Imagine you have an idea for a new product, but you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to successfully implement that product. So, what do you do? Because bringing a new product in the already congested market is a massive risk in itself and then there are the obvious issues with the investment that you’ll be making.
But, what if you could develop a prototype of the product that you’re aiming for and release it in the market, thereby reducing the substantial risks associated with it? Not only the investment required will be less but you’ll also be able to know how the current market reacts to that product. And that’s the concept that works behind MVP or Minimum Viable Product.
What Do You Mean By MVP Or Minimum Viable Product?
An MVP can be defined as a minimal form or prototype of your final product that you intend to test in the current market scenario. With the help of this development strategy, you’ll (along with your Development Team) be able to invalidate or validate certain assumptions regarding the product and thereby learn how your main audience reacts to the product’s features & functionality.
By using such an approach, you’ll not only be able to get an insider insight into your product’s future but will also be able to allocate your total budget properly, so that the business’ end objectives are met. In a nutshell, you can describe MVP to be a very iterative procedure where you can identify your user pain points and thereby finally determine the product’s proper functionality, by implementing those changes over time.
The development of an MVP follows a strict measure & learn policy, which will help you to release a product that can always be improved over time, as you & your team continue to learn what the users’ needs & requirements are. Such a stance will help you to serve your customers in a better manner.
Why Should You Build An MVP?
The primary goal of implementing the MVP procedure is to strictly develop a product that will provide an instant value to the current market while also minimising the overall investment value. When you start off your project with an MVP, the entire process will help you to learn the feedback provided by the end-user as well as the market that you’re planning to enter.
By releasing an MVP into the market, you’ll be setting the stage for any future iterations of the product, while also outlining the successive steps for further improvements. In some cases, an MVP can be used to showcase an idea’s potentiality to investors and stakeholders, for further investments to be made. It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning to opt for external & internal investors, having an MVP will surely strengthen your stance – ultimately showing the product’s merits and finally securing funding for later stages of development.
How Can You Build An MVP?
1. Perform Your Research
The first step is to have an insight into the problem along with the solution. To perform such a procedure, you need to first define your target customer, your product’s value proposition, user needs, user experience as well as the feature set. You also need to answer questions regarding the products that are already available in the current market (if there are any). This can be divided into two possibilities – the red ocean meaning that the market is crowded with similar products or the blue ocean meaning that the market is emerging with similar products.
Furthermore, some other questions need to be answered and they are as follows:
- What is the problem that you’re trying to solve?
- What kind of users would be interested in your product?
- What are the currently existing solutions to the problems that you’re trying to face?
2. Identification And Prioritization Of Product Feature Set
Once you’ve completed the previous step, it’s time to deal with the features that you’re planning to implement in your product. You have to create your vision regarding the product, by thinking long-term, and thereby discuss different features that will be valuable for the customers.
After you’ve listed out the features that are to be implemented, you have to segregate them into four groups and they are as follows:
- Must-have features
- Should have features
- Could have features
- Won’t have at the time features (or features to be released at a future date)
When you build an MVP, you need to have the feature in your top-priority list, because that’s what defines the product’s core values.
3. The MVP Approach
There are several MVP approaches that you can select from. The main ones are:
- No release of a product, but idea visualization will be provided. The motto is to sell the idea of the product first and then build it later, as per the feedback.
- Perform a product mockup.
- Build an MVP with just one or a few features set.
4. Know Your Success Rate
It’s extremely vital to have a measuring quantity through which you can know whether your MVP has been a success or a failure. This should be answered in advance. Some of the metrics include:
- User feedback
- Total number of active users
- Total number of activations
5. Chalk Out The Story Map
Having a story map is extremely critical because it assists in breaking down the Product Backlog and also further prioritization of features. The story mapping will consist of four different components:
- User stories
The goals will contain your vision regarding the product’s future. The goals can be achieved by performing specific activities. The activities will then be useful for the implementation of features & tasks, which can then be converted into user stories.
The story map will help you to identify all the pains & gains associated with your product.
6. The Launch
Once you’ve completed the above-mentioned steps, you can now finally proceed to launch your MVP.
There’s no denying that the main segment of building a successful MVP is to perform the strategy and analysis in an ideal manner. Moreover, the business vision of your product matters as well because you’re creating a solution to a given problem in the market.
Always remember to keep the user at the forefront of your project and proceed to deliver the best value you can, at every step. If you can do these two basic things – you’ll be able to build a successful MVP.