Prototyping are most of the time included in SDLC in order to help dev teams to fortify and capture user requirement as well give the use a “sort” of first hand functional experience of the software or application at hand. Prototyping is very important as it reduces redundancy in coding but prototyping can also be a hindrance due to the following factors:
1. Decision makers never make up their mind as to what they want.
2. Every user wants to put in their two cents.
3. There are really no great tools for rapid prototype.
Decision makers never make up their mind as to what they want
This is probably the worse of them all. I have been in situation where Leaders or Project owner simply don’t make up their mind as to what functionality they want or what control should be used to display a list of information (as trivial as that). In situation like this, your dev team ends up running around with no progress since the monkey boss at the top cannot make up his/her mind.
Every user wants to put in their two cents
If the prototype is influenced by a large number of no technical users, you could be in trouble as every single user would want to influence the out come of the product. Most cases, the best way to deal with this issue is start large and cut down the number of prototype reviewers as you go through the prototyping iteration. In the end, you end up with your core prototyping review team which will be a lot less stressful than working with a large team.
There are really no great tools for rapid prototype
Personally, I have found prototype to all take longer than what it really aught to take just because there are really not great prototyping tools out there. I, for one, use interaction tools like flash and expression blend and mark-up tools like photoshop to create interactive prototype so the user get “sort” of a real life experience using the prototype. Even though flash and blend exist, they are not easy tools to pick up and get going. I’m lucky to be a developer with an active right brain but for other who are not, there really isn’t any simple tool out there to do rapid prototyping.