A pilot project is a small-scale project in which new ideas or concepts are tested in real life before they are implemented on a larger scale. It is a fairly expensive and time-consuming method as it involves the building of a full-scale prototype. In large projects, however, the effort may very well be worthwhile. If, for example, a hospital aims to develop a new kind of patient room, it will be smart to do a proof of concept by means of a prototype or mock-up before building dozens of them in a new building or renovation project.Pilot projects are also useful in large construction programmes that consist of multiple sub-projects. Think of a bank that wants to redesign all of its retail offices. Before doing a full roll-out of the concept, it makes sense to test the ideas and solutions in one or two locations, looking at whether the intended benefits (e.g. expressing a new brand identity or facilitating new kinds of activities) are indeed achieved. The lessons learnt can then be fed into the standard brief and design guidelines for the projects that follow. For pilot projects to be useful, they should be well researched and documented. There should be a clear notion of the ideas that need to be tested and the criteria that should be used (e.g. user satisfaction, costs, customer perception). The evaluation of the pilot project may include interviews with users, observational studies and surveys. These activities should take place both before and after the completion of the pilot set-up to be able to assess the impact of the changes.When interpreting the outcomes of the pilot project, it is important to be aware of the risk of bias. Pilot projects are typically intended to test out new ideas. The people behind those ideas tend to very enthusiastic about them. Negative pilot outcomes may be downplayed and positive ones overstated, or vice versa. To best way to avoid such bias is to create a solid research set-up that produces trustworthy data.Recommendations-Be aware that the outcomes of a pilot project are not always scalable. Outcomes may change as the scale of the project increases or as other types of users become involved.-Carefully select the participants in the pilot project. It is easiest to do pilot projects with enthusiastic volunteers but this may make the outcomes less reliable.-Set up a proper evaluation of the pilot project, take measurements both before and after implementation.-Treat the pilot project as a real project, with a sufficiently large budget to realize a realistic and attractive solution. If such a budget is not available, consider the use of full-scale mock-ups (e.g. made of cardboard) as a proxy for the envisioned solutions. -Discuss with the pilot projects users how the concepts and solutions applied might be improved.