In recent times, the importance of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) has increased rapidly because it is all about continuous improvement and consistent growth of a software product. The current situation has led businesses to institute several budget cuts in several departments. In such testing times, MVP is a proven strategy and the best way to launch a new product. It is universally adopted not only by the start-ups but also by the well-established companies.
So, let’s explore why MVP is IMP.
What is MVP?
To define MVP in a simple form, one can say, that it is similar to the POC (Proof of Concept) or smaller version of the product with limited features. MVP is created and specifically designed to check and test its reception of target audience and market performance before adding the more cost and time-intensive elements.
How is MVP different from the prototype?
It is a bit indistinct to differentiate between MVP and prototype since it is wholly dependent on the background in which these terminologies are used. Generally speaking, MVP is a functional prototype built to understand its prospects based on the reaction of its audience.
However, a prototype can be termed as a version of MVP which is a non-interactive presentation of how an idea can be perceived in a particular configuration to the customer (examples, sketches, wireframe or clickable prototype).
To succeed, it is all about balancing between “minimum” and “viable” to ensure you build a product that will be used by people. Here’s an example.
Problem statement of your users: To find a commercial space for a software company with the strength of 150+ employees
Minimum: User wishes to find a reasonable and affordable commercial property for his office on rent and ability to interact with a property dealer.
Viable: User-friendly and fast website or web application developed with a scalable language like Python with essential features like search, user profile, notifications, messaging and others.
Minimum + Viable: Offer list collected manually from 3rd party real-estate aggregator website that includes pictures, descriptions, reviews and contacts related to the different properties.
MVP drives product vision in the right direction
MVP is considered as the most crucial and significant stage in the whole development process. Companies often have forecasted goals and conditional expectations with their project. However, all this remains theory with reference to similar competitive products until it gets transparent and solidified with real data and, this is the point MVP gets into the picture.
MVP allows performing a full-scale test of the product in its most basic version in the actual market scenarios. It will enable to try, experiment and understand product’s engagement with the target audience. Also, it helps in measuring user interaction with particular attention to ultimate needs and demands.
Mainly, MVP provides clear indications about the product regarding what is working and what is not working, what can be taken out and what can be added, most important of all - what can be improved.
In specific ways, MVP sets a direction to product development and ultimately, it elucidates product vision.
Test your idea in the early stages to ensure its viability
MVP helps in entering into the real market in quick time so that you can field-test your ideas, research data and user reactions to the overall product concept in practice.
Time-to-market is minimum
It is quite evident that the audience gives their attention to the product that has entered first into the market. It does not matter whether your product provides a solution to the unsolved problem or your product has an innovative solution to the already solved one, the sooner you bring your product to the user- the better. It is because several similar ideas are ready to get in to take your place anytime. MVP development takes only a few months to roll out your product faster which ultimately increases its chances to succeed.
Cost-effectiveness is one of the most significant benefits of MVP. Developing the initial versions of your product with specific and selected functions makes it easy and safe endeavour in respect of cost. Also, by lowering your investments in the beginning, you can keep a space for some manoeuvring in the future.
Fasten the learning curve of your team
When you release the first version of your MVP, you get to learn about the experiences of real users. And you cannot achieve such lessons with internal testing or research exercises. Hence, placing your product in the market in its MVP version gives your team opportunities to get in-depth learning of your product and utilize the feedback received by the users in improving and enhancing the upcoming releases of the product.
The nature of MVP is suitable to the iterative processes than linear ones. It provides your team with a platform to learn and adopt iterative development processes like Agile, which can add more value to your product during its development.
MVP builds a solid foundation for your product by,
- Creating early buzz and establishing it
- Understanding and analysing the potential customers better
- Embracing user’s feedback
- Allowing more time to plan an effective product strategy
- Getting the attention of investors
- Coping up with the competition
- Finding loyal users
A brief example of planning your MVP;
It does not matter what business you are in; MVP development is the wisest and safest way to build and launch a new product. With MVP, companies can significantly lower down the challenges and risks in investing in the wrong idea or going out of budget.