The Value in Prototyping – A First Hand Account

We were engaged by Australia’s largest investment bank to create a new content delivery platform.

 

The real challenge in this engagement was time constraints. Our Digital stakeholders understood that in order to gain momentum our collective ideas needed to be pitched before senior executives in a matter of days. Getting in front of the right audience at the right time reaps the most benefits. We had no time to code, no time to immerse numerous teams in a design thinking process and most importantly no time to waste.

 

Our experience has taught us that the best way to get the C-suite on your side and fast track funding for digital initiatives is to provide a compelling visual prototype they can interact with. A prototype provides a detailed look at the final end-state without needing to invest in building the entire concept upfront. It removes ambiguity and the need for imagining the possibilities and expedites the requirements process by showcasing the features and functions that should be in the final deliverable.

 

Our customer jumped at the idea of building a prototype that could be tested quickly by potential users as well as those whose buy-in was needed to fund the project. We presented a prototype that showcased and listed the features and functions that should be in the live platform. At this stage, there were additional ideas from senior stakeholders that we needed to test and validate. Using a prototyping approach meant that these ideas from could be tested on their own devices in a matter of days. They appreciated the fast turnaround and ability to see their ideas in action for themselves and confirm whether they worked with the concepts that were already built out and tested.

 

Rapid Experimentation and Prototyping allowed us to manage challenging timeframes and limited funding during early stages of innovation and idea generation. The power to show the end state of the content delivery platform without the upfront investment of a full build greatly contributed to a positive outcome.

 

Key Takeaway Lessons

  1. If you aspire to run LEAN within a major tier 1 environment, leave the code at the door and get prototyping. You will cut costs and save time in areas that matter without off-siding those in charge of the funding.
  2. Get a compelling pitch together. No pitch is as compelling as being able to showcase a prototype to demonstrate your vision. It helps to get rid of as many unknowns as possible upfront.
  3. Leave the prototype in the hands of those you want to impress the most. It may only be a representation of the end state, but it removes all ambiguity and helps them see your vision.