Prototyping is the process of quickly creating a working model (a prototype) to test various aspects of a design, illustrate ideas or features, and gather early user feedback. Prototyping is often treated as an integral part of the system design process, because it is thought to reduce project risk and cost. Often, one or more prototypes are made in a process of incremental development where each prototype is influenced by the performance of previous designs. In this way, problems or deficiencies in design can be corrected.

In terms of a process reengineering effort, prototypes are employed to help process designers build an illustrative example of the process in question that is intuitive and easy to manipulate for project participants and the process owner. In Six Sigma terms, prototyping is an iterative process that can be used in the Analyze phase of the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology.

During the assessment portion of a traditional process reengineering activity (Define and Measure phases in DMAIC), process reengineering analysts gather information about the organization’s current procedures and business processes related to the proposed customer experience that need to be improved.

This helps the business analysts develop an initial set of voice of the customer (VOC) and data requirements.

The user feedback gained from developing a physical model that the users can touch and see facilitates an evaluative response that the project manager can employ to modify existing requirements as well as develop new ones.

Prototyping comes in many forms from which users and developers can paste controls and objects to high-tech operational systems using computer-aided software engineering or fourth-generation programming languages, and everything in between. Many organizations use multiple prototyping tools. For example, some will use paper in the initial analysis to facilitate concrete user feedback and then later develop an operational prototype using fourth-generation languages, such as Visual Basic, during the design stage.


I am using Axure RP at the moment to do wireframe and process prototype.




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