In any project, models or mock ups are the best way for Client’s to validate and communicate with the Project Team. Written requirements and use cases are a great start and the next best step is to be able to see the functionality. As a Project Manager, I have seen plenty of situations where Client’s expectations were not met, and development was already completed. This often results in frustration and wasted work.
Mock ups help prevent that from happening.
Why are mock ups so important?
They validate that the functionality matches user experience and expectations.
Developers and Users do not always have the same thought process. How Developers create the flow or logic of the functions may not make business sense.
I’ve had a project were the function required a sales order to be created once products are selected from a list. The Developers created the sales order in saved mode. Technically, the requirement was met. But, when we walked through the mock up, the Client pointed out right away that would not work because of other actions in the sales order that need to happen before save. So, the mock ups helped the development team better understand the User’s process workflow. When development is completed and you are in user acceptance testing, there are no surprises, minimizing downstream testing and rework.
They bring ideas into reality.
How many times have you or a Client asked for a new function, but you were not sure how it should look or work? Mock ups or models will help the Client think through the work flow. A simple placement of a button or being able to press enter versus using a mouse click can elevate a user experience, creating satisfied Clients.
Spend a little more upfront will save project budget later.Ultimately, any rework will cause project budgets to go over. Investing a little time in the beginning will help the project’s bottom line.
Whether you're buying a car or a pair of pants, test driving and trying it on validates if the product matches what we imagined. Mock ups and models do just that with any types of projects. As Project Managers, our core role is to manage expectations at all levels, not just making sure project is on budget and schedule. When a User or Client feels that the project team understands what they want to accomplish, the project is on track for success.
To learn more about mock ups and why they are such an important part of any implementation and customization methodology, contact Concentrus.