Home ProtoShare: Helping Make The Move From Waterfall To Agile Development

ProtoShare: Helping Make The Move From Waterfall To Agile Development

The proliferation of apps is creating a bit of a challenge for the enterprise that does significant software development.

But it is also in many ways what is propelling a new generation of SaaS services that add features at an exponential rate compared to on-premise counterparts.

One of the outcomes is a shift from waterfall to agile development processes. The transition can be a bit tricky. But the result is a new emphasis on prototyping.

Protoshare is a Portland, Oregon company we had the chance to catch up with at the Webvisions conference. The company offers a platform for prototyping that helps companies move from waterfall to agile.

A waterfall process is traditionally marked by a long front-end process to develop a high-level scope of work. For example, a few people set the scope and then another team may put together a detailed, functional level of specs. That’s followed by creating some static wireframes to communicate the project information.

ProtoShare provides a collaborative service for making application and Web-based prototypes. The service is designed to overcome many of the issues that come with waterfall development process. Clients, for instance, will often find that what they get is not always what they had envisioned.

There are several tools available that provide wire framing capabilties. These include iRise, OmniGraffe and Axure.

ProtoShare is definitely the low-cost alternative to these services. But like any hosted service you need to be wary of what you are getting into. Tammie Egloff is a usability specialist who did a comprehensive review of the service. Tripwire recently reviewed 15 tools.

Like many of the services available, a prototyping process through ProtoShare allows for the development to be more iterative. Tasks can be assigned. Questions can be asked. It has a real-time activity stream for collaborating.

Thumb tacks, for instance, point to comments. Markers will also show annotations for more detailed feedback. The input is in one place. People can see an app as it would look live, making iterative changes to the prototype as it is created.

Companies are increasingly moving to more agile development processes. ProtoShare is one of a growing number of services that are helping the process be more collaborative, and faster in getting services to market that meet client expectations.

The ideea of prototyping is not new. And there are plenty of options. ProtoShare consistently gets high marks. It’s worth a look, especially if you are on a tight budget and looking at alternatives to higher priced services.

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