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Importance of Prototype in outsourcing Projects

One of the most effective and profitable business models used in recent times is Outsourcing. Projects are extensively outsourced for the quality and cost-effectiveness that this approach is capable of offering. There are a number of project development models that different companies use depending upon their client’s requirements. Every project is different and need a different approach to be handled. Especially, new business project needs to be taken care of with great care. That is why it is important to analyses the business requirements before going ahead with development. Analyzing business requirements helps in defining scope of the project as well as in determining what problems can be faced during the project development stage and what possible solutions can be used to address them. Therefore, most popular model amongst all the available options is the Prototype Model.

The Prototype Model is used for development of projects for which the requirements are not explicitly declared or are not sure. In such scenarios, a prototype is developed and shown to ensure that development is advancing in the right direction. The prototype is then built upon, and the output of every stage of development is a product, which is a step closer to the final product.

Prototype Model is suited for projects with an unclear requirement sets it ensure that the project is completed to the best of the company’s ability and capacity. The key elements of the process followed for the prototype approach of development and how it is important for projects are discussed in the sections that follow.

Following a Well-Defined Process

There are a number of models and process documents that are implemented as part of the prototype development model. The executive and technical team discusses the possibilities with clients and helps the clients take an optimal decision on what is right for their project. There are some times when the deadline may have to be extended due to unforeseen issues. In this case, people are usually tempted to skip a prototype stage.

The Prototype Model is a development process that involves developing a project after analyzing each and every aspect of the project. It starts with gathering the business requirements. In other words, what does the client expects from the project. The requirements can also be called the problems that needs to be solved.

Once the requirements are known, the team to which the project is allotted do a lot of brainstorming and come up with solutions. Brainstorming also always lead to numerous new ideas.

Then the project is broken down into small tasks and assigned to the team members. This helps in determining the time and attentions that each task might require during the development process.

The stage is to develop a prototype of the project which is actually a mock-up of what the final product will look like. This prototype is then sent to the client who tests it and see whether it is up to his/her expectation. Any changes or additions required by the client can be implemented at this stage. Once the prototype is approved by the client, the development of actual product is started.

However, it is important to realize that skipping a stage can increase the number of modifications that may be required at a later stage. Moreover, this will also increase the required rework and consequently, increase the costing, in addition to increasing the effort required, on the part of the development team. As a result, it is crucial to understand the importance of following a process and how any modification or change in the plan may affect the project at large. The process followed for the prototype model for development ensures that development is progressive despite the fact that requirements are not well-defined.

Communication is the Key

For outsourced projects, one of the biggest challenges is communication. In fact, effective communication is much more important than the actual deliveries. A missed delivery may not affect your rapport with the client, but missed communication can leave your client wondering as to where the project is heading. This uncertainty affects your credibility.

This is one facet that a prototype model can successfully overcome. The fact that multiple deliveries and documents are delivered to the client at regular basis keeps the client well-informed about the project’s progress. Every delivery and submission are followed by feedback and review phase, which allows the client to remain involved in the process of development. Multiple review discussions can help both the client and development team to understand and come to common ground.

In addition to the above mentioned, there are several other benefits for using prototype model for outsourced projects. Quality assessments of prototypes, made at periodic phases, are much simpler than performing quality assessment for a product made using any other development process. Moreover, this is a futuristic approach that establishes a bond of mutual cooperation between the vendor and the client.

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