4. 'Throw-away' Prototyping

With 'throw-away' prototyping a small part of the system is developed and then given to the end user to try out and evaluate. The user provides feedback which can quickly be incorporated into the development of the main system.

The prototype is then discarded or thrown away. This is very different to the evolutionary approach.

The objective of throw-away prototyping is to ensure that the system requirements are validated and that they are clearly understood.

The throw-away prototype is NOT considered part of the final system. It is simply there to aid understanding and reduce the risk of poorly defined requirements. The full system is being developed alongside the prototypes and incorporates the changes needed.

The advantage of this approach is the speed with which the prototype is put together. It also focuses the user on only one aspect of the system so keeping their feedback precise.

One disadvantage with throw-away prototyping is that developers may be pressurised by the users to deliver it as a final system! Another issue is that all the man-hours of putting together the throw away prototypes are lost unlike the evolutionary approach. But the benefits may outweigh the disadvantages.

Which approach to use (evolutionary or throw-away) will depend on the nature of the system being developed.


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Click on this link: Throwaway prototypes