written by
Sam Hendrickx

Why prototyping will save you time & money

Methodologies 5 min read

Prototyping is excellent to bring an idea into the real world. Little time is needed and at a fraction of the cost concepts can be brought to life. Mapping the functionalities and — maybe more important — limitations is essential to a valuable product. By saying “prototype”, I’m not referring to a mockup, nor to some wireframes, and not even to a “clickable prototype”. I’m actually talking about a so-called Minimum Viable Product where you tackle technical challenges and proof the solution.

Ideas are everywhere

Everybody has ideas. Startups have great ideas that can disrupt entire industries, while big enterprises invent new concepts to outthink competitors. Unfortunately, these ideas remain concepts written on post-its quite too often.

Post-its

Post-its never leave the wall

Companies will organize brainstorm sessions and invite all kinds of innovative thinkers. This is a great first step because innovation starts with ideation. However, the problem is that these ideas remain on the wall. Let’s look at the causes of this issue.

First of all, organizations are often specialized in specific domains but lack the skills needed to introduce these new technologies into existing architectures. In 2017, artificial intelligence is everywhere and companies want to experiment with these new technologies. However, their people aren’t educated for this. This results in the well-known thought: “We’ll build this in the future”.

Next, there is time & budget. Time is our most precious resource, and every organization wants to spend the time of their employees as useful as possible. Quite often, that means keeping the business up and running while not “wasting their time” learning these new technologies.

Final release is not what client expected

Everybody knows the classic approach to start a new project at a company: someone in the company has a great idea, they will have some internal meetings, review some market research that has been done, and then start a big, expensive project. Once the project has been completed, the final product is revealed to the world. This is the moment of truth. Will the end users like it? Will it provide what they actually need, rather than what they said they wanted? Will they actually pay for the product? It’s impossible to know the answers to these questions until the product goes to market. This is true even when you have done some research during its development.

A prototype typically simulates only a few aspects of, and may be completely different from the final product.

Unexpected technical challenges

It is unfortunate that system architecture comes so early in the design process because time only enhances your understanding of the problems that you may encounter. Often, these problems are related to technical challenges that could have been avoided if these issues were tackled in a prototype. Have you ever thought, “If I could go back in time, I would change … ”?

Prototyping to the rescue

Prototyping

Test & proof the solution

Building a prototype (or MVP if you prefer) helps to test & proof the solution before turning it into a big, costly project. By having a prototype up and running in a couple of weeks, you can quickly gather user feedback and adjust the concept if needed. It allows software designers and implementers to get valuable feedback from the users early on in the project. It also allows the software engineers to gain insight into the accuracy of initial project estimates and whether the deadlines and proposed milestones can be met successfully.

Rally financial support

If you are an entrepreneur with a startup idea looking for funding or an employee at a company trying to convince a decision maker, you need something to convince them of your idea. By developing a prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of your idea, you lower the risk of investment and therefore increase the probability that the idea will be funded.

Fail early & inexpensively

If you have an innovative idea, it almost always includes a risk of failure. As Thomas Edison once joked: “We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb.” By building a prototype, you can quickly weed out the ideas and concepts that don’t work to shift the focus towards the ones that do.

How Craftworkz can help

So I convinced you that prototyping is the way to go and you’re ready to clear the wall from these colourful post-its and turn them into tangible — and, let’s face it, more useful — prototypes that can really proof your solution? This is what we at Craftworkz do best! Our team focuses on innovative technologies, because we’ve seen that almost all new ideas that arise, involve some emerging technology like chatbots, robotics, hybrid mobile, cloud, blockchain…

Take post-its off the wall, and turn them into tangible products using our prototyping approach

We have developed the right approach and we have a multidisciplinary and experienced team to develop prototypes quickly and easily in many different domains. This approach is quite different from a more classic developing strategy as you have to work very closely together and be fast and efficient, sometimes without a comprehensive business analysis. Furthermore, our expertise allows us to deeply understand the concept, tackle technical challenges and successfully deliver the prototype along with valuable recommendations.

Conversation

First, we start out by advising you, challenging your vision and gaining a deep understanding on what you want to achieve.

Analysis & budget

Next, we summarize everything in our analysis and budget. This is very important to make sure everybody is aligned and challenges are prioritized.

Kick-off

You confirm we’re on the same page and green light the project.

Iterative development

During the development process, we maintain open communication about the progress and findings. Every iteration we customize, think, build, test and learn. This iterative approach gives us the flexibility to tackle technical challenges and improve the prototype.

Delivery

We deliver the prototype along with valuable recommendations for the next steps.

Let’s talk!

Recognize the wall full of post-its? We should definitely talk. If you are part of a startup, a big enterprise or you just have a crazy idea that you want to test, visit www.craftworkz.co and see how we can help you realize your ideas.

methodologies Craftworkz
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