MVP Software: How To Define a Minimum Viable Product

MVP Software: How To Define a Minimum Viable Product

May 19, 2021

Brilliant ideas on promising software products come to mind from time to time. But they are always subjective. Is there any value in your great idea for other people? Will your future product be in demand?

Fears and doubts are natural for any creator. And oftentimes they take over to prevent doing anything. In fact, only two approaches are available: either giving up your idea at all or creating a Minimum Viable Product. If you choose the second one it is worth knowing some fundamentals of MVP software. We are going to explain critical HOW-TOs regarding minimum viable products in the present post.

What a Minimum Viable Product Means

MVP comprises its basic definition in itself: a minimum viable product is a working hypothesis of your business idea that can be offered to your future customers in the form of a real product/service with a minimum set of functionalities. In other words, MVP is a software product having no minor details but capable of bringing some certain value to your target audience.

MVP software is aimed at answering the question of whether your idea is viable from the perspective of your customers. Hence, when you practice MVP app development, you seek to get clear feedback about your business idea from potentially interested people (users, investors, etc).

How To Grasp The Main Advantage of MVP

The main advantage of MVP software is that you can avoid months and years of futile effort spent on something nobody needs. Suppose you start developing a software product with a fully-fledged holistic agenda. The detailed architecture, expensive design, complicated functionality all are available in your development process from the very beginning. 

Your product life cycle can last months and years: changes of all sorts may happen before deployment. And after a long while, you suddenly realize that your idea has initially no value for anyone. Potential customers have no interest in your solution since their demands happen to be different. What a frustration!

More than one-third of all startups fail due to the discrepancy between the expected demand for their new software and the actual interests of customers. If you begin with a minimum viable product such a failure can bring much fewer losses and less disappointment. MVP app development saves time and money by providing quick (and relatively cheap) feedback from target audiences regarding what you are going to sell them.

How To Realize Why You Need MVP Software

MVP is a “lite” version of your product/service offered to your potential customers to figure out their needs and pains through a real user experience. The received feedback is worth using in the further work over your business idea. To sum up for what MVP app development is needed the following considerations should be kept in mind:

  • to test your business hypothesis with real users;
  • to save time and money if your idea appears to be unviable initially;
  • to accelerate development reaching the moment when your idea can be literally touched;
  • to be able to detect possible shortcomings of your idea and make necessary corrections;
  • to represent your idea to potential investors with something more appealing than just a slide show.

How To Understand When MVP Software is Relevant

MVP software development can benefit almost any complex project. Visiting-card websites, landing pages, and even enterprise websites unlikely need MVPs. But web-services, applications, and online platforms all should origin from minimum viable products. The following use cases reflect when MVP software is particularly useful:

  • E-stores with rich functionalities across multiple sections (delivery, credit, customer support, etc);
  • Social networks and messengers;
  • Aggregators and marketplaces that require processing large volumes of data;
  • Personal account sections of complicated websites;
  • Intracompany online services (closed sections for staff only);
  • Various integrated services (i.e. document management programs)
  • Fintech projects, etc.

How To Develop a Minimum Viable Product

If you recognize the value of MVP software for your project keep your development under the following essential principles:

  1. Always look for a way to cut down expenses. The core idea of any MVP software is in saving time and money for development. Therefore, figure out the minimum functionality you can offer to your customers and do nothing beyond it. 
  2. Make a model of the user experience of your MVP software. Consider how and for what potential customers can use your product/service. Develop a scenario of interactions between your MVP and the users.
  3. Build a hierarchy of your product functions. Figure out the priority value of your product/service for users. The function that reflects the value best should be on top of the hierarchy. Begin your MVP app development with that function. 
  4. Make a clear decision on what exactly is to be available in your MVP software. Get all redundant stuff away from your MVP, don’t spend much time on illustrations, design, etc.
  5. Make tests routinely. Represent your finished MVP software to your colleagues, relatives, and friends. Get their feedback and amend your MVP accordingly. After that, represent the last version of your minimum viable product to customers and get their feedback. Make relevant revisions. Repeat this algorithm through multiple iterations across the entire life cycle of your product/service.

How To Choose an Appropriate Management Method For MVP App Development

When the amount of work needed for the development of your MVP software is determined you have to choose the most appropriate management strategy. Not so many types are available, in fact. But they all are agile and iterative enough to fit diverse MVP software projects.

Extreme Programming (XP)

This is a set of such practices as code refactoring, small releases, simplified design, and various coding standards capable of improving your code over short periods. The XP development cycle requires less than a couple of weeks usually. Hence, you can deploy the first version of your MVP software quickly to scale it up subsequently. XP fits those sorts of MVP software that rely heavily on code quality.

Lean

This method is based on the following core principles: eliminating redundant expenses, accelerating releases, enhancing staff training, and building integrity. The iterative development under the “creation-testing-training” pattern is inherent in Lean. Hence, the developers can postpone the majority of project proposals to establish a quick feedback cycle. In doing so they make sure that just the goal-driven product is under their MVP app development.

Scrum

This method implies the effective distribution of workflows. You can manage the MVP Scrum development in a sprint - the short cycles requiring 2-4 weeks each. A pre-assigned Scrum master is to monitor the operation stability of all MVP Scrum processes. Your MVP software can be released after just the first cycle. Developers can upgrade that MVP software across all subsequent cycles. Even though Scrum is more labor-intensive than, for instance, Lean, this method appears less stressful for developers since it facilitates gradual and progressing processes.

Conclusion

MVP software development acts as a safety airbag: it enables forecasting both the commercial potential and technical capabilities of your future product. MVP allows you to make business decisions based on facts, not assumptions. Testing promising business concepts in a real market environment is the main goal of MVP app development. 

Contact us today to clarify the viability of your business idea with a professionally created MVP software based on our deep expertise in all major IT domains.

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