in reply to
Does Anyone Use Rapid Prototyping?
Maybe I'm jumping the gun a little bit here, but it seems that most people feel that if they make a prototype, that prototype will often be pushed into production without that really being your initial intention. After reading bikeNomad's response, I was ready to go off about adding functionality to a system that wasn't deisgned for it, but DrSax did that for me. So nice of DrSax, don't you think? ;)
I guess I've always felt that the point of developing a prototype is to get a better idea of what is happening and possibly make some better judgements about how much time it will take to actually make the final product. One way to minimize the time spent on creating that prototype is to drop some of the standards (i.e. documentation, ground-rules, etc.) so that you spend as little time as possible on this "proof of concept." Of course, if your prototype is eventually going to be forced into production, this could (as some of you have already pointed out) come back to haunt you later.
So, as if the list of questions about prototyping wasn't long enough already, let me add to it. Has anyone ever convinced someone (be it a manager or a customer, etc.) that the prototype really should be thrown out? I guess this is somewhat aimed at bikeNomad, but of course anyone is welcome to answer - How do you deal with the "kludge" (as DrSax called it) that seems to result from adding features to an application that wasn't initally designed to have those features? Doesn't your application become difficult to maintain, or are you constantly redesigning as you go? And, if that's the case, isn't that a lot of work? (okay, so it was a slew of questions - sue me.) Finally, have people found that prototypes are more trouble than they're worth? If you're constantly forced to put prototypes into production and that is causing you more headaches than if you hadn't created the prototype at all, is it really worth it?
I'm still a firm believer in prototyping, but the problems that people have run into with them has surprised me. I'm very interested to hear what you all have to say about the practice of prototyping.
Skepticism is the source of knowledge as much as knowledge is the source of skepticism.