Prototype Model

Introduction to Prototype Model

Often designers are faces with the problem of specifying operations that cannot be specified precisely. Imprecise system occurs when it is not possible to develop a precise system specification. This often occur in the organizations which  are just starting  to use  computer or  in novel applications  where  there  is no  precise specifications. Instead, it is more appropriate to develop the system gradually and learning about system capabilities as one goes along.

This model is advantageous to remove the limitations of the waterfall mode. The basic principle of this model is that a throwaway prototype is built to help in understanding the requirement during the requirement analysis phase only. It presents one solution to the problem o be sure that the customer will get what he wants. It can be considered as the initial step of the software. The prototype model is shown in fig 2.7 all the phase of this model is discussed below.

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1. Listen to Customer

This model starts with the collection of the needs and requirement of the customer but it does not produce any end product. The main goal of this model is to satisfy all the requirements of the customer. To fulfil such objective, initial a meeting is considered between the customer and the developer. During this meeting they.

  • Discuss the problem to be solved.
  • Set a particular, specific and static goal of the software and,
  • Mention all the requirements which are known at this time.
  • Such communication results to an agreement. In beginning the customer presents only those requirements which he knows. By him at this time only i.e. he provides some partial requirement.

2. Build the Model

In this phase, the developer gets ready to develop such model. He starts to build the model according to the given requirements of the customer and a quick design takes place.

3. Customer Evaluation

In this phase this model is evaluated and tested by customer. If it does not suit to the customer and he wants to have some more additions in it then he may give the feedback to the developer. It is quite possible that the customer wants to changes all the requirements. Then that built model will be throwing away and again a new communication will be held between the customer and the developer. The customer can present his new requirement list, and a new model is built according to this list. In this way the repetitively loop will go and go until the customer tells its requirements and at last get satisfied.


  • The misunderstandings between software developer and users may be identified.
  • Missing facilities and features may be found out.
  • Any none confirm hard or confusing facilities or characteristics may be identified.
  • Software developers may find the in complete or inconsistent requirements as the prototypes are developed.

Some other advantage of prototype model is;

  • It enables developers to cope with lack of clarity in requirements.
  • It gives the user an opportunity to changes his mind before commitment to the final system.
  • User requirements are easier to determine.
  • System is developed faster.
  • Development effort is reduced because the resultant system is the right system.
  • Maintenance effort is reduced because the system meets the user's needs.
  • End use involvement is facilitated.
  • User developer communication is enhanced.


The customer will want the early version of the model which may not have good quality concerns and maintainability.

As the model is to be built very quickly.   During development if the developer uses any inappropriate operating system or programming language which are available this time but not suitable for model. Later on when almost whole model is built up the developer forgets to remove that choices then the model which has been built does not satisfy the customer requirement fully.

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