, PoC development is an important step in both product development and fundraising. Testing in a controlled environment provides an opportunity for development teams to stress analyze product limitations and determine what can be optimized. When raising additional funding, successful PoCs can be used as proof that the technology exists in the marketplace and signal its attractiveness to larger and more influential commercial partners in the future.
The key is to get the support of top-notch experts who will take on all the PoC development hassle and bring your idea to life. Contact RexSoft today, and tomorrow we'll take your rightful place in the market together.
What is PoC in software development?
Proof of concept is the research that, if successful, confirms the feasibility of developing your product.
What are the benefits of PoC development for business?
PoC helps verify that the solution really solves the problem, confirm that your future customers need the solution, and determine whether people will pay for your solution.
How to find a trusted PoC development partner?
Choose companies that have experience in creating complex and large-scale projects. For example, you can contact RexSoft and we will start to implement your idea as quickly as possible.
Bogdan MisiurenkoBusiness Development Manager