If you are a leading Entrepreneur or someone who is working to get a product on the market as soon as possible, Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is something you should know inside out. Why is it necessary? There is a list of things that could go wrong while developing a product or an application in the market and MVP acts as a one-stop-shop to rectify most of the mentioned problems. Let us take a step closer to understanding MVP and all about its WHYs, HOWs, WHATs, and WHATNOTs!
A minimum viable product is a miniature version of your actual product that you put out there on the market for user feedback. It is derived from the practices of agile development. The MVP stipulates step-by-step product evolution keeping in mind user reviews. The idea of MVP was entitled by Eric Ries of Lean startup, which happened to be a vital evolution in the field of Startups. Eric Ries came up with the philosophy of ship early, repair later, which was something that was adopted by a lot of companies thereafter. Some even turned out to be trendsetters worldwide.
MVP and The Agile Methodology
The agile methodology is a process or technique used for project management. It is mostly used for Software Development projects. It follows iterations of work cycles that moot for constant revision and rapid production as and when necessary. MVP is an integral part of the agile methodology. The agile MVP development projects are very popular. In this method, we develop MVPs and run it through multiple sprints to enhance the same before confirming the final product.
The goal of an MVP is to help startups validate their opportunity hypothesis and get the green light for developing a fully functional product. That is, you ask target users what they think of the product, whether they find it useful and a lot more questions! Even if your idea for the product is brilliant, the market may reject it for various reasons. As a result, you lose a lot of time and money for unwanted products. MVP can easily rectify this by getting to try your opportunity with actual users.
Now that we have gained some basic insights on MVP, let us delve into understanding the functioning of an MVP and how to build one!
A COMPLETE GUIDE ON MVP DEVELOPMENT
STEP 1:COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS
Before your idea is put into the plan, isn’t it necessary to know beforehand why you have an idea, to begin with? Comprehensive research deals with the idea of answering a lot of questions like:
“What is your Market?”
“Who all are affected by the problem?”
“How can you help in resolving it?”
And the most significant question that arises is: “Which problem or part of the problem is your uniquely ideated MVP Solving?”
You need to very well understand the value your MVP is bringing to the customers and how exactly are they being benefited from it. Understanding your target group is another important factor. Certain groups of users have their own specific needs and specific requirements that can help you improve your product and make it as user- friendly as you can.
STEP 2:COMPETITORS ANALYSIS
If you are trying to build similar products or modifications to the ones currently existing in the market, you need to do a thorough competitor analysis before proceeding. Analyze how the current products are solving the problem that you are trying to address. Do complete research on your top competitors. Understand their strengths and weaknesses and learn from them. The goal should be to launch a product that converts your competitors’ weaknesses to strengths. You can use plenty of ways online as well as offline to understand and analyze your competitors.
STEP 3: CHOOSING THE FEATURES FOR YOUR MVP
This is a very important step that you need to spend some time on. For an MVP, the goal is to have a minimum number of features under each head. Follow these 4 pointers to choose the features for your MVP :
- Identify the various steps a user will take when using your product.
- List down all the features you are planning to have under each step.
- Prioritize the features and choose the main feature under each step along with 1-2 supporting features for your MVP.
Prioritizing features may get confusing so it is better to follow a common metric for the same. A commonly accepted approach for prioritizing MVP features is given in the next step.
STEP 4:PRIORITIZING MVP FEATURES
The next step is to identify the features you have implemented in your product. Firstly list down the features you want to implement. Then you need to prioritize them by using the Moscow approach.
We take all the steps and the features we have listed under them and divide them into:-
Be very clear about which category and priority the features fall into. This makes it easier when you are improvising, optimizing, or modifying the product.
STEP 5: MVP APPROACH SELECTION
This step deals with the type of MVP you want. These can be differentiated as a product mockup or a one feature MVP. While choosing a type, you should consider the idea you want to validate and the available resources you have.
STEP 6: SUCCESS CRITERIA IDENTIFICATION
Evaluating your MVP is another important factor when it comes to MVP development. You need to know how successful or a failure it can be. Preparing a list of actionable metrics and success criteria you’ll be tracking is very important in this step.
STEP 7:BUILDING YOUR MVP
These days, we have a lot of MVP development companies providing specific MVP development services. They give a lot of insights to you on understanding your MVP project better and then go about implementing it. Let us now walk you through the process of actually building an MVP so that you understand the basic steps involved in it with an example.
Consider the case of an app being your intended product. An MVP project for the same is just basically a scaled-down version of your final product. Though it only involves some basic features, it should not be any lesser in terms of quality. In the case of building an MVP which is an app, let us analyze the steps involved and the kind of concentration that goes into each stage of development of the same :
- UI/UX Development
It is important to create the design flow of your product. Always remember to keep it simple and include only the basic core ideas of your product in the MVP.
2. Creation of Prototype
There is often a confusion between a prototype and an MVP. MVP is a finished product that can be used by the end-users whereas a prototype is a basic model used for reference by the developers. A prototype needs to be created for an MVP based on which further development, testing, and other proceedings will continue. There are several prototyping tools that can be used for the same depending on your requirement.
3. Backend Development
The next task starts with understanding the right technology stack for your MVP. If you are not acquainted with the area, you can always reach out to an MVP Development Company offering MVP Development Services for the same. They will assist you in the process. Using technologies that give us the power to develop and deploy easier and faster and deliver high-quality products, like the Hybrid apps will be the ideal choice. Consult with experts on the front else a lot of unnecessary time will need to be lost here.
Once the development is complete, the MVP can be passed on to the Quality Assurance (QA) team who will subject it to multiple tests to identify bugs and areas of improvement. This will help us enhance the quality of the product. It is a very important phase. Once we get a green signal from the QA team, our MVP is ready to be rolled out.
STEP 8: MVP LAUNCH
After the successful completion of the above steps, you’ll be able to finally market and launch your MVP and get the user feedback. Now, what you need to remember here is that, to track the key metrics to evaluate the results of your MVP. A negative result is also a result. The aim is to get maximum user intel about your MVP. Even if it turns out unsuccessful, it’ll be a good sign for you to turn around and resolve the issues to roll out a better version of the product.
CONFUSIONS AND COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS
Now you might be wondering how some established companies have a great launch right away, without giving much importance to MVP. The answer to that question is a question. Do you remember when Google was launched? Facebook? Twitter? Launches aren’t a big deal. Their success and development over the years depend very much on their MVP.
The most commonly found mistakes among the founders are that they want to solve the problems for all the users. And they lose their minds when they realize it is never-ending. The best thing to do is to check for different users with the same set of problems. Make sure you keep two things in mind to solve this :
- The vision should be bigger, MVP should be smaller.
- Growth and Retention of customers
- Investor pitch and Customer pitch
Make yourself comfortable with considering multiple problems as one.
One thing you should always remember is never to get attached to your MVP. A lot of people stick to their initial setup, considering the user feedback success. Your final product should turn out to be much bigger and better than your initial vision when you began.
Want to know more? Head over to Metric Tree Labs, the leading App Development company in Kochi, Kerala.