There’s a classic managerial saying – “What’s the most important part of a car? The one that doesn’t work.” Simple as that. And without an MVP, you won’t even know if it makes sense to start the engine. Fasten your seatbelts and let’s dig into this critical startup topic together!
What is an MVP?
We are sure you’ve heard about it, yes. Let’s focus on the basics for a moment. MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. Think about the “must have” features needed in your product – this is what the “minimum” is here for. You need to resist the urge to add too many features to prevent early users from getting lost. Once they get familiar with the app, once you get feedback on how they feel about the product, you can start adding additional functionalities.
Important remark – minimal doesn’t mean sloppy! Viability is encompassing the effectiveness of attracting the early-adopters user base and the product being marketable.
What do I need an MVP for?
Think of what could go well or wrong while developing an app. Is your head already exploding? Creating a plan that includes all the crucial information sounds reasonable.
And here’s where the MVP comes to the rescue.
It will help you understand what is needed to launch a successful product that provides immediate value to your users. Balancing costs, time and effort, market validation, planning work, getting feedback from early users – it is all there.
Following our guide will help you get through the process of creating an MVP.
Of course, there is an acronym to help you remember the steps. It represents the idea of an MVP to keep it SIMPLE.
1. Start with Market Research
2. Ideate on Value Addition
3. Map out User Flow
4. Prioritize MVP features
5. Launch the MVP
6. Exercise BML – Build, Measure, Learn
Step 1 – Start with Market Research
Thoroughly investigate your potential competitors. Is there a crowd of products like the one you’re planning to launch? If so, how does your idea stand out? If not – why? At this stage be sure to talk to people: your target audience, investors, and stakeholders. Create a complete portrait of all your potential users (personas).
Step 2 – Ideate on Value Addition
Have a look at a couple of questions that surely will help you at this stage. How is it going to fulfill the target users’ needs? Do people actually need it, and how would they use it? What problems is it going to solve? Would they buy it, and how much would they pay?
Step 3 – Map out User Flow
Let’s continue looking at your product from the users’ perspective. What kind of design would make it most convenient and intuitive? Pinpoint all the steps – from opening the app to the final steps: purchase, delivery, booking, etc. Mapping user flow is essential because it ensures you won’t miss anything at later stages. Divide the tasks needed to achieve the final goal into smaller groups. The result of this step is a list of features.
Step 4 – Prioritize MVP features
Let’s think about a holiday apartment booking app as an example – what functions are absolutely essential at the first stage? Choosing an apartment, successful booking, and processing payments. And what could be added later? Sharing the payment with friends, adding reviews, etc.
Now divide the features from Step 3 into the essentials, the nice-to-haves, and the add-ons. This brings us back to the “Minimum” from MVP – identifying the core functionalities of your product.
Step 5 – Launch the MVP
“The main reason why products fail is that they don’t meet customers’ needs in a way that is better than other alternatives.” – Dan Olsen, The Lean Product Playbook
The ultimate goal is to provide an easy-to-use, well-designed, quality solution. The core functionalities have to solve a problem/need, which you defined in Step 2.
Step 6 – Exercise BML (Build, Measure, Learn)
Finalizing an MVP can sometimes be tricky. Ensure there’s a project management structure in place and that everyone in your team knows their scope of responsibilities. Have a launch plan that includes time for quality assurance. Think what metrics need tracking, and what tools will you use to gather feedback from users. Their opinion is essential to determine a successful direction of future product development.
Let’s get cracking!
MVP is there to help you iterate the main product. Your future business will benefit from it in many ways – shortening the learning time, quickly delivering value to early users, and saving money by developing the essentials only.
And our Bunch is here to help. Developing IT products is not only our bread and butter, but also passion. Building an MVP is a part of our one-stop-shop package, the Start-Up Kit. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you become the next unicorn!