Audience requests and behaviour help developers understand which direction to take. MVPs in IT projects are needed for this purpose.
What is MVP?
MVP means a minimal viable product. Creating an MVP is an integral part of creating any complete digital product or system. The process might look like this:
- Idea (identification of need and qualification)
- Discovery (hypothesis testing, design, and prototyping)
- MVP creation (from the job description to release)
- Growth hypothesis testing and finding (testing, conclusions, adjustments)
- Product market fit (creating a full-fledged product in demand in the market)
Creating a business MVP is a way to test the feasibility of the future product in a battle, having spent the minimum possible resources.
If the product idea has passed the qualification, hypothesis testing, and market research stages of the Discovery phase, the best thing to do next is to start creating the MVP.
If there is a flaw in the original idea, it is 99% likely to be discovered at this stage. This will avoid unnecessary waste of resources, save time, and adjust the project's terms of reference in time.
Even when a project is thought out very thoroughly (at the stage of creating a minimum viable product and testing it), the project's terms of reference are almost always supplemented, and the requirements to its blocks are corrected. That's why the MVP creation phase is the key to creating any digital system or application.
Three key characteristics of a minimally viable product:
- It has enough value that people are willing to use it or buy it initially
- It demonstrates a sufficient future benefit to retain first users
- It provides a feedback loop to guide future development
At MaybeWorks, our developers have extensive experience in MVP development, and they can augment your development team to increase the time to market.
What is included in the MVP?
The set of minimum requirements for the product at this stage is individual and depends on the scope of use and other factors. What you need to remember: the requirements must be minimal for the product to function.
Terms of reference and MVP requirements are compiled after the Discovery stage and depend on the customer's wishes, user expectations, competitors, and other factors.
The two main goals at this stage are saving money and testing.
That is why it is essential to create the minimum set of functions so that the product can be used while saving on the creation of any optional functions or simplifying the creation of some of them for the time of testing. Let's look at examples.
Examples of MVPs
Example 1: A company wants to develop a CRM for the employees' internal work with the client base and for recording all the processes within the company.
After going through the idea and research stages, the MVP starts. Your development team must:
- Make a list of mandatory features of the future CRM system
- Focus on a few new key processes, which represent the bottleneck of the current CRM version
- Make a prototype of the system with a simplified design (without working out the UI)
- Simplify the creation of load resistance
- Simplify the creation of security and protection from attacks
Then you must:
- Recruit a focus group of employees for testing
- Carry out adaptation, set the test period, and make the release of the system to the real processes of the company
- Collect analytics, draw conclusions, adjust the project, and get ready to work on the full product
Example 2: A private entrepreneur wants to launch a new pizza delivery format using a mobile app.
What will go into the MVP:
- Non-native development on 1 platform of choice (iOS\Android)
- Simplified registration by phone number (without confirming and restoring access, order history, etc.)
- Simplified catalog of finished products
- Ordering through the manager and payment on third-party service
Then this entrepreneur must:
- Launching the app and trial marketing
- Checking feedback from users, calculating economic indicators
- Make conclusions and adjustments to prepare for creating a full-fledged application
Example 3: A manufacturing company wants to automate processes with software to optimize costs.
In this case, you can do without MVP if the need is mature and clear, the costs are estimated, and the feasibility is proved. The MVP process helps to eliminate unnecessary risks:
- Gather process requirements and conduct discovery
- Automate part of the processes or write a simplified version for all of them
- Test the new system on some of the system users, making sure that automation confirms the hypotheses for process optimization
- Fix the bugs found and deploy the full automation, with all the necessary integrations and taking into account the load
MaybeWorks is a reliable IT staff augmentation provider if you need to accelerate your MVP development speed.
What are frequent mistakes made when creating MVPs?
A prototype is a draft of a future product, technical documentation, design, acceptance criteria, user story map, and description of the product creation processes.
MVP is a viable working product that can be tested in reduced functionality or simplified implementation in real conditions.
The most frequent mistakes are related to violating one of the basic rules: save + test:
- Making a complete product instead of a real MVP. You lose the sense of the phase if you do not plan the composition of the future MVP correctly and spend much time and resources on its realization.
- Сreating a too-truncated version, which cannot show the estimated results during testing. This case is rarer, but if the second main rule is violated, it will be impossible to draw objective conclusions about testing the product's minimal version.
- Incorrectly defined criteria for evaluating the testing process. Testing the product, evaluating the result, and drawing conclusions are important.
- Skipping the phase of creating the MVP. A common mistake by those who want to save money or meet unrealistic deadlines usually leads to extra costs.
For those facing this part of the process for the first time, it may seem like the MVP creation phase is an added expense to eliminate risks if there has been illiterate planning and writing of the terms of reference. Skipping this step to save money will likely result in additional costs when the full version of the digital product is released.
If your development team has little experience developing MVP, our augmented developers can take the development process into their hands.
Benefits of MVP development
Creating a minimally viable product can help you avoid many mistakes you may ignore while being passionate about your product. With MVP, you can get a 360-degree view of your product without a bitter experience. We've outlined the benefits of MVP below:
MVP allows business owners to analyze the demand
When you offer a great product, you think everyone wants it, but you can't be sure until you test it. As a result, you may find that current products in the marketplace meet your potential customer's needs or that your product lacks a competitive edge. In this case, creating an MVP will help you avoid playing the guessing game and investing a lot of money.
MVP makes it easier to get investment
You must convince stakeholders that your startup is worth the investment, and an eloquent pitch is not enough. Because the MVP is an already-released product, investors can evaluate its potential and make an informed decision based on accurate results.
MVP allows business owners to test and improve the product's usability
Hundreds of purchases or downloads do not mean success, especially if users no longer interact with your product. This can be a sign of poor user interface and product usability. You have a great chance to analyze user behaviour and figure out what is causing people to abandon your product. Finally, you'll make any necessary improvements before you invest in further product development.
MVP helps you create a better product
Since a minimally viable product means releasing a product with limited functionality, you can focus on the most important features. By testing it on early users, you will learn what people like about it and what solutions it lacks. People will be happy to help you improve your product.
MVP ensures a quick release
High competition in the market makes business owners spend too much time hesitating and doubting the quality of their products. As a result, they put everything they have into a product they can't be sure of. This often takes years of development and thousands of dollars. At the same time, an MVP shortens this entire journey by a factor of a few. The earlier you launch your product, the sooner you get feedback and can act on it.
With MVP, you'll have your first customers. Attracting your first customer when entering a highly competitive market is hard. MVP makes it easy to do that. People love brands that value their opinions, so your first followers will happily help you. That way, you'll get their honest feedback, and they'll participate in the growth of your business.
MaybeWork experience in MVP development
The MVP creation phase is as important as the Discovery phase to create a successful product to reach its goals. When creating MVP, we recommend using proven frameworks or augmenting your team with experienced developers like those at MaybeWorks, who have been over this path dozens of times and will help you to avoid possible pitfalls.
One of our clients wanted an application from scratch that allows users to create custom VR applications simply. This project was a high-quality alternative to traditional video platforms. Users can upload the media needed, adjust the design to make it unique, send a request for building applications, and measure user activity. MaybeWorks developers have created a comprehensive (for pretty intuitive use) CMS system for this purpose.
The client hired Full Stack developers to deliver MVP in the shortest possible time with the best possible quality. To deliver this project successfully, together with the client, we have chosen the following tech stack: Node.js as the back-end and React for the front-end.
Our developers have done a lot of work. Some of the tasks:
- Video uploading workflow (together with integration with Zencoder)
- Building complex subscription payment gateway (initially Paypal, but have moved to Stripe finally)
- Complex analytics reports (views, sessions, demographics, heatmap)
- Own affiliate program
In this project, our developers sharpened their DevOps skills: they have used both Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services on this project.
It was a pretty long but productive Agile run. Our developers have delivered working increments on a timely basis, and as an outcome, the project is something we can be proud of right now. This is an excellent implementation of an interesting business idea successfully delivered to the market.
Feel free to contact us to discuss your minimal viable product development assistance.