Fortunately, it's also the most avoidable risk to software development projects.
We see it time and time again. At the start of a software development project, risk is high and rooted in uncertainty. No matter the project, the company, or the level of expertise of the folks we're talking with - there are always lots of unanswered questions that result in the biggest risks.
- What business value will this create?
- Are we building the right thing?
- Are we solving the right problems?
- Will it be easy to use?
- Will end-users actually use it?
- How will it behave on different devices?
- What will it cost?
- Can I get "buy-in" from investors?
More often than not, various parties involved aren’t yet aligned around a singular vision — or worse, they assume alignment that isn’t actually there.
Enter - the power of prototyping.
In general, the objective of throw-away prototyping is to validate or derive system requirements, flesh out unknowns and, where desired, establish Minimum Viable Product (MVP) features.
Often referred to as "wireframing", the prototyping process starts with those requirements which are poorly understood. Input is gathered from key stakeholders and screens are designed to reflect user interface, navigation and workflow for the desired system functionality. This allows clients to really visualize the end product - not only what it will look like but how the enduser will interact with it. A cycle of feedback and additional requirements naturally evolve through this process until there is consensus amongst the stakeholders.
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This process removes "guesswork" from the formula (for disaster) leading the project team to these critical factors for project success:
- Development team has a clear understanding of what to build
- Client has a clear understanding of what they will get
- Realistic budgets can be committed to, mitigating risk for "overages"
- Development sprints are primed for efficiency, thereby maximizing client budget
- Buy-in from key stakeholders is achieved
- No surprises
Prototyping is a "win-win" for all involved in the software development project. That's why this is always the very first phase in Envative's process.
In fact, oftentimes, our very first engagement with a client is a "stand-alone" prototyping project. We welcome this because we know it can be tough to get approval on funding the actual development of your vision without it. For a modest cost (typically $10k or less), you walk away with technical consulting, requirements definition, a wireframed prototype and, ideally, a development partner you know you can trust.
Need a prototype for your next project? Lets talk!
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Co-Owner/PartnerView my calendar