Starting coding too early

“The sooner you begin coding the later you finish.” – unknown

I recently saw this quote and I found myself absolutely agreeing.

When working on a technology project, there is always so much pressure to get things moving and to start to see some actual software created. The problem however with rushing into the development is there can be a huge chance that you start to build the wrong thing.  This can result in rework, budget and time frame over runs and many unhappy people.

A couple of ways to show the customer that things are happening is to actually show them something.  You can use prototyping to not only clarify requirements and test usability but also to give the customer a feel for what the end product might look like before it is built.

Prototyping should only contain the functionality required to demonstrate, with a bit of use of the imagination, what would happen.  So if screens are built you must deter your developers from getting too carried away and building in functionality.

Another great prototyping option is to use a paper form where you either sketch or mock-up screen designs using a variety of mock-up tools, many available for free, or even just in Microsoft PowerPoint.

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