We caught up with our Founder and Director, Tim McMillen, to get his insights on why creating a POC at the start of a business transformation project is so important. Above all, Tim explained that POCs are vital for decision makers because it saves them time and money in the long run. See the full interview below.
Q: What is a Proof of Concept?
A: A proof of concept involves investing a modest amount of money and time upfront to prove that your idea or product will be successful before you go full steam ahead and invest everything into a transformation. It is a way of de-risking ideas and selecting technologies that help you move forward with less risk and more confidence while flushing out any gremlins in the process.
Q: Who is it useful for?
A: POCs are useful for several stakeholders within the business, from heads of digital or marketing to finance directors and CFOs, as they can help these stakeholders feel confident about signing off on costs that have already demonstrated value during the proof of concept stage. It’s also important for external parties, such as agencies, to help them begin to understand the nuances, the processes and the hoops you need to jump through to get the desired result. All that insight gets fed back to the client to help with decision-making and project timescales.
Q: Why do you think that this is a valuable part of a digital transformation project?
A: People prefer to do POCs upfront because it helps them shape the full project before they’ve even started. It outlines challenges, and in the same vein highlights what’s already working well, meaning you can build on existing opportunities.
Q: How easily can this be implemented?
A: If you take the view that Request for Proposals (RFPs) are now outdated, the best alternative is to just get out there, choose a solution and test it. From the outset you need to ensure that you are demonstrating that you have a problem or a challenge you are trying to solve. Then, workshop that challenge with your internal team to come up with a strategy that shows you can solve the problem in a certain way.
Come up with a goal you want to achieve. Once that’s agreed, set the parameters with the team to find out how long they think it will take to complete, as well as the upfront investment required.
Proof of concepts should be the gateway to a larger project. If you approach them correctly, a lot of the work involved can be reused in the final transformation project. If you don’t have a big team, I would advise that you work with a partner who can help you deliver your POC requirements.
Q: Do you think that agencies should be upskilled on the differences between Monolithic vs Headless offering, so they can best advise their clients?
A: Yes, in the next couple of years a lot of companies are going to be making decisions about their monolithic estates. They’re going to need to make choices about relicensing and platform upgrades. These upgrade costs are significant, so it’s only a matter of time before they start asking, “what else can I get for my money?”
Agencies need to be prepared for this. They must be able to advise their clients on the newer technologies out there and let them know that going headless could be a much better approach for their clients’ business models. This means agencies need to understand the core benefits of headless technology and how it differs from traditional monolithic systems. Beyond that, they must be able to explain to their clients that having an existing legacy system does not prevent them from migrating to headless solutions.
By investing time in creating a POC, you can learn how to plan, prepare and achieve your digital transformation goals.