MVP Software Development: The Ultimate Guide

January 21, 2022

mvp software development

When developing product software, you’ll need to test your product to find out what your customers want, and this is where the MVP methodology comes in. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is critical in the software development process. It allows you to preview and test the first version of your product before releasing the final version with all of its features.

The process of creating an MVP can be intimidating. You want to make the most of your time and money when it comes to MVP development, but how do you know if it’s worth it? The next step in your product strategy is what MVP development is all about.

actual product

The term “MVP” means “minimum viable product.” MVPs are frequently used when a corporation wants to test its business idea before investing in more expensive projects like developing an app or building a website. This method allows companies to use the early testing opportunity for new ideas without investing much in them upfront.

It also means spending less time on fewer features because more significant segments of customers may provide more input faster than MVPs with a smaller number of customers. MVP development is an iterative process that evaluates early adopter feedback and adapts the MVP to fit their current and future demands.

What’s MVP Development?

When designing customer-oriented software, you must first determine what the end customers require. In this sense, you’ll need to test your project to ensure you have the necessary information and understanding of your customer’s needs, which is where MVP comes in. A beta or test version of your product or service is an MVP.

The term MVP (Minimum Viable Product) comes from the Lean Startup approach, which attempts to cut waste, improve business processes, and make startups smarter rather than harder. MVP is an excellent example of this methodology because it helps to reduce product launch costs and save time while learning and optimizing the product during development.

When you create an MVP, you can better understand the balance between the company’s offer and your customers’ needs. This can help you avoid errors and optimize your ideas during the development process through multiple testing cycles. When creating an MVP, you should usually concentrate on the core features. These are the sufficient features that solve your customer’s fundamental problem.

Main Benefits Of An MVP

The process of creating an MVP provides numerous benefits to businesses engaged in software and application development. You can face a more significant initial investment in software development and a higher risk when putting your product into the market if you don’t produce an MVP.

MVP serves as a test run for your software idea, allowing you to see it in action and make the required changes to make it more appealing and valuable to the user. It will be considerably more challenging to adjust your software in the future if you launch it with a lot of functionality.

validated learning

Due to the step-by-step development, the cost of developing an MVP is much lower than the cost of developing a final version. Additionally, as your software generates revenue, you can reinvest it to create new features.

Finally, creating an MVP can help you attract investors. You’ll have a better chance of attracting funding and attention from VCs or business investors if you have a working product.

Short Time-To-Market Period

Customers are becoming increasingly demanding as the number of value propositions on the market grows. To make a final decision, end-users compare identical items and highlight even the micro benefits they can obtain.

Creating an MVP can help you attract investors. You’ll have a better chance of attracting funding and attention from VCs or business investors if you have a working product.

In this approach, a rapid time-to-market timeframe is critical for companies to become the #1 product for customers. The more you wait, the more skilled your rivals get. As a result, an MVP strategy is an excellent way to test the market with a limited version of your product, get feedback, and grow your solution.

There’s no need to spend a lot of time and money on a full-featured product that will take 6-12 months to develop. Instead, create a minimal viable product, show it to early adopters, and move on.

Product-Market Fit Identification Before Launch

As previously said, many firms fail after their initial launch because their product fails to meet the end-user immediate demands and concerns. The fundamental blunder here is determining whether your solution has a market after its launch.

Here’s where an MVP method comes in, which allows you to create a product with just enough MVP functionality to deliver genuine value to clients. You may save a lot of time money and validate your product idea before launching it by getting important input from early customers.

minimum viable products

End-user comments, notes, and preferences help you answer the following fundamental question:

  • What should be improved, added, or removed to make it even more valuable for potential customers?

As a result, developing a startup MVP is a beautiful approach to evaluate whether your new product idea makes sense to your target audience and is worth refining.

Effective Acquisition of Investors

According to the Forbes report, most investors prioritize products with a high level of consumer interest. When you have figures to demonstrate that your solution is technical, your chances of pitching your idea to investors improve.

agile development cycles

The Minimum Viable Product method can help you improve the speed and quality of your investor communication. You acquire market insights represented by numbers if you design a product with enough features to be valuable to customers.

Potential investors will be able to see the true worth of your product concept in the eyes of early users, and your startup will be given more attention from stakeholders.

Ultimate Guide to MVP development

Before deciding whether MVP is the best approach for your product, do some in-depth research and evaluate what MVP possibilities you should consider when establishing a new software project or product.

Provided your MVP will fit into one of four main categories

1. Lean MVP 

This MVP focuses on the bare minimum of functionality that will allow a user or customer to experience a portion of the company’s main value proposition. It may not have a lot of bells and whistles, but it has enough substance to provide user feedback on which features customers appreciate the most.

software engineering

This development technique usually entails an iterative development process, with each iteration adding more functionality while also bringing the solution closer to perfection.

2. Market Validation MVP (Minimum Viable Product) 

This strategy tests assumptions in beta form before releasing the MVP product to the public. This MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is more of a marketing tool, as you’re attempting to figure out what your target market will like before spending money on development and production for a complete release.

3. Prototyping MVP 

An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is often created using this method by creating a prototype that can be used to test critical assumptions about the viability of your idea or concept without having to invest time or money in fully developing it.

MVP concept

It may only take a few hours or days rather than weeks or months, and it can reveal whether an opportunity is worth pursuing with additional design, coding, and other resources.

4. Utility MVP 

This MVP may be the most basic of all MVPs, yet it can also have a wide range of functions. It’s designed for quick feedback rather than market validation. These MVPs are frequently used as testbeds for new features and ideas that do not yet require public releases, such as internal beta testing, alpha, or early adopter releases, to validate assumptions.

Finding Early Adopters

Getting your idea out there and recruiting early adopters is the next phase in MVP development. This will help you focus on what users want from your app, which may change over time as they use it more, and provide feedback on the MVP throughout this iteration stage.

Keeping updating during the MVP (minimum viable product) development process is critical because people will abandon your project if you don’t meet their needs.

next development cycle

The MVP development process proceeds into a refining stage once you’ve determined who is interested totally in your new MVP app to test it with you. This is when feedback is gathered, and their experience is tested.

Choosing a Technical Partner/Outsourcing Strategy

After you’ve decided on the type of MVP and your target audience, the next step is to plan out your outsourcing approach.

  • Outsource MVP development company
  • Partial outsourcing of technical resources
  • Hire Internally

Building your MVP software

1. Market Research

To avoid huge money and time losses, you must conduct market research to determine market demand and rivals regardless of how original or exciting your idea is. Before moving on to the product development stage, familiarize yourself with your target market.

Before you even start building an MVP, market research may help you figure out who your target consumers are, what makes your concept unique and viable, what problems it might solve, and how to make your product fit their needs.

minimum marketable product

Keep in mind that the key to creating a successful MVP is demonstrating your product’s value to your target audience. As a result, it’s critical to consider how the user will benefit and how you’ll convey value to them throughout market research.

2. Goal and Primary User Identification

Defining clear and specific metrics to assess the launch’s performance is essential.

If you’re working on an application, you can track:

  • The total amount of downloads over a given period
  • The number of downloads in total
  • Score on the review and feedback
  • The number of time users spends using the app
  • Anything else that will assist you in determining whether your MVP meets your customer’s needs or needs to be tweaked

Facts and figures can help you see things from a different perspective and define clear goals and what success looks like.

3. Choosing Features That Are Most Important For The User

It’s time to decide what your product will look like once you’ve figured out what value you’re providing to users, what your business goals are, and how you’ll integrate the two. Consider yourself as the end user: mapping customer journeys provides you with data based on user behavior and assists you in identifying the steps that will address the user’s problem.

Customer journeys are a visual representation of their interaction with your product. User journeys also comprise the user’s ideas, feelings, and decisions that lead to action. Remember to consider what your users think and feel as they use your product, significantly impacting their decision-making process.

maximum amount

You may also utilize this data to direct customers from one aspect of the product to another. Answer the questions that identify users and their personalities, the decision-making process, the final goal, and a set of actions that users must do to achieve this goal to understand your user’s journey.

Focus on the type of potential consumer to whom you can immediately deliver the most significant value if you have numerous types defined. When analyzing the results will save you time. It would help decide which features will be included in the MVP and not this development process. As the core of your product, concentrate on a smaller amount that offers the most value to the user.

4. Develop the MVP

Now that you’ve gathered all of the required data, it’s time to create an MVP. Because the prototype reflects the final product you want to produce, it must be user-friendly and engaging. It cannot, under any circumstances, fall short of quality standards.

product's initial users

Concentrate on the key elements that will get the solution to users as quickly as feasible. Following the publication of your prototype, you can decide which feature will be prioritized for development in the final version of the product.

5. Receiving Feedback and Analyzing Results

The most crucial MVP software development process component is measuring the results. This is the actual test of your product’s feasibility, and it will define the ultimate product’s development path. Pay close attention to what the users have to say.

Even if you can’t please every customer on the market, user feedback can give you a good idea of improving the features. Modifying and modifying your product is an inevitable aspect of the development process, and you must be prepared to adapt your product to market demands.

Before producing the final product, you may need to run tests with adjustments multiple times. Although adjusting and optimizing the MVP for tests may appear to be an unnecessary step, it allows you to tailor the product to the specific needs of your customers, which can lead to higher engagement and profit when the final version is released.

Even if you can’t please every customer on the market, user feedback can give you a good idea of improving the features.

MVP gained popularity

After the release, the first thing you should do is collect feedback and analyze data. If the MVP failed to satisfy the success criteria you set and the KPIs showed poor performance, you’ll need to tweak and improve your design. The users’ responses will determine the following phases.

Don’t be disappointed by the poor results; this is precisely why you started with MVP in the first place: to observe the product in action before releasing it to the market and to fine-tune it to the client’s requirements.

When creating an MVP, it’s common to need numerous rounds of adjustments to fine-tune your product. When you rework things, you can avoid the cost of redoing the entire software if you’ve launched it without the test product and time that goes into it. So get down to business and fine-tune it to perfection.

What Technology Stack Should You Use For an MVP?

Based on which technology stack will best suit your MVP, your product team or technical partner may best answer this issue. Specific MVPs may demand rudimentary programming skills, while others may be more sophisticated.

In general, lean MVPs use an HTML/CSS framework that requires little coding or an open-source platform like WordPress that allows users to customize the site to meet their needs. Because they can provide valuable feedback from beta users without requiring any custom changes before release, market validation MVPs frequently use Java, Python, or Ruby programming languages.

Cost of Developing an MVP

Again, your technical partner will need to calculate the cost based on the development, the size of the development team (both in terms of time and money), and other factors. MVPs are generally faster to construct than full-fledged products.

Still, they may be more expensive because they require more upfront commitment from the developer, typically before any users or customers have been reached.

customer value

Other elements that influence the total cost of an MVP include:

  • What kind of application do you intend to create? Is it better to use the web, mobile, or both? Which platforms are you using? App Store for iOS; Google Play for Android; Windows Store; Chrome web browser with HTML5 features enabled by default or as a plug-in (Opera 12).
  • The number of features and their intricacy
  • The design’s uniqueness and complexity
  • Integrations with third-party systems: the number and complexity (e.g., ERP, accounting software, DMS; one-way or two-way integration)
  • MVP requirements for performance, availability, security, latent capacity, and scalability
  • Maintaining existing data during migration (for custom enterprise software MVP)
  • In the case of outsourced development, the location of the MVP development team (US, Europe, Asia) is important

Also, it is entirely dependent on how large you want your MVP software development team to be. Here’s a rough cost breakdown based on the type of MVP you wish to create.

Final Word: How An MVP Software Application Helps Develop Your Startup

Making a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has shown to be a valuable stage in the software development process over and over. It allows companies to test the product before going all-in and investing in concepts that may not be viable or require changes to meet market demands.

testing process

MVP lays the groundwork for data-driven business decisions and can even entice investors. MVP development is a crucial component of the product development cycle process when testing a new idea before investing.

It’s perfect for companies considering how they can utilize technology to increase client engagement or those who aren’t sure there is enough demand for their product.

About the author: Joe Silk -

Joseph is a freelance writer who focuses on sharing our Startup Oasis team's abundant knowledge with the rest of the world. Our team has no secret for anything to do with Startups, SaaS software firms, technology, Web and mobile apps, IoT, UI/UX Design. View on Linkedin