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The Product Concept Series

The proof of concept is an often skipped step, but the most important at reducing risk.

In fact, expect massive risk reduction when taking this step.

Explore our 9-step proof of concept process in 3 project phases: Discover, Discern & Declare


People and Processes

This phase takes you through this journey of transformation:

Transform from having unvalidated hypotheses about your customer's work to a first draft of understanding your customer's job-to-be-done

The steps:

The discover people and processes phase
  1. The heart of the proof of concept phase is engaging with end users or anyone impacted by your product. Using the jobs-to-be-done theory, we explore the various roles that would interact with your future product.

  2. We then determine the questions and types of people that are needed for getting the information you need.

  3. Finally, we create the process map of the current state of work. It is really important to understand the current state thoroughly. Through this you will determine things like how much time people spend on a task. We’ll use this in the next phase.


Opportunities and Viability

This phase takes you through this journey of transformation:

Transform from uncertain business opportunity to determination of product and business viability

The steps:

The discern opportunities and viability phase
  1. The process map assembled in the previous phase represents your understanding, but it needs to be validated with your users. You will understand and document variations among different types of users.

  2. You will further understand if there might be more people impacted, to what degree and what their job-to-be-done is.

  3. Now that you have a complete understanding of the jobs-to-be-done, only now are you in a position to understand if your product idea has legs:

There are many other questions we strive to answer in this phase.

Did I mention risk reduction? This is your key step on that journey.


Intent and plans

This phase takes you through this journey of transformation:

Transform from customer needs list to a vision of the product offering

The steps:

The declare intent and plans phase
  1. Now we determine go or no-go. You’ve answered the important questions. You analyze the information with sober judgement, and you decide if you’re going to commit and have the resources to proceed. Decide if you pivot or reappraise the type of product you will offer. Establish success and exit criteria.

  2. If the decision is to proceed, then it is now time to start documenting the features that will satisfy the jobs-to-be-done.

  3. After understanding the big picture, you can start crafting documentation needed for developing the application. Namely, stories and some basic thoughts of the types of pages you expect to offer, are what is created at this point. More detail will be determined in the prototype stage.


The huge step of mitigating risk is found in this process. Software Prophets provides decades of experience in building applications that users want to use and, in our experience, this is a critical piece in creating something successful. If you want a successful result, plan to start here.

Do you want to learn about the next product series in our Your Vision Builder Playbook? After completing this process, the next logical step would be The Product Experience Series where we build out a prototype.

If you would like some help or just have some questions about this, let’s schedule a time to talk by clicking this button and selecting a convenient time.

If you want to learn more about the proof of concept stage, getting into even more details, check out our quite sizeable discussion on What is a Proof of Concept (POC) in SaaS Development?