Getting Lean and Mean: how to create a MVP in 2018?

This is Part two of our  Ship it fast, make it last series  that share  ideas and know-how for building  quality digital products

The lean Start-up method was introduced in 2008 by Eric Ries(published in a book in 2011). Since then it brought thought the revolution in the corporate and Start-up world alike. The Minimal Viable Product(MVP) concept lies at its heart.  The idea is to start with seeking the answer of the question” Should this product be built?” and validate your idea right from the start rather than focusing time and resources on “How to build this product?”

Ten years later, the term has turned into hype and is one of the most abused ones in the software and product development field.

Where to start?

We all have had complicated app ideas and having no idea where to start or even how to scratch the surface. Experts suggest that you should approach product development as a continuous effort. Start only with the essentials and must-have at the beginning that would form the core. It is important that the core could be extended later with layer after layer of functionality. It doesn’t mean that those features are not useful in the beginning but they would not contribute to the main goal of your MVP: getting the app to prospective users and getting some feedback. Remember MVP is all about learning and testing if there is product-market fit.

The second most important part is creating a feedback loop.  Is there sufficient interest in your idea? Were your assumptions confirmed or rejected?  If negative think about changing some things in your idea and trying again until you get positive results.

Going beyond the MVP

You have your first user and generally, have received positive feedback? Great!  What ’s next?  Enter the Minimal Marketable Product(MMP). MMP is a result of several iterations of the MVP.   The important difference is it could be marketed and sold and is generally perceived as the official release.  MMP is still not the complete product and has a few select features targeted at early adopters that would make them use and eventually pay for the product. The MMP stage is the stage where you should create product backlog and road map. The backlog should enlist all the features, planned and broken down into chunks called user stories that could be easily prioritized.  You should also start thinking about scalability, reliability and performance.  А slow and crashing app would lose more users than great marketing could compensate for!

MVP for corporations

Initially,  the MVP and lean Start-up methodologies were reserved ground for Start-ups only. Recently big companies, however, have seen the potential benefits and are quickly joining the fray. Gartner estimates by 2021, more than 50% of established corporations will be leveraging lean Start-up techniques at the business level to increase the pace and success of business transformation.( . That may sound easier on paper than done.  Lengthy corporate processes, fear of reputation risk could stop any innovation idea early in its tracks.  Nevertheless, you should approach the MVP creation with a garage Start-up mindset.  You should spend time recruiting an internal team with the right mindset and skills for the job. If not available, you could turn to external consultants and companies that could provide the technical services without being hampered by internal politics.

By following the Lean-methodology for launching a new web or mobile app, you could significantly cut the time to market and initial costs. This, in turn, would increase your chances for success several-fold.

Are you planning for building a new digital product? Contact our team for consultation