According to BABOK, prototyping is a partial or simulated estimation of a final solution.
This is one of the stages in the design of a product. This method proposes a prototype, which is an initial or preliminary version of a solution or system. During the early stages of development, the prototype gives an idea of the final product and its behaviour. This allows for the verification of unanswered assumptions as well as the correction of missing or incorrect requirements.
The purpose of a prototype is to enable end-users (and yourself) to understand from start to finish how the solution or part of the solution actually works.
Why use prototyping?
- Serves as a basis for the development of the final solution.
- Disposable or paper prototyping encourages the number and honesty of critics as the product is not yet commercialized and can be modified at will.
- Provides a visual and concrete representation of the future product.
- A limited but thorough vertical prototype allows for technical feasibility studies, proof-of-concept activities, or to discover process or technology gaps.
- Collects and validates stakeholder needs.
- Offers stakeholders the opportunity to correct the product in the early stages of the design process. Stakeholders can also add relevant details and tune their requirements.
Warning : Make sure that you moderate the interventions of the stakeholders. Some of them may make unachievable demands or expectations (deadlines, performance, ergonomics, aesthetics, etc.)
- In the context of a software project, mocked-up screens or report layouts allow users to interact with the solution and comment on it.
- Improves the users’ experience.
How to use prototyping?
To find out more, subscribe to the BA Toolkit.
In addition to the brief description of the method, you will have access to :
- an explanation of when and how to use it,
- a practical example,
- advice and recommendations for use,
- downloadable checklists and templates,
- references for further reading,