There are a multitude of reasons that software projects fails. Among the main reasons we’ve experienced is the lack of a well-defined MVP.
In simplest terms, an MVP is a “Minimally Viable Product”. That is, a product containing the minimum amount of features to be considered evidence that the product is viable and worthy of additional investment of resources.
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MVPs shorten time-to-market
Ideation is a necessary and crucial part of the process of bringing an application to market. The outcome is often dozens, if not hundreds of brilliant ideas. MVPs help control the scope of the work done in the first sprints by identifying which great ideas need to be implemented first. This leads to the fastest time-to-market possible.
Without the necessary discipline to identify those greatest ideas and formulate them into a plan getting started and gaining momentum is very hard to achieve. Why? Because the scope of the work is too vague to identify how to get started quickly. This tends to stall progress.
MVPs manage cost
Some enterprises seek to avoid this with a “just start coding” approach or try to “define as they go”. Yes, this guerrilla approach has merit in very limited circumstances but for most organizations it will nearly always increase the project budget by magnitudes that most would find unacceptable.
As with haste, the lack of an MVP will quickly exhaust budgets by spending unnecessary cycles coding features and changes that may ultimately be unessential to proving a product’s viability.
To overcome this, enterprises MUST take steps before coding to do their due diligence in considering, defining, and documenting the absolute minimal features they require for success. Any non-essential features should still be captured in a project backlog and regularly prioritized. This allows them to be available if the project is ahead of schedule.
MVPs engage users and customers
In some unique circumstances, customer/user expectations for a product warrant a fair amount of features. However, many enterprises realize that many users are quite willing to tolerate minimal features in a first release that is quickly followed up by continual improvement and feature-rich updates. This becomes even more appealing to users when they see updates that incorporate the feedback of the user community. This user-empowering approach produces excellent results.
MVPs produce market intelligence
Further, this helps the enterprise tremendously. Instead of investing significant resources in features that users end up not really appreciating, the enterprise invests in what produces the most user and customer engagement. Many enterprises end up concluding that though they thought their pet idea was fantastic, users might not feel the same. Who wants to invest energy and resources into something that users won’t care to use?
If your enterprise has brilliant ideas, make the investment of time and energy into creating an MVP. Doing so is the best way possible to produce high-engagement products in the shortest time possible and with the least financial waste.
Not sure how to get started with an MVP? We can help! We work with industry leaders in User Experience, Design, and Development and are ready to help your organization get your MVP to the market. Contact us today to learn more.