As more and more companies try to create internal innovation teams we are seeing a trend... software project get rejected almost out of habit. Time and time again we have seen internal projects that relate to training staff, starting new marketing programs or even replacing old machinery get funding instead of web application projects. At first we didn't think a lot about it but when we finally stated our observation to an SVP here in Columbus without any hesitation she explained, "That's because no one is willing to take the risk with a software project." What risk? We decided to dig a little deeper and found that a lot of IT projects or generally speaking, any software development project causes people in executive positions to cringe.
A big reason for this is that executives that have not worked with software see it as an intangible project that is difficult to manage. So many web application projects go so far over budget because the original idea was good but no one knew how to get it to the finish line. However, projects that live in the physical world see to have more acceptance. Project stakeholders can see them, touch them and ultimately have a better sense of how far along they are. For instance, imagine the difference between building a house and building a web application. About half way through the project you walk through the house. You see walls, electric wires, and boxes of cabinets. You feel that for the time and money you have spent you you are about half way done. You leave the house feeling good.
Now compare that to building a web application for your business. About halfway through you see a database diagram, a few software developers sit in a room and try to tell you how far along they are with cards on an Agile board. Maybe you have an early MVP prototype you can see. The progress is far more difficult to see.
We believe the solution is to give executives something they can see before they approve the web application. Our team has built a process of creating interactive web application prototypes in just a few days. It allows clients to see the end of the project and to start to understand where they will be when the project is done. This allows them to move forward with confidence on what they will get before committing to a project. A few examples of interactive web prototypes we have built are below.