Over the last four weeks we’ve set scene for developing a minimum viable product and then we looked that basic groundwork that needs doing before embarking on this journey. We then focused on three common misconceptions around developing a minimum viable product, and then looked at the three essential ingredients. Today we bring all these together in the form of a one page summary to develop a highly successful Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
A minimum viable product is a basic version of your product that will fulfil all requirements functionally, legally and regulatorily. It will help validate your hypotheses about a certain problem, its solution, and give you a go/no-go to further develop this solution. It is important because it will help you get some quick wins for minimum expenditure of resources.
Where to begin on the journey to developing a successful MVP?
Your journey starts with the ‘why’. Ask yourself why this product is necessary. If you do not ask the ‘why’ questions sufficiently enough (Japanese lean manufacturing techniques call this the ‘5 why’ technique), you run the risk of solving for a downstream consequence instead of the actual problem. Your first step therefore, is to define the problem in a clear and specific manner. The more specific you are, the better your end product will be, although your focus area gets narrowed. You then follow this up with defining the functionality, which must compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, followed by clear definitions of success and failure, and means to measure these.
What are the common misconceptions associated with MVP and how to avoid them?
The first common misconception is not looking at the MVP as a fully functional, basic version of the final product. If your final product is a car, your MVO must also be a car, not a skateboard.
The second misconception is to not have all of the functional features that define the end product. The key here is to remember that the phrase Minimum Viable Product has the word Viable in the middle. This is for a reason. If you only focus on the ‘minimum’ and the ‘product’, without attending to the ‘viable’, you don’t have an MVP.
Misconception 3 is that once you build the MVP, your job is done. In fact it has only started. Think of this as an endurance race like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The MVP only gets you to the starting line. In order to truly arrive, your product needs to be effective, consistent, efficient, and you need to have a good team of people around your product and sustain.
How can I ensure that my MVP is successful?
To be successful your MVP must have three performance parameters.
Firstly, it must be effective. The MVP should do what the fully developed version of the product will do, in terms of necessary functionality. If it doesn’t fulfil the functionality of the end product, then it simply is not an MVP.
Secondly, it must be consistent. The product must do, what it should be doing ten times out of ten. Remember your MVP is to offer all the functionalities of the end product with only the basic features. This means, it needs to be consistent, and more importantly, reliable. If your basic offering is not reliable and consistent, there is no point in going further.
Finally, it must be efficient. It must be resource friendly as opposed to resource intensive. Resources can be cost, time, effort, learning, material, energy usage, and many other things.
There is no summary today because this post is the summary of the basics. Specialist support is available via Equitus Engineering Limited, who have the knowledge and skills to help you develop a successful MVP. Get in touch.