What is an MVP – This is the acronym for ‘Minimum Viable Product’, which is commonly used in the digital product industry, when we have to mention that we are creating the first version of the full product. This is most appropriate in the following situations –
- Conceptualizing a new product idea: In this case, you might want to think about the whole product and go towards building the MVP first.
- Redesigning an old product: In this case, you might want to retire the old product slowly, by transitioning your customers to your new product, starting with the MVP.
- Enhancing existing product with big feature: In this case, the new feature is very big to be completed in a sprint (say 2 weeks), and hence, you think of building the MVP first.
Why MVP – The concept of building and releasing an MVP product has few benefits like:
- It gives you the first mover advantage in the market over your competitors
- Your ‘Go-To-Market’ timeframe is reduced, so that you could serve your customers, hence increasing your retention, and making in customer acquisitions
- You could ‘test’ the idea before you further spend your time & money building the whole product
Now, going with this idea of building an MVP has few challenges, the top most being ‘Scope’ i.e. where do you draw the line and say ‘This is it’. For e.g.
- Customer persona: Who to choose and who to leave?
- Features: What to include and what to exclude?
- Content: What to mention and what to ignore?
The possible solution to the above challenge on ‘Scope’ could be derived by looking at the following items:
- Business driver: You need to have a very clear and focussed business driver behind building this MVP. This is going to help you make decisions along the way while building the MVP product
- Customer problem: You need to be very clear on what customer problem you are about to solve with the MVP product, hence providing you with an idea f who are your customers
- User journey(s): Base your MVP ‘scope’ discussions on the user journeys, and that will help you build a clear & concise roadmap for your MVPP product, that will give a good experience to your customers, and you will build something meaningful rather than a group of features.