When it comes to defining a product or launching it, there are various aspects that needs to be considered. In order to create a great product, it is essential to create an MVP or a minimum viable product which is often recommended by the experts. But the question arises, that what is MVP?
Well, MVP or minimum viable product is the simplest or pared down version of a product which can be released to the people. As per popular definition, it has three important characteristics.
1. It needs to have enough value that the people are willing to purchase and use it initially.
2. It should reflect enough benefits for future in order to retain the early adopters of the product.
3. It should provide a feedback loop in order to guide the future development of the product.
The main catch of this type of development technique is that it is assumed that early adopters of the product can understand and see the vision as well as the promise of the final end product. They need to provide the valuable feedback in order to guide the developers to create and improve the final product forward.
This generally suggests that most of the technically oriented products often used by the technical users may be the best type of development technique.
When it comes to app development, there needs to be an MVP developed by the development company to gauge the initial reaction and performance of the product and understand the expectations and feedback of the early adopters. Hence in terms of app development especially mobile apps, the companies release an MVP to get the future idea of improvements that need to be made to develop a promising product which can be bought by a larger audience.
There are four essential part of Minimum Viable Product or MVP
Since MVP is more than a product, there is a certain route to learning. The development company creates an MVP to take small steps towards creating product which is fit for the market and each step needs to be completed with Build-Measure-learn loop. There are four parts of MVP.
1. The customers to whom the product is intended to.
2. The value proposition of the product.
3. The channel with which the product is released.
4. Relationship developed between the customer and the developers.
These components are directly from the Business Model Canvas which was proposed by Alexander Osterwalder and it represents how the company deliver Value to the customer via different channels and collect feedback from them via their relationship.
When it comes to Market Fit Storyboard, the shape is different if we start putting together the pieces of above mentioned Business Model Canvas.
In this methods, the direction of the arrow on the customer relationship is changed to opposite direction as at the early stages of development, the relationship is not about delivering the value to the customer. It is the opposite. It is about customer giving feedback to the developer so that they can modify the value proposition.
This methodology is quite good for app developers who wish to create more robust and popular app by collecting the feedback from the customer and hence create much viable and valuable app.
In case of Build-Measure-Learn Methodology, we have to consider different aspects.
1. The developer needs to build value proposition along with the channels.
2. They have to measure the channel’s effectiveness and gauge and understand the customer reactions.
3. Based on these relationships, the developer has to come up with a better value proposition, i.e., better app.
Since the focus is on the product before scaling it, the product won’t be tested in marketing channels and the relationships. In case of app development, an MVP is created and it is not tested in these channels and the relationships.
The developers just need to develop a sufficient channel to reach out to first few customers. When they need more, they can scale up the channel as per requirement.
It means the app developer can create an MVP app and release it to few customers and then scale up the channel. This gives a growth path to the app development process.
Now, we will talk about the 5 steps that are used to create an MVP.
Step 1- To capture the primary goal of the product
Imagine that you are developing an app which assists people in managing tasks. Then the app should allow the users to create task name, add time format and set of priorities associated with different tasks. As a result, each customer gets a customized product which is a perfect fit for his individual preferences.
In the first step, we need to understand the working of the product and what type of problems it solved. Hence the developer needs to define the goal which must be fulfilled to satisfy the users of the app. A good primary goal is allowing the users to receive a customized app where they can change their task name, time format and priority list as per their choice.
Step 2 – Defining the main process in the product.
In this step, the developer needs to define what the main user flow of the app looks like. Then, the developer has to define the particular stages of this flow. It is quite easy to believe that the developer needs to explain to the user what steps are needed to complete the goal which we have defined above. The goal is getting the customized app for the individual user.
The main rule is to not think about the features but more about the tasks. That means in terms of the app, customizing the task list, purchasing the app, managing the task list, update for the apps. These tasks after combination define a process in which most of the users will use the app. The user may want to customize the app, then create the task list, purchase the app, and later on update the app.
Step 3 – Creating a list of features of each stage.
Now, the developer has to look at each stage of the process and then define the list of features which should be part of this stage. In this step, the developer tries to boost his own creativity and define as many features he can but at the same time avoid any type of prioritization. What is required is the unprioritized list of ideas which can be used to develop to help the user to solve his problem. In case of an app that we considered, the developer has to define the features of each stage such as features of managing the app, features of purchasing the app and so on and so forth.
The list of the features can look like this:
Step- Managing the App
Choose the name of the task, choose its time format, choose the priorities etc.
Step- Purchasing the App
Pay with credit card or buy from Play Store or App store. Use Coupon code or get it for free.
Step 4- Prioritizing the features which are inside the lists
Now, the developer has to prioritize each feature in each stage depending on various factors such as:-
How important is the feature for finishing the process or how often the feature will be used? It can be how many users will use the feature of the app and how risky is the feature of the app?
Based on such questions, the developer will rearrange the features on the map by moving the ones which are of high value on top while putting the low priority one to the bottom.
Step 5- Defining the MVP
Once the developer has prioritized the features, then he can move to the next step. It means there is need to create a smallest possible representation of the working product. In terms of the app, once the features are figured out and priorities are set, the smallest possible working app is considered to be created. This is called the MVP. In some cases, the MVP can be more sophisticated than the initial product so the developer has to separate the features which are must for the features from the features that the user won’t use more often or not require at all. The features which are essential to the app represents the Minimum Viable Product of the app and rest is considered as the long-term vision of the app. This makes the foundation of the app to be made better in the later process.
Minimum Viable Product is essential for product developers especially those working in app development process as it allows the developer to create the product in its raw form based on the essential features that it requires to be released to an initial number of people. It provides the necessary feedback to the developers from the customers and hence helps them in creating the better product by understanding the feedback. The entire process also provides the long-term vision of the product which is essential to present to the customers as they will adopt the product if they see the future viability of the product. Hence, MVP is an essential part of product development.