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What is MVP (minimum viable product) in Agile?

Inez Bartosińska
What is MVP (minimum viable product) in Agile?

You got a brilliant idea for a new product. At least, you think you do. You may ask yourself, ‘will customers like it as much as I do?’. If you aren’t sure whether your product is likely to succeed (or even if you are), and let’s be honest – nobody ever is, implementing the MVP agile methodology is what will help you figure it all out.

According to Startup Genome Report, 70% of startups don’t succeed because of premature scaling. On the other hand, those who scale properly grow 20 times faster than the competitors. As BinarApps began as a startup, having real-life experience, we will guide you through the MVP and Agile technique and explain how it can prevent you from failure. 

What does the MVP stand for?

MVP abbreviation stands for Minimum Viable Product. Popularised by Eric Ries and defined as “that version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort,” the MVP process is an essential part of Agile methodology software development. 

What is the goal of an MVP?

MVP in Agile meaning refers to a product in its early version. It is consistent only with the core features that respond to a defined problem. Thus, the goal of an MVP is to verify if your offering will bring value even for early adopters. By dividing a project into smaller pieces called iterations, your team can easily update the product according to the customers’ needs. As a result, software development becomes swift and responsive to current market trends.

What is the MVP approach?

The Minimum Viable Product in Agile methodology is a great approach. It will let you deliver sufficient customer value with minimal effort. Design a product with only core features that respond to one, most important problem in the market. You will be able to launch your offering quickly and gather feedback from your early adopters. Thus, thanks to an MVP approach, you can improve your product and satisfy future users.

What is MVP in user story?

In the safe Agile MVP process, it is crucial to design your product with customers in mind. 

To make sure they will use your offering, you have to make sure they will need it. An excellent way to guarantee your users a pleasurable first experience with the initial version of your app is by defining user stories. It is a technique based on creating real-life scenarios where you and your team can imagine the role, requirements, and reasons for using the product. User stories can have a form of short descriptions; they should be simple and often revised.

What does Product MVP mean?

Having explained what MVP is in theory, let’s see some real-life examples of what such a product can be. The founders of Airbnb, a popular rental service, used their loft to verify whether there is a need in the market for a peer-to-peer apartment rental online. They created a simple site, uploaded photos, described the place, and found clients willing to pay for it almost immediately. According to 2021 statistics, now Airbnb is a worldwide service with 3 100 permanent employees and 150 million users. 

Safeway is an innovative system protecting drivers from stealing, assault, and stowaway passengers created by Sternkraft. When they approached BinarApps, the project was still in the early stages of development. We managed to implement prioritization techniques and define MVP in a series of workshops during which we considered possible scenarios, routes, sensors obtained data and system reactions. We set milestones for the next four months, and by working in 2-weeks long sprints, we managed to adjust changes in the hardware. As a result, we could quickly prepare the demo of the product for potential investors.

Where on the project road map is MVP in agile management? 

The whole product usually requires months of development to be completed. Creating a minimum viable product is your starting point in MVP agile product management. This development strategy is an iterative process. It will allow your team to verify product assumptions and see how users respond to the core functionality of your app at an early stage of the development process. As it is a build-measure-learn technique, MVP is something to begin with and indicate further steps on the project road map. 

How to prioritize features for MVP?

We already told you that while building a minimum viable product, you should include only core features. But what are those? How do you choose them? 

To prioritize which functions are essential in your MVP, verify the most critical and basic needs in the current market. Concentrate on a specific problem and see if there is a simple resolution that you could provide quickly. 

If you still doubt which features are ‘must-haves,’ ask yourself a few user-focused questions. Why will users need my product? How, when, and where will they use it? What is their motivation? 

Defining already mentioned user stories or creating a prioritisation matrix may be helpful too.

Why is MVP a good choice for agile software development?

Agile software development is an approach to software development that focuses on the iterative building process, where the main goal is to discover requirements and provide solutions. Ideally, those solutions should evolve through the collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams that work on the project.

Agile Minimal Viable Product is an excellent method to improve agile software development. It helps to streamline the communication between the customer and product developer as well as facilitates product design. MVP approach is focused on continual planning and learning rather than delivering the full product once near the deadline. Thus, by implementing it, you can better satisfy the client and prosper in the market.

There are multiple benefits of MVP and agile methods of development. Let’s see what some of the advantages are.

Benefits of starting with MVPs in the agile approach

Below we present you a list of some compelling reasons to develop a minimum viable product in agile software development.  

  • Saving time

Instead of developing a whole new product and discovering after many months of hard work that it doesn’t meet your customers’ expectations, build MVP. It will let you release the product to the market even in a few weeks and test directly with your end users what features they value. 

  • Reducing costs

The MVP approach enables you to create a product with only ‘must have’ features resolving a specific problem. You can wait with all ‘nice to haves’ until you make sure that they are audience-relevant. Thus, you can balance the costs and minimize the risk of investing in something that won’t bring you profit.

  • Build-measure-learn feedback loop

MVP method gives you the ability to improve your product according to current market requirements constantly. Whenever there is a need to upgrade something in your app, a new iteration can be released quickly. 

  • Feedback straight from the source 

As you put your product in customer’s hands, they provide you with real-life feedback, and, therefore, you involve them in the development process. There is no better way to fulfil audience expectations. 

  • Optimizing development progress 

Designing a graphic-rich app and the lack of clear goals may lead to a delay in testing and delivery. Avoid premature scaling and limit bottlenecks in software development by launching MVP first.

What comes after MVP in agile?

After launching your MVP in an agile approach, it is essential to start collecting feedback from your customers. They will let you learn which functions they liked, what they need, and what is yet to be improved. This way of software development facilitates generating new ideas and keeping your future product up to date.

As you gathered feedback from the audience, you can move to the next level and shift to MMP (Minimal Marketable Product). The MMP can be considered another sprint in software development. It is an opportunity to upgrade the product with new features and make it more satisfying. Constant testing and improving your product is the safest way to learn, measure, and modify until the offering molds into a full-functioning application.

Summary

Building a product with a minimal set of features and releasing it to your early adopters can save you a lot of work, money, and time. Well-managed MVP will provide the users with the essential idea of your future offering. Thus, not only will you get insight into the market, but also you will gather secure feedback straight from your target audience.

If you still have doubts or would like to learn more about implementing the MVP agile development in your startup – ask for a free consultation!

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