In the prototyping phase, we take what we've learned in Discovery and aim to deepen our learning of any parts of the project that are novel, risky or unknown.
We do this by building user-testable prototypes in a cheap and disposable way. That supports us trying multiple approaches to the same problem in order to find the best one.
This phase in government projects is also known as the Alpha phase. It is possible that within these projects we havent been involved in the project discovery due to the nature of the project and that this piece of work is being picked up using information another team has provided from discovery.
In this case we would always run an inception period to start the prototyping phase, this is kicked off with a workshop. The inception phase lasts from 1 week to 3 weeks, aiming to understand the details of the project that we are working on.