MVP - Minimum Viable Product, or how to create an application and not lose
A scenario that comes true surprisingly often is based on badly invested money in an app idea. Nearly 30% of startups fail because they run out of money. They are also unable to sell their product because they don't really know what they are selling. This, in turn, entails a problem in describing the product. The customer doesn't understand the idea so the startup loses another opportunity. As a result, you run out of money. What to do to avoid such a scenario? With the answer comes an MVP.
How to create an MVP, thanks to which you will test your product and fit into the planned budget?
What is an MVP?
Minimum Viable Product is a working program that you can share with your audience. But how does it differ from a complete product?
The MVP concept is to create the most essential features of the application. Then the application is made available on the market. This happens in a very short time and without involving all your resources. Thanks to this, the first users will receive a functioning application and you will receive a package of benefits that the implemented MVP brings.
What are the biggest benefits of creating an MVP?
Time is one of the most significant benefits of creating an MVP. Quick release of the app allows you to achieve your goals and first results faster. The budget spent on the app will not be frozen for a long time, and you will gain knowledge from the market.
The product in the MVP version works in the actual market environment. Thanks to this you gain confidence that you are developing it in the right direction.
Data collected during the use of the application by real customers allows you to find out exactly
- what functions need improvement,
- in what direction to develop the application in the future,
- how the product reacts to competition.
Do you like losing money? In the context of saving expenses in startups, the demand on the time of developers, testers, and project managers plays a huge role. By creating an MVP, you limit the scope to the most important features of the application. By doing so, you reduce the number of hours required to make the app.
However, this is not all of the savings. Fewer features also means fewer infrastructure resources needed to maintain the application. With MVP, you save on server resources, for example.
MVP is first and foremost a space for development. When you reduce the complete concept of an application to a minimal version, you retain development space all the time.
With MVP development, you accomplish two goals simultaneously:
- The application performs the basic tasks set before it.
- At the same time you create more functions.
Parallel work in these scopes is a double benefit for you.
How to start creating an MVP?
The process of creating a complete application and its MVP looks very similar at first. Start by creating an app idea and describing it. It's best to describe it in the form of a brief which will help describe your idea, making it easier for the project team to understand it.
A well-described brief is a big step on the path to creating an MVP. In the next step verify this brief. Preferably during a conversation with your contractor. During such a meeting you will define the most important functions and the scope of work to be done to create the MVP. Take advantage of your contractor's experience, ask questions, dive into the topic, and don't be afraid to ask difficult questions.
In the next steps you will move to the stage of making the application and testing it before releasing it on the market.
How to avoid mistakes while creating an MVP?
As in any process, also during the creation of an MVP you can make mistakes that will determine the success of the project. What to do to avoid them?
Plan a complete product
Create a vision of the complete product from the very beginning. Focusing only on the most important features will make the concept of the application blurry during development.
Defining a path for the entire product will keep the direction of the work in line with the vision. First, define the overall solution and then choose the most important features.
Research the market
A popular mistake when creating an MVP is to ignore information coming from the market. Research the competition, target audience, and potential interest in your solution. This is very valuable information that will help define the features that should be included in the MVP from the start.
Choose the right team
There are a large number of application development companies and teams available on the market. The right choice can be difficult. However, there are a few factors that you should pay attention to.
- Size of the team - a larger team means greater certainty that the project will be delivered on time and with quality.
- Portfolio - experience gained in previous projects creates the value of the team. Check what applications they have created so far and how they were received by the clients.
- Commitment - remember that your goals are the most important. Choose a team that is committed to learning about your idea and its challenges.
- The quality of the team has a direct impact on the success of the application. Check what kind of reviews the companies you are considering boast.
Information received from users is one of the most important sources of MVP information. Analyze customer feedback and try to respond to the suggestions of the engaged audience. By supporting users in using the app, you will guarantee yourself success.
The cost of creating an MVP
As with creating a complete application, the final cost depends on the size and complexity of the project. Creating an MVP is intended to limit the initial expense. However, complex applications can cost several hundred thousand even in the minimal version.
The best support in determining the exact cost of an MVP is a well-described brief supported by a design workshop.
What kind of team do you need to create an MVP?
By definition, an MVP is an application that is created with only the most important features in mind. However, even in this situation, the team will be very similar to the one needed to create a complete application.
Such a team includes:
- Product Owner – the person who decides on the most important issues concerning the creation of the MVP and its subsequent development.
- Business Analyst – the person responsible for supporting the creation of project documentation and helping to define the scope of the MVP and the path of its later development.
- Project Manager – the person who oversees the process of implementation, preparation of individual elements, and programming them.
- Designer – responsible for creating the appearance of the application and designing the experience of users using it.
- Programmers – direct contractors who materialize your idea and create the features of the application.
- Testers – creating an application, even in MVP form, is a complex process. While attaching more features, unwanted behavior of the program may arise. It is essential to test it before releasing it on the market.
MVP creation – summary
The success of an application is influenced by a lot of factors, and the creation of the application itself is burdened with the need to incur a large investment. In this case it is necessary to minimize the risk of failure. This is what an MVP is - reducing the risk to a minimum.
Creating a version of the application that has only selected key features is a popular practice. At the same time you can develop your application and meet the basic goals. This is a great comfort in the context of both long-term projects and those with a specific deadline.
If you are thinking about creating your own application, but the specter of failure effectively dissuades you from this idea, then creating an MVP is the perfect solution for you.