Even the best digital programs and solutions we use today were once just a few ideas sketched on paper. Its developers had to worry about technical feasibility and the target audience that would consume this software, among other factors.
Proof of concept (PoC) is a way of documenting the idea of a IT project and guide professionals’ next steps. Although it is sometimes used as a synonym for prototype, the truth is that it refers to an earlier stage.
To discover what PoC is, what stage it represents and learn about all the elements to prepare your own document, we have prepared this article. Check out!
What is proof of concept (PoC)?
A PoC (Proof of Concept) is documented evidence that an IT project, such as software, It’s viable and it works. Thus, when carrying out the PoC, it will be possible to identify technical errors that could interfere with the development of the program and the expected results.
The proof of concept considers technical feasibility, costs and the market that will explore. This way, everyone who is capable of offering accurate feedback is heard so that this platform can be improved — even before the official launch, increasing the chances of success.
The PoC also assesses the extent to which the project is adapted to the needs of the target audience. The main objective is to mitigate problems in the architecture of the digital environment, maximize creators’ earnings and the reach of the platform.
In addition to evaluating the practicality of the solution, the PoC helps with the following goals:
- evaluate the commercial viability of the initial idea of a project;
- identify problems that could become limiting bottlenecks in the future;
- request feedback from experts in the field and people who represent the target audience;
- Present the idea to investors and partners.
It is very important to separate the proof of concept from another common term in business: the prototype. While the PoC demonstrates the idea in general. The prototype is already a more advanced and functional model, with complete design, layout and features.
After a well-evaluated proof of concept, a prototype gains approval from the client external and can be effectively developed, for example. The PoC also usually comes before the MVP.
What is it for?
Proof of concept is the opportunity that people involved in a particular technology project have to explore the potential of their idea. Furthermore, it serves to identify gaps and failures, from the initial stages to the development of the final design and delivery.
It is worth noting that, in the IT area, the term is used in a slightly different way. While proof of concept, in other industries, is more focused on the financial viability of the project or product, in the IT sector, it is linked to technical feasibility.
But as software development is linked to the commercial success of a new solution, both definitions end up mixing. This occurs mainly in the case of startups who want to launch a product and need to show potential investors what is being done.
Thus, in the IT market, a proof of concept is a kind of prototype before the prototype, since what will be evaluated cannot yet be delivered to the customer and may receive several adjustments.
In this sense, the proof-of-concept elements of a software help companies resolve doubts about technical requirements and understand logistical issues that could impede the launch, as well as test viability through documentation that proves the value of what is being done. .
How to build a proof of concept (PoC)?
Preparing a PoC involves preparing documents similar to traditional software development projects, with technical and functional details. It is very important to ensure confidentiality in the early stages, as content can be leaked and developed by competitors.
This is because, as we have seen, the proof of concept is a document — which should only be accessed by people the leaders trust. Now, let’s look at the construction steps.
Develop the concept to be put to the test
In the first stage, creators define the product idea and what they intend to achieve with that solution. Therefore, it is necessary to include the objectives, scope of creation and the resources needed to get it off the ground.
At this stage, some of the elements that the team needs to consider are:
- the development of the idea;
- the purpose of that documentation: will it use only for the internal team? Will the document already be presented to investors?;
- the scope of the project;
- defining the necessary resources.
Involve the team of collaborators
This is the time to involve your team of collaborators and organize the team that will be associated with final decision-making.
To make the process more optimized. It is possible to rely on project methodologies focused on improving performance, delegating tasks and defining specific goals.
One of these methodologies is scrum, a framework in which people can deal with complex problems, adapt to circumstances and deliver results with the highest possible added value.
Scrum is divided into short events, called sprints. In them, teams involved in a complex project are assigned specific tasks. So that all members can contribute to the creation in a substantial way.
Already at this stage, it is possible to create an example of a visual report. In order to illustrate the development processes and define the KPIs that will be applied.
The discussion of metrics and KPIs can start in the previous stage, but this third phase is crucial to define exactly the success criteria, with everyone involved understanding what needs to be achieved for each stage to evolve.
Perform the test run
All previous work culminates in the decisive moment of a PoC: testing the idea in an operational environment, in order to examine the functionality of the initial project, in document form.
This documentation includes the design of the solution. The plans to implement it and the study of the results conveyed by the metrics used.
If the objective is to present this PoC to investors or potential partners, be sure to invest in a convincing visual representation. As well as in mapping what still needs to be done for that solution to reach end users.
It is also important to determine a timeline for the tasks and costs of each development step, such as software, in addition to goals.
At the model 1 and inmodel 2, it is possible to check examples of an organized PoC. Note that you can use various visual resources in your document. Such as a layout that reflects the company’s visual identity, figures and arrows to facilitate understanding, among other elements.
Now that you know what a proof of concept is. It is easier to understand the importance of this document for the general planning of a digital solution. It is present in the most diverse projects. Such as a service DaaS or even in virtual reality.