What is a minimum viable product?
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a concept popularized by the Lean Startup movement and describes a product that is developed initially in its simplest form to minimize financial expenses, time investment, and commitment to any one particular product direction. A true MVP should only have the core features that are absolutely mandatory for it to be deployed and tested. Once the MVP is considered functional and in no way matured, it can be deployed to a small group of early users who will provide feedback on their experience and ultimately shape the evolution of the product and its development cycles. Many companies that build MVP’s early on are able to get quick feedback and pivot on various aspects of their product development, saving them the costly mistake of building a product that people don’t like.
An important thing to understand is that an MVP is not a basic or cheap alternative to building a full-scale product. Instead, an MVP is the basic initial form of a product with a long-term vision of continued growth and improvement. As the MVP begins to get feedback, the product can be built out further in very small iterations and going through a feedback cycle after each development cycle. Using the MVP development process is especially valuable when the business or startup is operating in a market that is new or unfamiliar because it maximizes the ability to learn as you build. If you have a new product development initiative and iteratively would like to develop out your feature set, then drop us a line!.
How we create MVPs?
In order to build a successful MVP, it is important that the product still maintains a long term product vision and overall direction throughout the development process. We always kick the process off with an in-depth discovery process. The essence of the discovery process is to document the product vision and direction as envisioned by the product owner. Once the product vision has been fully realized, the core elements can then be extracted from the scope and thoroughly documented for all parties involved in the development. Once product development has begun, it’s important to avoid scope creep (adding more features) or extending the core features more than they need to be for the MVP.
How we test and improve MVPs?
Once your MVP is complete for testing, it’s time to start exposing it to users, getting feedback, and learning through a validation process. There are a number of ways to go about this. Some companies that are confident in their MVP’s reliability may start a marketing campaign with the intention of getting real users, while others may put together a hand-picked panel to use the product, and either pay them or offer some form of incentive for the early feedback. Following up for feedback, and then applying this feedback to a validated learning process, is one of the most critical aspects of an MVP build and the reason that this is one of the most efficient ways to build a new product or startup.