Minimum Viable Product or MVP is, generally speaking, an approach towards product development in order to determine what people actually need. MVP is what we all need when it comes to launching new products. If one doesn’t know what to start with, one needs to start with MVP, especially when it comes to software development services.
Developing a new product idea is not an easy task. MVP is an approach that can be used by marketing teams to develop new products and see if they suit the market. If applied for software development, it helps to understand what users feel, think and how they understand the product you are trying to offer.
In reality, the idea of it is applied quite plain and straightforward. Business is preparing its product for the market release and aims to gather the possible users’ opinions. In fact, MVP gathers opinions about minimum performance, the product itself may have many other features.
This idea is good for the main reason that if the minimum features don’t work as expected or provide poor performance, it cannot cover the market need. That is why MVP as a tool is useful for businesses. It simply saves unnecessary money spending on unnecessary products. The key goal is to launch the product efficiently and as quickly as possible without losing integrity and market need.
This idea works for every software development and non-IT business, but it is extremely useful for start-ups, as they are always in need of saving money and time.
After the Minimum Viable Product has begun, there are several alternatives how to continue:
Alternative 1. Keep working on the product if people need it.
Alternative 2. If a business realizes it is not completely what people need, gather opinions and modify the product further.
Alternative 3. In case people do not need this product, seize its development and save money.
There are several steps for the business to actually define the MVP.
Due to that, they need to perform the following:
- elaborate the primary need for the product, or early hypothesis, which will be later checked by MVP
- gather the ways in which your product will be used in a particular way
- prepare the productional, intellectual, or technical possibilities to create the MVP and test it
- lookup for the first users and decide whether to continue working on it
An interesting fact about an MVP is that one can apply it numerous times – as much as business needs it. It is not a one-time tool; it can be used to reach the best options for product development and its use on the market. It gives endless options to re-make the product as long as one needs it.
However, here one may wonder, how is it actually different from prototyping?
Well, MVP needs to have a prototype already. Prototyping per se is simpler, whereas MVP is not just a visual representation and embodiment of the product; it aims to define the width and depth of use.
Prototyping and MVP complement and strengthen each other. In order to develop an MVP, one might need several prototypes. MVP serves a role of a final product (which can be later modified). The prototype serves a need in user experience testing, more of a sample, whereas MVP has a broader market-release function.
Besides saving money and helping marketers with the product release, MVP has other functions. For example, it is a risk mitigation tool. In this regard, it is a great help for many entrepreneurs, manufacturers, marketers, and sustainability lovers.
MVP has a set of principles:
- Minimum. The future product must be finished.
- Viable. Has to be able to meet the testing.
- Product. Even the first version has to be stable.
They are applied in the following areas:
Marketing and promotion.
In this case, no need to invest time and effort at once in one massive campaign, just measuring the best responses and the most proper ideas, which can be later applied wider.
In combination, both Agile and MVP are used as the best approach for product development. Teams are rather small, and the development is done in iterations, prototypes are used when possible, communication is simple and easy.
Product development and design.
In the beginning, the MVP is used to define a concept of the future product, which is later used for prototyping and user feedback. Later on, the product is again revised and modified as to the MVP till the best result is gained.
When it comes to solely web development, MVP helps to determine strengths, weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats for the product. One is not developing the product, which has no use and no interest. In this case, MVP is partially a roadmap in how to move further.
MVP concept gives an opportunity to develop proper products with minimum efforts as to the time and costs. The budget is not overused, and one has ways of adjusting the product further, if necessary, to tailor it to the market and user needs. It helps to minimize long months of unnecessary work, as well as minimizes failure probabilities.
The main feature and advantage of MVP is that it gives clarity into the concept. With each iteration, business gets more and more insights into what can be done more and when to stop because the product is about to be perfect. Another advantage is that by applying MVP it gives business an opportunity to be adaptable and flexible, especially in times of changes.
Applied in software development, MVP is a great tool to determine the capacities of the product. It is an upright tool to discover the best usage of the product by users, their useful feedback, eventually delivering the best market need’s coverage possible that brings profits. You create, you launch, you learn, and you continue. MVP development genuinely secures the best version of the product development.