A Proof of Concept is basically a plan to see if a project, idea or design is technically feasible and can be transformed into reality. PoC has nothing to do with the production of a product. It is a very first phase of its development and issues such as marketing or sales must be left aside.
In the following, we will look at the steps necessary to carry it out in the finance sector:
Step 1: Find your champion
First of all, you need to identify and try to reach the key people (for B2B this is often called ICPs) who have the decision-making power and the capacity to understand the project you are offering them. Often PoCs fail because they do not target the right people, or because the process takes too long.
Step 2: Align with the bank’s roadmap
This is critical to ensure that the project starts with a shared vision of success. Alignment is about ensuring that both the project team and representative members of the organization are on the same page from day 1.
The steps necessary to carry out project alignment are mentioned in the guide.
Step 3: Define the project scope
This is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project objectives, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, timelines and, ultimately, costs.
In other words, it is what needs to be achieved and the work that needs to be done to deliver a project. At this point the business idea should be defined.
Step 4: Try to close a budget
It is all about numbers. Therefore, the budget should be flexible, but just before the kick-off, it should be fixed and accepted by both parties. It is good advice and good practice to detail milestones, payment terms and never forget to mention customer service or project variants.
Step 5: Simplify things
The simpler the better. Try to set clear boundaries for the implications of the project. Avoid relying on third parties and make the Proof of Concept work on its own. This will reduce frictions within the company’s infrastructure and systems. In addition, security risks are reduced and the customer is not exposed to unnecessary risks.
Step 6: Define metrics and showcase success stories
“What you can’t measure, you can’t control”.
This simple sentence sums up the idea perfectly: it is important to set KPIs and regularly monitor the indicators.
On the one hand, quantitative metrics are the numbers behind the performance indicators, such as downloads, CTR, drops, churn, etc…
Examples of famous (and super successful) proof of concepts
Looking for ideas to launch your Proof of Concept? Here are a few success stories to inspire you:
Dropbox and their presentation video
Before launching its cloud-based file hosting platform, Dropbox launched a video to test whether there was interest in its product in the market. It showed the possible basic features of the software. Not only did it find potential customers, it went viral! Dropbox’s beta registration list grew from 5,000 to 75,000 that same night.
Airbnb started with a simple mattress
Two flat-sharing friends decided they had a few metres to spare in their flat and were short of cash at the end of the month. It occurred to them that buying an inflatable mattress and offering a different kind of Bed&Breakfast would be a good idea. Well, their “opening” coincided with a design convention that left the city without hotel rooms and, years later, their company reached a value of $100,000M.
Red Bull gives you… cans!
Although it is an adaptation of a drink that already existed in Thailand, it was popularized by a marketing professional who discovered it on a trip to the country. Stupefied by the effects of the concoction on his jet lag, he decided to do something to export it to the West. That’s when he came up with the idea of giving away cans of Red Bull at universities. Students adopted it as one of their favorite drinks and sales skyrocketed.
What did you think of these examples? Creative, aren’t they? Sometimes it’s not necessary to create something new, but to offer a product or service that no one else has.