What Is POC in Software Development?

by Anna Khrupa on Mar 10, 2022

What is proof of concept, or PoC, in the software development industry? Proof of concept is a methodology that helps companies with outlining the future of certain software before creating it. As opposed to jumping into development right away, PoC allows evaluating the potential of every project to be sure of its success. 

This methodology increases the chance of high customer satisfaction and generally positive response to the product. More than half of startups fail after the launched software does not prove its value. To avoid the high risks of developing new software blindly, businesses use Proof of Concept.

Proof of Concept Definition in Software Engineering

Proof of concept is a unique methodology applied in software development in the early stages of the lifecycle of a new product. The main goal of PoC is to verify that the concept of certain software is valid. It is essential to understand that a program or app that you want to develop can actually work, be successful, and bring benefits to you or your business.

The modern software market is rapidly changing, which requires newer solutions. The majority of ideas are scrapped because they are not particularly solving any current issues. For software, it is essential to be not only working, nice looking, user-friendly, etc. It should be able to solve a certain problem of target users. This is why developing companies need to explore every idea carefully before starting actually coding and designing it.

All parties involved in the development of this software have to contribute to the proof of concept. It is highly important to discuss all the risks, possibilities, and the direction you are going in when working on a project. PoC can be submitted as a presentation or a document describing the concept. There is no need to code or design anything at this stage. However, all the technical requirements for the software have to be included already.

Advantages of the Proof of Concept Methodology

There is a big share of software projects that fail in the current market. Key reasons why these projects turn out to be unsuccessful are insufficient funding and low demand for the product. These two issues can be solved by applying PoC before starting to develop any software. Here are the main benefits of proof of concept:

  • Technical possibility — the first thing that PoC helps with is checking whether it is technically possible to create software. A team of developers needs to evaluate all possibilities and impossible tasks to come up with an efficient direction in software development.
  • Engaging employees — it always takes some time to adjust to new software when it is introduced in the IT company. Certain resistance to change might appear among employees even if the solution introduced is great. By engaging your employees in the proof of concept process, you can help them to become familiar with new technology before actually launching it.
  • Market research – at the PoC stage, it is necessary to define the exact issues your software is intended to solve. This is crucial to know whether your product will be of value to customers. Researching the demands of your target audience at this early stage will help you know whether you are on the right track with this project or not.
  • Making financial decisions – starting with the proof of concept helps businesses understand their financial possibilities and limitations for every project. This is not only about managing funds efficiently to finish the project without issues but also about ensuring that the money spent will return after the launched software gains recognition.
  • Drawing the release closer – in addition to outlining the plan of action, PoC helps with selecting the best workflow possible and sticking to it throughout the entire development process as well as facing any possible obstacles and dealing with them efficiently.

Main Steps of Creating PoC

PoC in software development should provide details about the project requirements, its main goals, as well as responsibilities of every developer. In this document, the entire creative process should be described. Here is a basic proof of concept example stage-by-stage:

1.     Understand the purpose of software – it is crucial to study the software idea and make sure that the final product will serve a certain purpose. Developing software based on assumptions might lead to creating a working yet worthless product.

2.     Come up with possible solutions – after studying the needs of your potential clients, try to come up with various solutions to their issues. There will be different ways of solving every problem, but you have to pick viable solutions that will be suitable to your own capabilities, time, and budget.

3.     Develop a prototype – when you already have a full scenario of your product solving certain problems, you can start with creating a prototype. This prototype can be a model or even a sketch drawing. It should convey the suggested workflow and the look of the user interface.

4.     Receive user response – while initial stages of PoC were conducted within the development team, at this phase, it is necessary to present potential users with a prototype. This is crucial for collecting real feedback and incorporating it into your software. This stage can be repeated a few times after implementing all the changes based on feedback obtained.

5.     Create a plan – after collecting all this valuable information, it is finally time to create a full step-by-step guide through the development process. The main objectives of the project should be clear and ready to guide you through the software development stages.


The PoC meaning in software development is to have clear objectives and be sure that your project will work. Before starting to develop the software itself and even raising money for its development, it is important to validate your idea first. You have to be 100% sure that your idea will be not only working but also beneficial for people. This also helps with imagining possible risks and ways of dealing with them.



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