How Smartym Pro uses MVP approach to deliver more benefits
In case you are thinking about the best way to introduce your startup idea to the market with minimum risks and costs, then the Minimal Viable Product approach might be the solution you are looking for.
MVP approach is used to track demand of a new product idea and can be applied to
- Features development.
Let’s dive into the details of this approach.
What is a Minimal Viable Product? The MVP’s roots lie in the Lean Start up development philosophy, that allows product owners to launch their products faster than competitive products do and make smart amendments considering the end users’ feedback.
Agile Alliance defines what is MVP in software development as “the smallest set of features or requirements to deliver value to stakeholders and satisfy early adopters in the shortest time possible. It focuses on core features sufficient to deploy and deliver stakeholder value and no more.” (Agile Extension to the BABOKv2 ® Guide, p.69 – International Institute of BusinessAnalysis and Agile Alliance, CN, 2017).
Here, the “smallest” states for only initial functionality to be implemented. It’s important to point out that the “smallest” doesn’t necessarily mean the “simplest”, since different products need different implementation and features can differ in complexity completely.
“Value” means that implemented functionality doesn’t only solve the problem the product is aimed at, but goes deeper. The product has to demonstrate a new idea to the world and the value of this idea can be judged by the product’s users. When stakeholders bring new functionality with their product, as the first users appear we can track if the product is used as it is intended to be used, if users are satisfied with the user flows and if they prefer this particular product to other similar products on the market.
Before the launch
MVP development process is focused on business idea’s viability assessment. Which means that firstly we have to determine the problem the product needs to solve and thus bring some value in the future. We work together with the client on the problem-solving via creating a Vision and Scope document. After all the business requirements are described, we work on the user requirements and add visual elements (wireframes, design sketches) to the product’s description. In case the solution we suggest satisfies all the stakeholders, we move further.
Basically the product can have only one killer feature and some supporting features and satisfy its users completely (ex.: AirBnb, Dropbox, Uber, Snapchat etc). We help clients discover and define the initial scope of features necessary to deliver the MVP. This scope is usually based on the target audience, the hypotheses to test, and the mechanism to measure learnings. There must be enough functionality to confirm the hypotheses and at the same time not too many features in order to release the solution in the shortest time possible. Widely-known techniques of prioritization (MoScoW, ranking, and the others) are applied to the scope of tasks on this stage.
After the scope is shaped, we can proceed with a detailed product design and product development. This process takes about 2 months to build an MVP and prepare it for the production release. Depending on the chosen software development methodology, the MVP development company can include change requests and make amendments during the first development stage or fix the scope and postpone any amendments to further iterations.
When the slick MVP is released, actual use case scenarios can be tested to receive feedback later. But direct users’ feedback is not always the panacea to determining the quality level of the product. That’s why we use analytics tools to get relevant data in real-time and not rely on market research anymore. We get and analyse the usage results via such proven tools as Firebase Analytics, AppsFlyer, Facebook, Flurry, etc.
The idea of MVP fits Agile methodology the best. These 2 can be combined in a great composition: if the product hits the markets, we help the client improve it iteratively. Our clients get their products updated every 2-4 weeks, test new features with end users and get feedback, and we make analysis on what is good and what is not in the current version of the product. Consequently, we can adjust the product based on real user experience — and do it quickly.
Time & Money savings
The development of a full solution can take months and the product can be not accepted by the end users. As a result, the product owner faces losses and gets no real profit from the product as the users simply don’t want it.
With an MVP, business risks are reduced. The development time is minimized (in case you are wondering how long should it take to build an MVP – a full cycle can take only 3 months), and earlier releases help to concentrate efforts to bring a better user experience reasoned by real statistics.
Generally, MVP-method (as well as the Lean startup approach) allows to get the following benefits:
- Invest only necessary amount of time to provide input data for developers;
- Release faster than competitor apps;
- Receive feedback faster;
- Apply changes to the product development faster compared to classical techniques.
As you can see from above, the MVP method is more about speed than cost, though these 2 definitions are tightly connected and depend one from another.
By the way, MVP development service is one of the main Smartym Pro’s activities. We have been providing MVP development for startups and businesses since 2012. If you want to learn more about MVP – we suggest you visit our MVP page and take a closer look at our MVP expertise.