- Is it feasible to build the service?
- Is there a demand for what I have to offer?
Answer 1 depends on a case by case basis. However for answer 2, the necessity for the product must be established by stating who the target market is and what their pain points are.
Find out the need for the product or service
You must not, however, simply presume what the customers’ pain issues are when narrating them. They require accurate and confirmed responses.
These responses can be obtained by interviewing a sampling of customers. They should inquire about the customers’ complaints, what they want a product to accomplish to ease their trouble, and the user experience they desire, among other things. This enables project managers to have a thorough understanding of their clients’ sentiments and viewpoints, as well as a list of particular goals and aims for their POC.
A great way to go about this is by collecting data from users via strategies like interviews, surveys, secondary research etc.
Set up meetings with some of your target audience; have them talk about their pain points, ask questions and offer suggestions. However, never ask leading questions.
Also, video record the interview sessions and if possible have it observed by another team member in real time.
Online surveys help speed up the process, but does not allow you to go in depth.
For these, Microsoft or Google forms work best.
However, a combination of these strategies help find out the most useful data points that a business can work upon. I would suggest you try out online surveys en masse and then use the data to conduct interviews as you will then have a good starting point.
Brainstorm how the pain points of target customers’ can be eased
In this stage, project managers have to begin discussing with their team to get the best solutions to the customers’ pain points, keeping in mind that they must also be viable and within the company’s capabilities, based on the responses of the sample group.
The team should next evaluate each brainstorming option in terms of expected costs, technology, operational capacities, competition, and resources, among other factors.
They can even reduce the number of ideas on the table to the most viable ones and complete their suggested product.
In order to solidify the proposal, the team should talk about how their solution might help the organisation or stakeholders achieve their objectives.
Create a Hypothesis of the problem and how you intend to solve it
A hypothesis is a specific, tested prediction, such as the existence of an issue for which customers would prefer a solution.
For example, suppose you are creating a social media for dog lovers. So, the hypothesis may be that dog lovers are willing to connect with each other on the web.
But, that’s not enough. You need to improve upon the hypothesis.
Get into the nitty-gritty of the hypothesis. Take the above example, for instance.
Ask yourself, how would the dog lovers like to connect on the web? Would it be via a social media, or would they want a platform like Reddit?
Or, would they want a self-help group, wherein they can share important information related to their pets while at the same time, connect with each other.
Once, that’s done, it’s time to think of the solution that you want to offer.
This step transforms the idea into a concept as you begin to consider a solution that truly answers the desired problem. The notion consists of –
What issues would the solution address?
What benefits will the consumer receive as a result of the problem’s resolution?
Time for the Prototype
Okay, you’ve given it tons of research, brainstormed upon several possible solution and then finally chosen one.
But now, you have to test it out in the real world. And, this is where the prototype comes into play.
Once the team has come up with a viable idea, they should build a prototype based on the requirements, features, and solutions that have been determined.
The project team must allow members of their test group to try out the finished prototype. This allows them to rapidly identify whether the solution actually addressed the group’s pain points.
The team will be able to document their input more simply if they test it with the same group, which is necessary for the following phase.
However, you can run simulations of the same experiment simultaneously with different samples. However remember that only the final results of each test can be tallied, or else, you risk muddying up the entire experiment.
Get Adequate Feedback on the Concept and Use It to Improve Your Offering
During prototype testing, the project team must collect and document feedback from the sample group about their experience, reactions, and any other pertinent information, such as what they think of the user interface.
The feedback gathered allows the project team to verify the solution’s usability and feasibility at the outset. It also alerts the team to any necessary improvements to the proposed product and provides valuable insight into future relevant actions.
To get feedback, use a cloud-based platform. Your project team, or even your sample group, will be able to participate and collaborate more easily as a result.
Remember, for this step, iteration and reiteration is the key. Constantly, improve upon the product and if required and the data confirms so, don’t be afraid to swing gears and go in a different direction.
Now Showcase Your Proof of Concept for Further Testing and Approval
By now, you have arrived at an idea that you believe can work in the market.
You can now prepare their presentation to the stakeholders after the notion has been tested and improved depending on feedback.
You must illustrate the value of the idea by presenting, among other things, the pain areas that the product addresses, the features that address those problems, and the technologies that are incorporated.
You should go over the product development and project management components in greater detail, such as success criteria or project management metrics, evaluation measures, timetables, next project management plans (if authorised), resources required, and other factors mentioned before.
And, that’s it!
You can start implementing upon the proof of concept once you have received clearance and funding.
Wrapping it Up
A proof-of-concept (POC) assists organisations in determining whether a given idea is practical and appealing to the target market, as well as feasible for the company.
Project teams can use the POC to investigate the anticipated components and functionalities of the proposed product, as well as the prices, resources, and capacities required to make it a reality.
Companies can use these facts to better assess the readiness of newly produced solutions for wider acceptance, approve the concept, and determine whether or not to invest in its execution.