A brief guide to MVP development: process and benefits it brings

A brief guide to MVP development  process and benefits it brings

The goal of any full-featured product startup is to offer the user a tool to solve their problem. Therefore, even before launching the project, it is important to understand whether the audience needs this new product. How to do it? Using the Minimum Viable Product concept, which is part of the "lean startup" strategy.

MVP can be applied to creating a product from any field, but it is most often used by startups related to developing digital services and software. The essence of the MVP development services from Otakoyi is simple: you create a product (good or service), and your task as a developer is to track and analyze the behavior of people who use this product (site, app, automated service, etc.) for the first time.

Thanks to the data obtained during testing, you continue to work on the product, adjusting it, or, in case of a lack of interest from the audience, stop further development.

MVP helps minimize risks

Any startup is based on a certain hypothesis. It helps to check its capacity:

  • creating a list of criteria that determine its viability;
  • creation and launch of MVP;
  • measurement of performance indicators;
  • analysis of results, drawing conclusions, and, if necessary, making a decision to test the next hypothesis.

According to a study by the business analysis company CB Insights, the reason for the failure of about 42% of startups is the lack of market demand. Many new entrepreneurs take months or even years just to realize that their hypothesis is wrong.

Stages of creating an MVP

#1 Formulating the task

Using a client-oriented approach, software companies try to answer the question of why the user needs the product, what task it helps to solve, and what its value is.

#2 Defining the target audience

When working out an MVP, you should not focus on the needs of a wide audience. Narrowing the target audience makes it possible to position the new product more precisely. To achieve this, you need to draw a portrait of the "ideal user," that is, a client who is ready to use or buy a product without hesitation, the capabilities of which fully satisfy them. In marketing, this is called a "customer avatar": the buyer's age, income, education, habits, and interests. This information about the consumer will also be helpful later - at the stage of promoting this new product.

#3 Studying the competitive market

Even if you have managed to come up with something new or special, companies that offer something from the same industry may still be working in this niche. It is worth analyzing their market share, studying experience, learning advantages, identifying shortcomings, and understanding what makes them unique and why consumers choose them.

#4 Carrying out a SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis allows you to determine weaknesses and strengths, calculate opportunities and prospectives of a minimum viable product, as well as predict threats.

#5 Roadmap creation

After performing a comprehensive analysis of the business idea, we must look at the new product through the eyes of a potential buyer. A roadmap is the sequence of actions a user takes while moving toward their goal of the desired product or service. You need to put yourself in the customer's shoes, imagine how they will interact with a new product (for example, an application), understand at what stage they may need additional information, etc.

#6 Determining the main functions and calculating the scope of the MVP

Regardless of the scale of the future project, the MVP should present only the main functions. It is undesirable to offer the user some additional features of the product immediately: this can confuse the client and distort the integrity of the results of the study of the feasibility of your idea. After testing the product and analyzing the feedback received, advanced functionality can be added later.

#7 Choosing an iterative method and developing an MVP

The MVP should be developed using one of the iterative methods — Scrum, Lean, Kanban, etc. All of the listed approaches provide the possibility of regular release of updates and rapid improvement of the product as user feedback is received.

#8 Testing the product

The MVP should be tested throughout the development process regularly. Alpha (internal) testing is done by the developer company's testers, while beta (external) testing requires outside help. The ideal option is to attract a real audience of future users of the new product. You can find people willing to participate in testing on specialized platforms: BetaList, Quora, ProductHunt, Reddit, etc. You can also attract followers on your social networks and blogs and use email newsletters.

Benefits of MVP for business

Here are some clear and important reasons why you should create an MVP:

#1 You can start MVP development even with a small budget

MVP is what startup owners love the most. Later, if it brings the desired result, you can spend the saved funds on the development of a full-fledged and top-notch solution. And if you have bad results, you don't risk losing a lot of money. It does not require high costs.

#2 MVP simplifies the entire development process

Starting software development with MVP is a good idea because it is easier than building a solution from scratch. You and the development team can focus on the core features. You develop it and only then add what is still missing. MVP development is like stringing beads. Everything is simple and clear.

#3 You can check the competitiveness of your product

Knowing if you'll have customers before starting a new business is hard. Thus, creating an MVP will help, without spending all your money, to check whether users need your product and whether it is competitive in the market.

#4 Faster launch to market your product

It takes much less time to launch an MVP. Saving time is very important. What if someone also offers a similar business idea? By then, your MVP will be up and running.

#5 It helps attract investors to your business idea

Launching a minimum viable product proves or simplifies the viability of your business idea. If it turns out to be successful, then investors will support it. MVP confirms the credibility of the project and the fact that money can and should be invested in it.

Final words

The information obtained thanks to the MVP (statistics, history of customer behavior, their feedback) illustrates the level of perspectives of the new project. Analysis of this data is the foundation for generating new ideas and developing efficient product development strategies based on actual data, not just a theory. In other words, MVP testing is a useful solution, and spending resources on it is wholly justified.

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A brief guide to MVP development: process and benefits it brings