A minimum viable product (MVP) typically refers to a digital product/software, although it applies to real-world products as well. A minimum viable product refers to software with only the bare essentials included as features, which is then sent over as a tester to the public to figure out the improvements that can be made to the core concept. Steam Early Access and crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo can be labelled as examples of MVP (in fact, Google and Dropbox started initially through this practice). Minimum viable product development can seem somewhat tricky, especially for a business which is trying to implement this system for the first time. The following steps are involved in MVP development:
Form a software with only the bare essentials: The ‘minimum’ aspect of an MVP should be taken quite seriously. For software to succeed in the market, the general reception to its core components should be positive before the company proceeds to build on this concept. If a firm fails to follow its first step and decides to add a host of other features to this public prototype, then it will be harder to point out precisely what is wrong with the software.
Take the customer feedback your MVP receives into account: By sending an MVP to a target group, a company can receive feedback regarding various aspects of the product, including suggestions on how it can be improved and used in different avenues as well. This is one of the significant positives of MVP – the company can find out if a product’s core features can be used more efficiently in other avenues, and then shift the production to accommodate that particular avenue(s) without much hassle. This would be more difficult and highly expensive if this feedback were received on an almost-finished piece of software.
Optimize your product and development process: Using a minimum viable product is a great way to experiment with different features and testing it with the company’s core market. By doing this, regular errors can be omitted from the development process, and certain steps can be taken to optimise future products. In this way, a company can figure out ways to add to the experience they’re crafting for their customers.
Here are the various ways in which MVP development can help benefit startups:
Quickens the development process: Programming and coding a considerable chunk of software is an incredibly taxing task that is easier said than done. Certain things need to be kept in mind while developing this software, and the smallest mistake can lead to massive problems that can be hard to point out as well. However, through MVP development, this process can get more comfortable and faster, since the particular section of software that you’re coding is not that large, and the gruelling process trying to detect any errors (if any) becomes easier since only a small section of the software is coded and released.
Incorporating customer feedback into the company’s product: The concept of MVP development involves the release of small chunks of software to a selective group of people in your target demographic, who can test and provide valuable feedback on your product when it comes to the various positives and negatives of the product they’ve been offered. This is extremely useful, since – in the end – it’s the usability of the software that counts, and utilising minimum viable product development helps when it comes to this particular aspect.
Helps in forming the basics and choosing the best way to optimise the end product: There are a ton of things that one needs to account for while developing software, but the one thing that should be appropriately designed is the foundation itself. If this base itself is shaky, then the entire structure will imminently collapse. To ensure that the basics of this software are relatively solid, the system of MVP development can help ensure that there’s nothing wrong with the basic software itself.
So, it’s obvious that a minimum viable product will prove to be incredibly helpful when it comes to augmenting the processes of any company. This is especially required in the case of a start-up since its growth can only be facilitated if the business minimises their errors when it comes to the development and delivery of products.