In software, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), refers to software with just enough functionality to work for its intended use. Your MVP will have the basic functions and characteristics you need to engage with it and get things moving, with no more than that.
With software, it’s useful to work out the minimum you’ll require to start making steps forward and building on your project from there. There’s a number of benefits to this approach, which we’ll outline in this article.
Why is the MVP Useful?
In short, building the MVP allows you to create your grand plans for the bigger, finished project. Following that, you can work backwards from that, working out what is truly needed first. As you’ve already mapped out the needs for the project, understanding what’s needed next is often simpler.
Get Real Data, Quickly
When you’re building software that’s going to improve what you do for your clients or your staff, being able to measure success is crucial.
Building out the important parts of a project lets you gather real user data quickly, ensuring your results are in line with expectations. Alternatively, different results mean that you can reassess your priorities if needs be.
More Accurately Understanding Costs and ROI
If you restrict the number of features in your first round of development, it’s easier to understand the true cost of those features. You can measure the engagement with each feature, analysing either the saving or profitability. This is often more difficult if several features are rolled out at once, because it can be more difficult to analyse reasons for engagement.
Flexible Development Planning
Your development roadmap already outlines what could be next for your project, but what if priorities change? Software development isn’t an overnight process, so it’s easy for the expectations to shift a little. Working on a milestone basis can also better equip your system for scale and swapping things around. This is because you can learn more about the infrastructure that’s needed as progress is made.
Perhaps users might interact with a system differently to how you expected. Maybe user take up is larger than predicted. As a result, all of this can contribute to how your next feature works. Working based upon an MVP with flexible milestones can be really beneficial in this situation.
Are you planning a development project? Get in touch if you need support to plan what your first steps should be.