Minimum Product Development (MVP) Methodology

March 5, 2021

Minimum Product Development (MVP) Methodology

In the “Lean Startup,” Eric Ries lays out an era-defining concept, changing the way many entrepreneurs begin their businesses. It aids entrepreneurs to learn more about their product, gather instant feedback and scrutinise analytics to make key decisions. It assists in building a business in a faster, ‘leaner’ and more efficient way than ever before. The ground-breaking concept? The Minimum Viable Product approach or MVP methodology.

An MVP is synonymous with validated learning about a product, service and customers. It is the epitome of the phrase “What gets measured, gets managed”.

What is an MVP?

As the name suggests, an MVP is an actual physical working version of your product or service. This MVP is then launched with the intention of learning more about your product or service. In doing this, you can gather real-time feedback about your customer’s behaviour. 

In tech, an MVP can be as simple as developing the core functionalities to solve a problem to please early adopters.

At its core, it is the basic model of your product that achieves your primary goal. When building an MVP, startups follow a “Build-Measure-Learn” methodology.

This feedback loop allows entrepreneurs to build and launch a product or service and improve it based on early adopter behaviour. MVPs test assumptions by learning what users actually want.

The MVP Methodology

1. Write Down as Much As You Can About Your Product Or The Service It Offers And Your Customer’s Needs

An MVP forces entrepreneurs to test their assumptions. When starting a business, startups make assumptions all the time. They assume how users will behave and what features they want and will use.

Sharing your idea not only creates accountability amongst your peers but it means your product starts to come to life. Ideas are great, but if they stay on the paper, that’s all they will be – ideas on a page!

Whereas, in reality, they have no idea how customers will use a product until they actually do! Yet, they still need a place to start.

Begin by writing down as much as you can about your product or service. Brainstorm the customer’s needs. Consider any gaps in the market and what the competitors are (or aren’t doing). Take note of any opportunities in the industry and analyse how your product can take advantage of such opportunities. 

2. Share Your Product Idea

Once you have a good understanding of who your ideal customers are and the product you’re going to develop, share your idea!

Sharing your idea not only creates accountability amongst your peers but it means your product starts to come to life. Ideas are great, but if they stay on the paper, that’s all they will be – ideas on a page!

Entrepreneurship is about getting out there and sharing your idea to gather feedback.

You can start by:

  • Doing market research and communicating with potential customers 
  • Pitch the concept at startup events such as startup weekend (like Techstars), 
  • Talk to MVP development services companies
  • Post on forums and social media sites 

Take all feedback – the good and the bad.

We know your MVP is your baby but like most things “the 1st draft is always the worst”. Take feedback from experts, customers, friends and family. Experimenting is what an MVP is all about!

3. Partner with an MVP Development Service

They say it takes an entire village to raise a baby and the same is true for your business.

A business is a sum of its parts and trying to build a business by yourself is going to lead to burnout and lots of crying into your pillow at night.

Surround yourself with experts when starting your business. This allows you to focus on other important things that are essential for growth. 

What You Can Expect When Partnering With an MVP Development Service

1. Industry Analysis 

MVP development services such as StartUp Oasis research existing greatness. We find similar products operating in your industry or niche and find their winning formula.

We do this because these products have already done the hard work for you! They’ve completed their MVP development and iterated their product based on the feedback. This removes many assumptions about your product. It reveals the right path when designing the MVP approach, streamlining the process.

2. Wireframe Your Web/Mobile Apps

Wireframing your website or Mobile apps is essentially mapping out the basic components. It is a crucial part of product development, like an architectural blueprint. Wireframes provide a clear overview of:

  • Page structure
  • Layout
  • Information architecture 
  • User experience 
  • Functionality 
  • Intended behaviours 

Since this is the case, concept, styling, branding, colours and graphics are kept to a minimum. To understand the User Interface better, we can split wireframes into Low Fidelity and High Fidelity. 

Low fidelity concentrates on the most basic form of the product. Often used to map out the shell of the product, they are often static with basic content.

Whereas, high fidelity wireframes show a more polished version of the end product. They are often clickable, responsive and attempt to mimic an authentic interaction.

High fidelity wireframes are often built during the advanced stages of the product design to assist the development team before coding begins.

The Agile process refers to a set of methodologies that enable developers to deliver value faster and with greater quality. Agile methodologies allow developers to respond to feedback quicker, synonymous with MVP design.

3. Write The Technical Specs Together

A technical specification document outlines your technical problem and how you will design and build a solution to it. Think of this like an architect. An architect has a blueprint (the wireframe) and then will discuss how to build the building with a construction company.

  • What resources will you need? 
  • What will your team look like? 
  • What’s the build timeline? 
  • What are your Key Performing Indicators (KPIs)? 
  • What are the communication lines?

Technical specs are beneficial to everyone involved with the product development.  

4. Code Your App

Now we’re in the actual product development phase.

When it comes to coding your app, software developers usually work using an Agile process. This is a valuable concept of MVP development and also the Lean Startup.

The Agile process refers to a set of methodologies that enable developers to deliver value faster and with greater quality. Agile methodologies allow developers to respond to feedback quicker, synonymous with MVP design. 

5. Test With Early Adopters & Iterate

Early adopters are an essential component of any startup business. These are customers that are willing to try products in the initial stages of their development.

Early adopters are often more forgiving when it comes to bugs, service and usability. They are open to giving feedback on products and provide key data to developers in helping them understand how customers respond and use their product. 

This is where Agile/SCRUM  comes in since developers are coding products in response to feedback.

It allows for a product that is tailored to your ideal customer and gives a higher chance of success.

Iteration is a significant step in the MVP methodology. As your product will go from concept to a genuine market player. Developers test product and customer behaviour and improve the product in line with feedback.

Final Thought 

When designing an MVP methodology, it can be easy to neglect other areas of your business, especially as a solopreneur. These key areas include; 

  • Working on your Go To Market strategy, 
  • Reaching out to potential partners 
  • Attracting early adopters through marketing, landing pages, blogs and social media posts. 

Because of this, we recommend working with a development service. They are experts in an entrepreneurship based MVP approach. Using a service allows you to focus on getting customers to test your product when your MVP is marketable.

No man is an island, businesses are built through teams, not individuals. Let the experts help and watch your loveable MVP come to life.

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About the author: Joe Silk -

Joseph is a Start-up Consultant, Copywriter & Business Owner with 9 years of PQE. He is extremely client-centric, able to work on a wide range of topics and deliver high-quality standards on projects of all sizes for clients all over the world. View on Linkedin

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