This one is VERY tactical.
Be vigilant of what and to whom you have shipped proofs of concept.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I shipped some code for a customer demo. It was exactly what my sales guy has been asking for. He was excited.
I thought, "Great!" and just considered it done. I ASSUMED that sales would come back to me with timelines and details so that I could put it on the product roadmap for integration into our larger suite of products.
NOPE. That is not what happened.
About a month later we started getting support-related email from a new customer. It was only then I realized what had happened. We had sold a proof of concept to an important customer, but none of our quality controls were in place.
- No error tracking
- No backups
- No real security
The fault was mine.
- I did not communicate with my sales guy what the ground rules were for demos
- I did not have a template for delivering proofs-of-concept to sales and product managers.
In the end it worked out. We finally built the features properly and then transition the customer over.
Lessons learned: have a process in place for exploring ideas. And set expectations appropriately with your sales, support, and customers.
No more ad-hoc PoCs!