Many software engineers (as well as product owners) face the problem of not having the final image of what they want to obtain in the end. It is true that some features and specifics emerge in the process of development, so how to secure yourself from unnecessary time delays and extra expenditures by moving to the product of your dream incrementally? Consider the MVP! It is a great solution for piloting products in the market, and a real game changer in the field of agile product management.
What is MVP?
MVP stands for the Minimum Viable Product; this term was coined by Eric Ries, the author of a ground-breaking work The Lean Startup, and one of the founders of lean technologies in its present-day meaning. Major benefits associated with developing MVPs are:
- It helps to prioritize a core set of product features and test them;
- Its pilot testing gives product owners a chance to understand what customers need from the product via a strong customer feedback loop;
- It guarantees that you are creating a product with features considered valuable by customers;
- It provides feedback and viability;
- It is an effective test to ensure that the product fulfils customer needs and delivers business value.
MVP: The Core of Lean Startups
Why is making an MVP first is a good idea for a startup? As the benefits enumerated above suggest, MVPs allow effective testing of a business idea’s viability before you commit to it in full. Everybody knows that any start-up in the form of a full-scale product development may be very costly, while modern competition in the field of technology and apps is more than fierce. Thus, succeeding in the market is realistic only when you know for sure what your customer needs.
Finding this out is possible with the help of quick and inexpensive MVP development and testing. Hence, MVP has laid the basis for lean start-up processes in the following way:
- Elimination of uncertainty;
- Smarter (instead of higher) work via user engagement in product’s premise validation;
- Actual MVP development as a way of learning with minimum investments in trial-and-error;
- Validated learning and ability to change development paths as soon as deviation from consumer needs is detected.
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Test Your Value Proposition with MVP
Based on these considerations, many businesses develop MVPs now with the following set of purposes in mind:
- Testing a value proposition.
- Testing the value and growth hypotheses.
- Establishing how a business will grow.
- Pivoting (i.e., continuous product improvement).
Effective MVP development may be accomplished easier and quicker with the following checklist in mind:
- How do my potential clients use the product?
- What do I learn from observing them?
- What do people say about the product?
- What do they like and dislike about it?
- Would they pay (X money) for the product?
- How do they want product owners to improve the product?
- What do I think about the needed changes?
- How can I improve the product based on the available feedback?
Remember: employing MVP saves months of work on a product that people may not necessarily want to pay for. So, don’t hesitate to use this method for getting the most from your new product launch with minimum expenditures.