One of the biggest challenges that IT Pro’s face is trying to evaluate new technology and select the right solution for you.
One of the tools available is the use of Proof of Concepts (POC), a POC is a short project to evaluate the suitability of potential solutions. POC’s can, when done properly, be a valuable tool in our assessment of potential solutions. But they are not always a success, why is that the case? The main issue tends to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what a one is, often this can be caused by the suppliers misusing the phrase POC when really they are delivering no more than a demonstration.
A few weeks back I heard an episode of the excellent Virtually Speaking Podcast in which they discussed performance testing a significant part of which included a properly delivered POC.
The incorrect use of the term and poor definitions of POC’s is something I see often and find frustrating. Inspired by the Virtually Speaking Podcast team I wanted to take the opportunity to do a Tech Interviews episode on that very topic and who better to help me than the guest on that episode, VMware’s Dave Morera.
Dave is a Senior Solutions Architect and a primary part of his role is to help people to fully evaluate solutions with the use of POC’s, which makes him well placed to share some advice with Tech Interviews on how to effectively use them to help you make better technology decisions.
We start our chat by properly defining what we mean by POC, how it differs from a demo and a pilot, but how together they makeup a process that can help you identify and successfully deploy a new solution.
Dave shares with us the components that make up a POC and the importance of proper project definition, sponsorship and the criticality of building clear and measurable success criteria.
We discuss how to accurately define the problem you are trying to solve and the importance that a full understanding of your environment plays in getting your technology solutions right. We also explore the importance of a well-defined scope in avoiding our POC becoming confused.
We finish by looking at how to build a test strategy in three key areas, operation, failure and performance and Dave provides some tips for delivering a successful POC and ensuring that you “own” it and don’t let it be controlled by suppliers or vendors.
Dave’s experience and advice is hugely valuable, POC’s, when done well, are a great way of ensuring you can fully evaluate a solution and ensure it is right for you, Dave’s advice should help more of us deliver successful POC’s in the future.
You can find out more from Dave by following him on twitter at @GreatWhiteTec.
Thanks for listening.