Many innovative companies can struggle with a ‘meeting culture’ where everyone has a say – it can lead to slow processes with little progress. There is always someone who sees a problem which has to be solved before implementing something; this can be very frustrating and paralyses organisations.
Prototyping can push organisations forward. A prototype is a draft of a product or service that allows you to explore your ideas and demonstrate your intentions to users before investing time and money in development. A prototype can range from a low-fidelity paper drawing to a high-fidelity functioning mockup.
Prototyping can be seen as a surrogate for a future situation, giving you the ability to gain knowledge about the future situation, how the new product or service may be used. It is an effective way of doing, making, and trying, receiving feedback from users, developers, and decision makers in an organisation. Prototyping is a very helpful way to push forward and iteratively improve – the organisation can move again!
As Tom Kelley of IDEO puts it, “prototyping is problem solving. It’s a culture, and a language. You can prototype just about anything — a new product or service, or a special promotion. What counts is moving the ball forward, achieving some part of your goal. Not wasting time.”