How To PoC (Proof of Concept)
A Proof of Concept (POC) is a critical tool in successfully deploying new technologies and implementing policies. A properly executed POC will allow you to not only evaluate the viability of a technology, but also how to properly deploy it and what policies to build around it for long term use.
Identify the parameters of the operational business case for which the POC is being conducted. The POC should always be measured against these parameters.
Establish what data is needed to create the right business case. It is important to capture technical as well as operational data to measure the technology’s effectiveness as well as user experience.
Set up the POC in your environment mimicking the production setup in a test bed. Same technology will behave differently in different configurations. Therefore, it is critical to create the right environment and then measure results against it.
Observe everything and not just the core technology. Focus on all aspects that the POC impacts: infrastructure, administration, staffing, architecture, aesthetics, branding, maintenance and support.
Document the POC form beginning to end, from defined business case criteria to data points to lessons learned. Leverage that documentation into business cases, lessons learned, bases of design and SOW RFIs.
Plan for immediate, midterm and long-term deployment including soft costs such as staffing, SLAs, administrative time, supplies.
And lastly, circle back to the original parameters and establish a risk tolerance and acceptance model for a fully informed business case to leadership.
POC Execution Checklist
- Identify the parameters of the operational business case
- Establish what data is needed to create the right business case
- Setup the POC in your environment mimicking the production setup in a test bed
- Observe everything and not just the core technology
- Document the POC from defined business case criteria to data points
- Plan for immediate, midterm and long-term deployment
- Circle back to the original parameters and establish a risk tolerance
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