As a product manager or CTO, you know the challenges of bringing a new product to market. From the initial ideation to the final launch, there are endless decisions to be made and unknowns you need to address.
One key question that often arises is: how much do we need to build before we can confidently say our product is ready for release? This is where the concept of an MVP, or minimum viable product, comes into play. And one needs to be careful about the mistakes that can be made while buidling MVP for startups.
An MVP is a product with just enough features to allow users to experience its core functionality and provide valuable feedback for further development. It is a way to test and validate a product idea quickly and efficiently without investing significant time and resources into building the entire product.
In this article, we’ll explore the concept of MVP in-depth, including how to build an MVP, the benefits of using an MVP, and a real-world example of an MVP in action.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to allow it to be deployed. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users.
An MVP has a few key characteristics that set it apart from other product development approaches:
Some examples of MVP in action include:
There are several reasons why developing a minimum viable product (MVP) can be beneficial:
According to Standish Group’s report, only 20% of features in a product are used regularly, while the rest are rarely or never used. This highlights the importance of focusing on the product’s core value and eliminating unnecessary features.
1. Market research
Conducting market research helps to ensure that the product idea is viable and has the potential to meet the needs and preferences of the target market.
To conduct market research, consider the following steps:
2. Identify the core value of the product
Identifying the core value of your product is important because it will differentiate you from your competitors. If you don’t understand what makes your product unique, then how can you expect others to?
For example, if you wanted to build a marketplace for selling computers, it would be easy to get lost in the sea of other marketplaces out there. However, if you focus on providing an easy way for people to sell their used laptops, you can differentiate yourself by offering a better solution than other marketplaces.
3. Prioritize features and user flow
This step in MVP development involves determining which features are essential for the MVP and creating a user flow that guides users through the product’s core functionality.
To prioritize features, consider the following questions:
It’s essential to be selective when determining which features to include in the MVP. The goal is to create a product with just enough features to allow users to experience its core functionality and provide valuable feedback.
Once you have determined which features are necessary for the MVP, it’s important to consider the user flow. A user flow is a path a user takes through the product, from start to finish. It’s essential to create a clear and intuitive user flow that guides users through the product’s core functionality and helps them achieve their goals.
4. Choose the right development approach (e.g., lean, agile)
After finalizing the features and user flow, it’s time to choose the right development approach. A few different approaches can be used when developing an MVP, including lean, agile, and the build-measure-learn loop.
Which approach is right for your MVP will depend on your product and team’s specific needs and goals. Choosing an approach that fits your product and team and allows for flexibility and iteration based on user feedback is important.
5. Launch MVP
After a business has decided which features to prioritize and researched the necessary market needs, it can create its MVP. Remember that an MVP is not of lower quality than a final product. It is expected to fulfil customers’ needs – which means it still needs to be accessible, engaging, and suitable for its users.
Once the MVP is built, it’s time to test it with a group of early adopters. You can do this through focus groups, beta testing, or other methods of gathering feedback. Pay close attention to the feedback you receive, as it will help you improve the MVP and inform the development of the final product.
Innovify built Influencer Marketing Platform for that puts influencers at the centre of everything.
The platform had issues with outdated product architecture, bottlenecks, and difficulties pushing new features due to poor code structure. The client also wanted to use the latest technology for the front-end experience but needed a CTO and more documentation.
Innovify’s key objectives for the project were to migrate development from the previous team, refactor the code to improve product and code quality, re-architect the application using serverless microservices, and establish a consistent, agile scrum process.
The solution Innovify implemented was to create basic, functional documentation to understand the user flow and set up a CI/CD process for the project. They also conducted an impact analysis to focus on features that would improve the overall quality and follow best coding practices. They deployed Scrum teams that worked in an agile manner and delivered sprints every week.
As a result, Innovify was able to eliminate the tech debt within three months, improve the overall performance, and allow for easy integration of new features. They continue to work with the client on a managed team basis, taking their project to the next stage in their journey.
In conclusion, developing a minimum viable product (MVP) is a crucial step in the product development. It allows for the validation of critical assumptions and the gathering of valuable feedback from early adopters.
By focusing on the core features and functionality, the MVP can help identify and prioritize future enhancements while reducing overall development time and costs. By launching an MVP, companies can test the market, gather feedback, and iterate on their product before investing too many resources in a full-fledged product.