3 Steps to Agile Software Selection – 3rd Proof of Concept

Proof of Concept

In the third and final step of the Agile Software Selection process, I discuss the Proof of Concept

The result of our proof of concept is a positive or negative decision for the system.

So far, we have recorded the stakeholders and their user stories and invited potential partners to an individual demo. Now we are ready to go into the proof of concept (PoC) with a selected partner. In effect, we have already started a “mini PoC” with the individual demos. The core of our PoC is again our user stories.

To illustrate the process more clearly, I will use a user story from my blog post DAM Selection Process:
Five typical user stories you should know!

Let’s take the user story of our photographer for example:

“As a photographer on a photo trip, I would like to have a light table function in the DAM (DAM – What is that?) after the upload, with which I can select the best shots of a motif with a mouse click. The selected shots should be marked with a coloured frame in the DAM. This pre-selection speeds up the final selection process enormously.”
I deliberately did not keep this story very complicated.
Of course, there are other user stories linked to this one. For example, this story does not deal directly with the upload process itself. This is described in a separate user story.
Agile Software Auswahl Akzeptanzkriterien

Another important tool in the process of agile software selection are the so-called acceptance criteria:

Acceptance criteria are conditions that a software must fulfil in order to satisfy the wishes of the customer (stakeholder). They serve to:

  • Define exactly when a user story is considered fulfilled.
  • Better understand the user story in detail

Writing the acceptance criteria is the task of the product owner.

The acceptance criteria for our photographer’s user story:

  • The images uploaded to the DAM are displayed side by side with a dimension of at least 300px of the longest page.
  • The layout of the image display is responsive and changes dynamically with the size of the browser window and/or the resolution of the device being used.
  • The selection of the images is done with the mouse by a right click
  • By holding down the Options key on the keyboard, several images can be selected at the same time.
  • The selection of the images is finalised by clicking the button “Selection confirmed
  • Leaving the page without clicking the button “Selection confirmed” will result in a warning message: “You have selected images but not confirmed their selection! Do you really want to close the light table? Selection button yes|no
  • By clicking the button “Selection confirmed” the selected images get a coloured green frame of 5px width, the current lightbox is emptied and all images are finally stored in the DAM.

The acceptance criteria for our photographer’s user story could look something like this.
Based on these acceptance criteria, they can evaluate their proof of concept very well and ultimately decide whether the system is suitable for their purposes.

Let’s briefly differentiate between the individual demo and the proof of concept:

With the individual demo, they also want to see that their user stories are implemented. The difference is that the proof of concept is a factual implementation of the stories on their potential system. Here, the complete functionality must be given, including hands-on experience by the stakeholders. An individual demo is more about getting an impression of how the user stories could be implemented with the system.
Should they now ask themselves: “And what happens next?”, “What about the integration?”.
These questions are of course completely justified, but the integration of the system is not part of the selection process, but should be seen as an independent process. I will also address this topic at some point, including the correct testing according to ISTQB guidelines (ISTQB).
Do you have questions about the selection process, or about the structure of the proof of concept?

Please contact me, I will be happy to help you:


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