A Prototype is any design implementation that is made with one primary objective being to get feedback from Stakeholders, including collection of data about costs and Product-Value Levels, for that technology/design, for those Stakeholders.

Alternative Names

Concept Number: *187
English Master: Prototype
Synonyms, Variations & Acronyms: none


A Prototype reflects only Conceptual design decisions and not decisions driven by implementation concerns.








1. An Evolutionary delivery step is usually done with the intent of learning from the implementation. If the intent or practical situation is that we do learn from the implemented Evo-Step Measure, and we do intend to change our plans if necessary as a Result of the step feedback, then all such Evo-Steps are prototypes as we define Prototype here.

2. The common implication of a Prototype is that it is not industrial Standard, and is primarily used to analyse potential Design-Ideas. Evo-Steps are of an essentially different nature from other types of prototypes in that:

a. we normally intend to keep the step in place if it succeeds.
b. Some Evo-Steps are “scaffolding” that we do intend eventually to replace, but they do allow us to progress other dependent Evo-Steps, while the replacement technology is being readied in the Backroom.
c. The Evo-Steps are small enough ( about 2% of total Budget) that if they do fail, we can afford to discard them, as with conventional prototypes. We can also afford a series of Prototype steps until we get the results we want from a single step.

3. A “pilot” implementation is a Class of Prototype, that is somehow of smaller Scale of implementation that full implementation. The intent is to eventually Scale up in volume or spread if and when it is successful. The intent is to avoid investment in full Scale implementation if it is not successful. <- thanks Heidi Berg, ViaNova May 2004.

4. Other primary objectives from an Evo-Step “prototype” in addition to getting Stakeholder feedback, include delivering Stakeholder value, and building delivery competence.

5. In Systems-Engineering: Coping With Complexity, Richard Stevens et al define a Prototype as "The experimental implementation of all or part of a developing System in order to gain information or assess Risk." The Authors provide a classification of the kinds of Prototype:

1. imagination
2. simulation
3. emulation
4. partial implementation

Chapter 11 is on the topic of prototypes, and is quite good - among the best I've seen. <- Erik Simmons, Intel, Oregon May 2004

  • Paraphrasing of D. Harel, “Biting the silver bullet,” Computer (Jan., 1992) pp. 8-20 as quoted in Fredrick Brooks, Jr. The Mythical Man-Month Anniversary Edition, Addison Wesley 1995, p. 307 and 270 [Brooks95]








This Concept entered by Diane O'Brien.

Created by system. Last Modification: Thursday 11 of July, 2019 19:36:22 CEST by Admin (Kai).

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