If you’re like most consultants, you walk around spewing buzzwords daily. You know the ones—corporate synergy, big data, low-hanging fruit. They’re the words you use but, if put on the spot, probably couldn’t actually define. “Rapid Prototyping” likely falls into that category: you know it and even use it, but are unsure of how it applies to you or when you could utilize it.
Our definition of Rapid Prototyping is short and sweet: The process of creating multiple iterations of a product solution at a fast pace. In an effort to pull Rapid Prototyping out of the black hole of business buzzwords, we have compiled a list of five signs that Rapid Prototyping may be a good fit for your project.
- The final output of your project is visual and requires intuitive design. Rapid Prototyping allows users to test out the look and feel of a product early in the process. By providing a realistic prototype to your client, they are able to easily articulate what works and what doesn’t. This feedback will allow you to create an end product that is effortless and intuitive to use.
- The problem, and solution, your team is working on is complex or ambiguous. Though your project may be complex, Rapid Prototyping can be used to bring your internal team and your client team together. Upon providing your client with an initial prototype, solution gaps or additional required features may surface. By producing multiple prototypes and continuously soliciting feedback, you can turn a complex or ambiguous system into a well-designed solution that meets your client’s needs.
- Your project has a tight timeline. Rapid Prototyping saves you and your clients time and money by ensuring that no time is wasted developing an end product that is going to need significant re-work. Wasted time is wasted money, so cutting down on the duration of a project leads to cost savings and a happier client.
- Your project objective can be solved with a variety of different solutions. If your project’s output could take many different forms, Rapid Prototyping will allow you to experiment with different solutions before committing to a lengthy build process. This process provides visibility into what solution works best and what your client prefers.
- You are struggling to get significant input from your client. Your clients are busy, and they often don’t have time to sit through several-hour long discussions about the requirements of a future system. However, sending them a prototype that they can play around with is a quick and effective way to get their buy-in and hear their feedback.
If any of these signs apply to you, you may want to experiment with Rapid Prototyping on your project. You will quickly see the benefits of the process, and you’ll impress your coworkers by putting one of those common buzzwords into action. Win-win!