Prototypes are project management tools that are used in getting early feedback that is related to the project requirements. This is done by providing a working model of the product even before building it. They are tangible models thus, the stakeholders can experiment with it and have a clear idea what the product will be like.
One of the benefits of this tool is that it allows the stakeholders to discuss their requirements for the product instead of discussing abstract representations of the project. It also supports the concept of progressive elaboration using the mock product. It is also a great way to generate feedback so that the appropriate revisions can be carried out on the final product.
Feedback is necessary for this particular project management tool. It is used to sufficiently complete the design and build phases of the product. There are many types of prototyping methods and one of them is storyboarding wherein a series of images or illustrations are presented to the stakeholders. Industries that use this particular prototyping technique involves advertising, film, agile, software development and instructional design.
This term is defined in the 5th edition of the PMBOK.