MVP application - Minimum Viable Product
MVP application - Minimum Viable Product
In today's article, I would like to introduce you to what the MVP application is. Let's start with a simple definition which is an abbreviation. This abbreviation means a product that represents the minimum acceptable value.
I often like to use real examples that are easy to imagine. Let's say dear reader you want an MVP bike. This means that this bike has minimal functionalities that define it as a bike and you will not confuse it with a scooter. Thus, such an MVP bicycle has wheels, a frame, handlebars, a saddle, pedals, and a brake. What will the MVP bike not have? Derailleurs, auxiliary brake, lighting, bell, mirrors, it will not be made of light materials, etc. I hope you understand the main message. But here we come to a very important feature of the MVP product. The product, in our case a bicycle, will be fully functional, i.e. we will not say that it is partially done or non-functional. We can say that it is not very elegant, fashionable or comfortable, but it works, and moves us safely from point A to point B.
What benefits will you get from the MVP application
Okay, I hope now a disturbing thought appeared in your head. Why do I need such a "weak" bike when we have so many beautiful looking bikes on the market with various amenities, and we even have electric bikes that do the main job for us. Often, when we buy something, we try to buy something very good, so that it will serve us for years and thanks to this, we are able to spend more money on such a product. Why shouldn't we do the same with apps?
Products that are mass-produced, such as bicycles, televisions, cars and many more, were invented a long time ago and have been constantly developed and improved since then, undergo millions of tests and receive feedback from customers. Most applications are completely different. The software is very often written for specific market or customer requirements, therefore it is created from scratch and only some modules have been checked and verified by the market. If something has not been tested by customers, there is a very good chance that it will not work. Therefore, investing a lot at the very beginning may not be fully justified. Maybe it's better to do something basic that might give us minimal value and something that we can test in a real scenario.
Can every company achieve the assumptions of the MVP application?
Theoretically, every company can implement the assumptions of the MVP application for you. Unfortunately in practice only companies that fully understand Agile technology can do it. You might ask why? The answer will not be direct and simple. It's like answering the question: Why is one actor great and successful and the other not? In acting, you must have a spark of talent and work very hard and take your life seriously. When translating it into business, the company must be mature, understand the business, know your needs, be able to advise you but not spoil your idea, respect your budget and be focused on the goal. Sounds like a "wet dream" :) Probably that's why it's not that easy to create MVP products.
How the MVP application is created in practice
Now let's move on to practice, i.e. how to build such an application? There can be many paths to the goal, I will use my proprietary approach here, developed over many years working in the Agile system. For this purpose, I will use the following list of individual steps:
- Customer’s needs identification.
- Development of templates or graphic designs (documentation).
- Development of a detailed scope and schedule of works.
- Working in Agile mode.
- Weekly / Fournigh meeting to update the progress, scope and schedule of work.
- Completion of the project.
Let's expand on the individual points of this schedule. In the first phase of working on the application, before we start creating anything, we need to get to know the details of how the software works. We try to understand the deep motivation and the basic goal that the client sets for this application. For our part, we advise on the best approach to the subject, not only from the technical but also business side. At this stage of work, we are not "smoothie" who applaud your idea, we try to criticize it positively so that you can benefit from our experience.
In the second phase, after getting to know the client's needs and the tasks facing the application, we create technical documentation, which, depending on the complexity and project, may take various forms (diagram, description, graphic design). Already at this stage, we are able to detect weaknesses and strengths of the application and react to them quickly.
Then we prepare a schedule in which we describe the main functionalities and deadlines for their implementation. In my experience, documentation and schedule are one of the most important elements of the MVP application development process, right after working in Agile mode.
After these stages, we only start programming. We work in a very flexible way, i.e. every week or at most every 2 weeks we do demo sessions with the client to show him how the application currently works and whether we are going in the right direction. Why is it so important? The main point is to check whether the application has not already achieved its MVP assumption earlier or whether we do not need to adapt it to the changing market. We repeat this stage in cycles until the end of the project.
What's next? Now comes the time to market and verify the application in practice. If the market positively accepts the created application, customers usually come back to us with new functionalities and the application from MVP becomes a real web application.
Pros and cons of the MVP app
Time for an initial summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the MVP application. Please do not treat this as an oracle, but rather as my subjective opinion. Remember also that the features of the application will be assessed differently depending on the requirements of the web application and the business situation.
|Low financial outlay||A longer process of achieving the final effect|
|Testing your idea at low cost||Bigger commitment on the part of the client|
|Getting to know potential customers||A more difficult application development process that must include a lot of flexibility|
|Quick launch of the basic version of the software|
|Early identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the web application|
|Reduced investment risk|
|Potentially quick investment profit|
I hope this article has brought you closer to the concept of the MVP Application. In business, even a small difference at a large scale creates leverage that is able to take your business to the next level. In my opinion, every thoughtful action in the development of the company brings profit very quickly, especially innovation recognized by the use of software for companies in various forms, be it desktop or Internet.
Remember that even a 1% reduction in production or product management costs has an incredibly large impact. In particular, the use of the MVP Application will allow you to minimize costs, research the market, and receive feedback from customers. Is it worth investing in web applications? I'll answer with a quote from Richard Branson: "My philosophy is: if I have any money, I invest it in new ventures, I don't let it sit still."