What’s an MVP?
Minimum Viable Product aka MVP is a widely used the term in the software development industry. So what do they refer to when they say MVP? In simple words, they are telling to build a working system with the minimum efforts needed for development. Basically, you will have a working product with the lowest development costs and maximum outcome.
The purpose of MVP?
We have heard a variety of reasons why some of our clients choosing the MVP approach. The most common reasons to go with MVP? We can give a few reasons why our clients told us they want an MVP or we suggested an MVP for their use case.
- Want to test the market with a working product to see if the idea of the product is welcomed in the market
- Startups that are aiming to raise funds and would like to present their idea in a working product to their investors
- To collect a user base while the bigger features of the application are being built.
What are the advantages of building an MVP?
Generally from our experience, the pros of building an MVP instead of a full-scope development are more than its cons. To name some:
- Budget-friendly. Developing an MVP is the cheapest way to have a market-ready and user-facing web software and mobile Apps.
- Test your idea. We know many successful software applications that started with an MVP and after testing in the market, they realised they need to change some of their approaches
- It’s faster, of course. You don’t need to wait so long to have your products ready and used by users
- Collect user and market feedback. Another very valuable advantages of MVP is you can collect feedback from the users and prioritize your features for the coming build.
- Focus on what’s important. Not everything is equally important when you building software applications, with an MVP you will focus on the core features for your product
How to build a successful MVP?
Specification. This stage is very underestimated in the MVP process. Without a good specification, there will be uncertainties and the goal of the MVP not well-defined. Consider specification a sort book you for your product. Include an introduction, the business need of the product, what issues and challenges you want to address with your product. Define the persona of the user. It’s best you will have a technical person in your specification phase, they would usually see the technical aspects of the specification and can guide you to a better and more feasible specification. It’s important to note that specifications can change in upcoming phases and is not set in stone so to say.
Define features. Once the specifications are ready, business analyst and product owners should consult the specification with the stakeholders (writers of the specification) and break the specification into features using techniques like story mapping. Which is defining users journey across the platform. This is extracted from the specification and could possibly change some parts of the specification.
Prioritize. Once you and the development team get a good picture of the system and user journeys you can then group the requirements for product into priorities. It’s important to identify the core of your system and be aware of what’s must-have, what’s should-have and what’s nice to have.
System architecture. It’s good to visualize the product into interconnected components and get a good picture of the software a whole. Although we consider this stage optional we believe it helps to onboard the development team.
Plan and estimate. Another crucial stage in the process is to plan and estimate the MVP. This step is inspired by the priorities stage. It’s best to start with estimation. Best estimations usually come from well-broken down requirements. Every implementable section of the MVP e.g. user registration should be estimated with story points. Story points are the ay developers decide how hard is the tasks comparing to an estimation of another task they have done. For example, if takes us to build a registration form with the difficulty of 5 story points the email verification email is easier than that so it should be 2 story points and showing users basic details is in between of those two tasks so 3 story points (story point system is using Fibonacci numbers). At later stages, stakeholders can get a good understanding of the time may be required to deliver tasks with different story points.
Once the project is estimated, its time to assess different scenarios. Based on the available timeframes and deadlines the size of the team can be determined.
Another important part of the plan and estimate is to created milestones and break the project down into phases. There are different ways milestones can be defined such as priorities or user journeys and etc.
Build. Its time for action. Once the estimate has been agreed its time to get the team together and start the software development. The team will work from the specification and the materials from the planning stage to create a backlog. Usually, the backlog is supervised and created by a product owner or product managers which have been directly agreed with the stakeholders. Backlog consists of all tasks for a foreseeable future. The team will go through sprints and will build and deliver tasks also known as user stories.
How long does it cost to build an MVP?
It really depends, we strongly recommend sticking with a range of 3-5 months. Of course, this varies depending on different factors such as the size of the MVP, the initial deadline or the complexity. But the purpose of an MVP is to be fast to the market.
How to build a cheap MVP?
Please contact us now and get a quote you will be surprised.