Why is MVP Important for Software Development Projects?

The Definition of MVP

What does “MVP” mean in software development? “MVP” is an acronym that stands for “Minimum Viable Product.” MVP is a common practice in today’s IT industry. This type of development is especially useful in the planning phase of an entrepreneur’s project or startup.

The main purpose of a MVP is to launch a product quickly, based on your idea, and with a small budget. With the help of an MVP, one can find the right audience; pull the ideas based on experience, and save time.

The formal definition of Minimum Viable Product as outlined by Agile Alliance is “A minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

MVP in Software Development Projects

If you are trying to understand how to identify a MVP in Software Development Project, just think on a product that has the smallest set of features that delivers customer value. In the IT Industry, it could be a new product, website, application with enough features to satisfy early adopters.

When we are working with a MVP it is important to collect feedback from the initial users so we can have a better understanding of user’s expectations, and with that information we can build better features that meet the user’s needs.

Advantages of Using MVP

  • Acquire a potential client base and find the product’s early adopters.
  • Check whether the project is appealing to potential users.
  • Attract investors earlier.
  • Save time and money on product development by avoiding expensive market research.
  • Early testing opportunity.
  • User intelligence and gathering feedback.
  • Budget-friendly.

Successful Products Begin With MVP

There are many examples of apps and sites that started as MVPs. For Example: Foursquare, Facebook, Snapchat, Spotify, Airbnb, Dropbox and many other popular products were developed as MVPs first.

Another great example is Instagram, initially, the MVP was focused on photo filters only. Users could take pictures, apply one of the suggested filters, and save them in an album on their device. Users liked the application and it has since been updated to include videos, geolocation, tagging other users, adding hashtags, and integrating with other social networks.

Getting Started With Creating a Minimum Viable Product

Start creating an initial Concept

This is a starting point for discussions and offers clear visual points of reference.

Initial Idea Approval

This allows for sharing the model with a few prospects to better understand issues you may face with the new product or innovation you will create.

Begin Your Journey

Now that you have put in the time to improve your software idea. It is time to begin.

Steps to Developing an Effective MVP

1. Marketing Research and Analysis

It is important to check if your idea fits the needs of the market. Before you initiate an idea, you need to check if it fulfills the needs of your target user. A good place to start is by conducting surveys. These surveys will provide you with the information you need to increase your chances of success.

2. Share/Express Your Idea

You need to understand what your product offers it’s users, and what benefits they will gain from its use. It is also important to consider if you think users would be willing to pay for the product. You should also be clear about the essential estimations of your product. The purpose of an MVP is to provide value to your user. By understanding your user and market, you can outline where you can bring value, and from there develop your MVP.

3. Design Process and User Flow

You should design the app in a way that is most convenient for the user. Always keep the user’s perspective in mind when designing all functionality, from the moment they open the app until the moment they complete their task.

4. List All Project Features

Before doing anything else, you should list all of the features you want to incorporate into your product. When you have the list of features for each stage of your applications, you should then prioritize them based on what is most important to the user.

Next, categorize all of the features based on priority: high-priority, medium-priority, and low priority. When all of the features have been organized, you can now define their scope for the first version of the product, and move on to build an MVP.

5. Build Your MVP

Keep in mind that a prototype is not lower quality than a final product, and still needs to fulfill your customer’s needs. Therefore, it must be easy to use, engaging, and suitable for your users.

The DO’s and Dont’s of MVP Development

DO:

  • Get into the market as soon as possible.
  • Be oriented towards a large market.
  • Try to keep in mind a monetization model.
  • Monitor and apply user behavior.
  • Study competitors that offer the same product/service.

DON’T:

  • Delay market entry by trying to add too many features.
  • Add unnecessary functionality.
  • Forget about the product’s overall viability.

MVP Means Balancing Minimal Design With Maximum Value

It is important to understand that MVP product development means that we are finding the right balance between minimal design, and maximum value.

Focusing too much on radical minimalism when creating a Minimum Viable Product may result in a product that is unsuitable for accurate market demand research. It may even do damage to a brand’s image if the MVP version does not offer users an overall impression of the product.

A good recommendation when starting MVP development is by initially adding the essential functions for the project. Additional required functionality can present itself during the testing process and from user feedback. With those new changes/functionality, you can make sure that the product will match what users want or expect.

Pulling it All Together

A Minimum Viable Product aims to solve users core problems, by identifying their pain points, and then focusing on delivering a viable solution. The optimum way to build a MVP is to use a manual-based approach, with landing pages, and email lists. All you need is brainstorming, planning, designing and developing, testing, and advertising, for the product within a specified period. The will result in maximizing your project’s value to potential customers. Most importantly, remember never hesitate to ask for and listen to your users want/needs, because at the end of the day you are building a product for their benefit.

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