Proof of Concepts (PoC) – increase your projects chance of success
New Projects are risky!
There are always aspects of a project that seem straight forward and can lull you into a false sense of security. On the surface an implementation of a CRM or ERP service can look like a no brainer with minimal customisations needed.
But sometimes “reality bites” and you come across a requirement that you thought was reasonable, but looking closer, you realize there is a technical component that no-one has a clue about at your company.
For this requirement you typically get a one liner description and some small estimate (to downplay the fact that no one really knows anything about it!). At this point you have a choice; do you:
A) Ignore this part, stick your head in the sand and focus on the good times; the times where you know you can deliver and hope this unpleasant and mysterious requirement just goes away, or some bright spark wakes up suddenly and says Guess what – I’ve done that before and it’s so easy!
B) You stand your ground and not be swayed by those who want to pressure you to start this no brainer project, and to start it yesterday. Instead you insist on teasing out this requirement to convert it to a Proof of Concept.
From my experience I can tell that if you take option A, there’s a good chance that it will come back to haunt you. Despite all your prayers to the Project Gods they are not always benevolent, and what you thought was a small issue often becomes your worst nightmare!
Option B – A Proof of Concept is your safety net and can help mitigate the risks as follows:
1. Implementation is done in isolation thereby protecting the main project
2. The work on a PoC can often be done in parallel to the main project
3. Everything is done on a smaller scale, so is usually cheaper and faster
4. The work can easily be thrown away if it fails or incorporated into the main stream if useful
5. Successful results can be presented to sponsors to attract further interest / funding
Did you know that some POC’s can be financed in part by Cloud Provider’s. Typically Partners of AWS/Azure will be able to assist you with a proposal/application and review the technical specs with you. This type of backing call also assist when presenting your POC to Sponsors, helping you get your project over the finish line!.