When starting a new project, there are many ways your company can create a relationship with a startup. In today’s article, we’re going to explain to you the meaning and how to create a POC.
Proof of Concept, or POC, is the safest way for companies to start their relationship with startups. It is essential to point out that this engagement type is one of the most relevant to companies that operate in a modern innovation strategy, not only startups within the same industry but also in correlated operation areas.
There are distinct objectives when considering connecting to a startup of the same industry or another to improve operational efficiency.
When a company looks for startups in the same industry, it seeks value improvement on offers concerning new products or delivery formats. But, on the other hand, when the focus is on operation, they aim to increase productivity, reduce costs, streamline, and deliver transparent processes.
The proof of concept is a way to perform a minor service contract between companies and startups. It’s a chance to test the product in a controlled environment, where you can understand the technology maturity, the solution synergy with your company’s business areas, and the acceptance of the solution in the market.
Before choosing the startup to execute the POC, check the past article to help you understand the startup readiness level.
Testing is vital when working with startups because they usually bring a different approach to traditional companies on problem-solving. In addition, it is a paced way to introduce new technology until it feels safe implementing it for all customers. At this phase, you can adjust the solution and business model so the corporation can apply it on a larger scale.
Checklist to perform a Proof of Concept
Check this validated step-by-step process to help you organize your POC.
1. Define an innovation strategy.
Before starting the Proof Of Concept, the board and business leaders must support a well-defined strategy and an innovation thesis.
Use data intelligence essential to structure your strategy and innovation thesis. It will give you an excellent overview of how initiatives connect to your strategic business goals. So, you won’t waste time and money on future problems.
What are the main problems of not having an innovation strategy?
- Lack of engagement of business areas;
- Initiatives that don’t fit the company’s strategic objectives spread throughout the company;
- Non-data-driven decisions;
- Spend time on a project that other advanced players already offer, with a lower price;
- Innovation projects can have a bad reputation because by the perception they are only a marketing action.
2. Make sure your company is “startup-friendly.”
Check if its Purchasing and Legal areas have any process for hiring startups. If they don’t, it’s interesting to go after it as soon as possible not to delay the proof of concept.
3. Define who will analyze technical aspects.
It’s crucial to point a responsible person to analyze this aspect of a startup’s technology. It can be an internal engineer or a hired consultant.
4. Identify your company pain
Identify what specific pain the startup should help you solve.
5. Define the project leader
It is essential to have a senior presence as a project manager. This person will be responsible for interacting with the startup, all internal areas, team members, and managing all KPI’s.
6. Seek engagement of all areas involved
It’s necessary to count on the areas involved in the proof of concept to identify extra costs, insentience, or frustration with the project.
What comes after the Proof of Concept?
After completing a successful proof of concept, the next step is synchronizing the solution to other company business areas. At this stage, the company will build a more robust and scalable product or project plan.
It is a critical phase, full of significant challenges. The solution must be concrete and have consensus within all areas involved to initiate the project. A poorly synchronization can set aside a project. But, when well done, the company reaps the rewards of the innovation project.