Designing and developing a 'Proof of Concept' using FileMaker

By Stuart Woodhouse, 26 November 2014

Over the past twelve months we have been approached by a number of clients to develop a solution as a proof of concept. What a client deems a proof of concept can sometimes vary but in essence it’s to develop a solution as a ‘minimum viable product’

Why would someone want to take this approach:

  • For some it’s around reducing their risk, they invest at the lower end of the spectrum and then as the solution develops they can see whether it’s going to work out the way they expected.
  • Another is to demonstrate different technology options. A number of clients approach us as they are not sure as to what platform will work out best in the long term. To develop a proof of concept in both allows then to assess things and then make the right decision.
  • To demonstrate that a solution can be a viable resource. A prime example of this is a client that we have developed a FileMaker WebDirect solution for, they have now demonstrated to their peers that what they proposed is possible. Custom D will soon start developing them a web application that will replace the WebDirect solution, this can then be broadcasted to a far larger audience around the world.

What we tell clients before they head down the POC path is that what we deliver won't be perfect and on the whole it will not be good enough for full client/public consumption. What they do get is a working model of their concept, enough for them to go away and decide whether it will be a viable option.

A proof of concept frees the client up from feeling like they need to build out the whole system and therefore just focus on a implementing a key idea - it really helps people focus on true minimum viable product (MVP) unlike a ‘real’ project.

To demonstrate what we mean, the donut below is your MVP. We could certainly add to it by sprinkling sugar on top, adding icing, but at it's core the donut is the proof of concept, once you have mastered that you are away.

Proof of Concept

On the whole we find clients that have gone down the proof of concept path come back for more. They generally see that what we have developed is something that will work in the business and they are keen to extend it further.

So if you have an idea or thought around a solution you would like to see developed, do get in touch, we would love to discuss it with you.

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