How to Launch an MVP Successfully and on Time
As a business owner, it is sometimes necessary to take risks when launching a new product or service. There are ways to minimize this risk however and that is by launching a minimum viable product (MVP) first. Think about your product or service and consider how well it will help customers. An MVP development helps confirm your ideas while better understanding your customers. MVP is a product with enough features to satisfy first customers. Based on it, you can get feedback for future product development.
Why Should You Use an MVP?
An MVP development helps your business deliver a final product by aiding with design and testing. By keeping customer requirements in mind throughout the build process it is possible to differentiate between the full version and an MVP. The MVP needs to incorporate the key elements of the full product to validate its use and usefulness in the market.
Once you’ve verified that customers are interested in the features on offer, you can then move to production with the full product. MVPs help with verify opportunities and allow you to launch products with a better understanding of user needs and requirements.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your MVP
Launching a successful project requires you to know what to build. When you have an understanding of the market you’re trying to tap including the customers, locations and price points, you can plan out what your MVP will be. There are five steps you need to follow to build an MVP.
1. Conduct Research
Determine the project’s value and how it benefits the user. Basically sell the product before its created to understand how successful you’ll be on launch. Think about using crowdfunding sites to gauge interest (and potentially investment) and also drum up business. Utilize surveys with your existing customers to understand their wants and needs and also look at what the competition is doing.
2. What’s Your User Flow?
You need to understand your users. Who will buy your product? What are your customer’s needs? For each customer type, you need to build an MVP with a core value proposition. What defines success for them? In each case, you want to build a user story that highlights the value you’re delivering and how it is of benefit to that customer type. Once you understand the value you’re delivering it is a lot easier to understand how that value applies to the market.
3. Know the Problem You’re Solving
A successful product fulfills a specific need in the market. Look at the area that you are trying to fill and understand what the perfect solution would look like. Compare this to what is currently available in the market – the gap between these two is what your MVP needs to fill to successfully attract business. Consider all possibilities and potential avenues you can explore for success. A good MVP is designed to check whether a product is viable enough to satisfy one specific need. Do not try to use MVP as a solution for multiple problems – concentrate on the one, and if it does well, move on to developing a full-featured product.
4. What Are the Potential Solutions?
Once you have an idea of a problem you’re trying to solve, the next step is to come up with one or more possible solutions. Each solution should be costed out to see if it’s viable for the business and then tested to see if it actually does the job required.
5. Build It, Test It, and Learn What You Can
The final stage is to actually build an MVP that can be released into the field for true client testing. Teams should be created around this test to ensure that measurements are taken on what works and what doesn’t. Any issues identified during the trial need to be resolved in a timely manner and lessons learned shared internally for future versions.
Learning about Scope Creep
Recall what was said earlier about identifying a specific need and building a product or service to meet that need. Scope creep is when you lose track of that goal and gradually add additional features to appeal to a larger and larger audience, or if your original product missed the mark.
This is why scope creep is also referred to as feature creep or requirement creep. Scope creep is problematic because you can quickly lose track of what you were trying to accomplish. With many projects as scope creep sets in, clients focus on the latter features to the detriment of what was actually initially negotiated and agreed upon.
How to Avoid Scope Creep
This can be somewhat avoided in agile software development projects where deliverables are based on a short timeframe. Larger waterfall projects can sometimes drag on for years as more features constantly get added and push development milestones out further and further. Other ways to avoid scope creep include:
Documenting your requirements is essential for avoiding scope creep. You need to know what users and project stakeholders need and expect from the project. Make sure you write everything down. It’s challenging to master a project when you don’t have all the information.
Create a Change Control Process
A change in the requirements of the project can change its dynamics. To maintain control of your project, you need a reliable change control process. Assuming that there will be no changes during the course of a project is unrealistic. It is better to assume that there will be a change and build in appropriate contingencies in time or budget to deal with them.
Create a Project Schedule
The requirements for the projects will help you create a reliable schedule. The project schedule should be in the form of a task list. This list should reveal each project requirement and how your company plans to achieve it.
Verify the Scope
Understanding project needs are essential for its success. It is easy to misunderstand project needs when communication is not clear. Make sure you have more than a basic understanding of the project’s needs to ensure the satisfaction of stakeholders.
Engage the Team
Engaging your team is a way to have everyone working towards the same goal. By involving everyone, they have a sense of belonging. When employees feel a company values them, they are more likely to be productive.
Review Accountability and Team Roles
You and your team are responsible for the successful outcome of a project. Give each team member a role. Each role has a different responsibility. Each team member handles a specific part of the project. Assigning team roles is the best way to establish accountability. Establishing roles is also a way to make sure the workload doesn’t fall on one person.
Host a Meeting
Each new project should require a brainstorm meeting with clients. In this meeting, discuss what the clients want from the project. Ask clients about the project and what their goals of the project are. The purpose of a brainstorming meeting is to get an idea of what the client needs and how to deliver a complete project.
Things to Take Critical When Managing MVP Scope
Things can get hectic when it’s time to launch a new product. The main concept you need to understand is avoiding pitfalls. As specialists in this field, we suggest you reconsider the following things:
Market research is essential when running a business. Some parts of business analysis can be complicated, and you need time to sort the information. Compare the information you find against your business idea.
Market research will help you understand how potential customers will react to your product or service. It will also provide you with insight into what your competition is doing and how best to market your new product.
Choosing a Development Team
Selecting the right development team is crucial for the success of business projects. When hiring a development team, make sure they prove their expertise. You want a development team that is reliable and will not waste your time or money.
Try to obtain references from companies and customers that are appropriate. Ensure that they have experience in your sector and know what you are trying to accomplish. In addition ensure that they have the skills, knowledge, and tools to work with your existing in house systems. You do not want to have to recreate the wheel with all of your systems when choosing a new partner.
Focus on Productivity
Voltaire said it best when he stated, “Dit que le mieux est l’ennemi du bien”
This translates to the “best is the enemy of the good” and is something that applies quite strongly here. Many businesses mistakenly focus on adding the latest and greatest features instead of the core elements. Focus on getting a product out the door that meets client requirements instead of trying to be everything to everyone.
Build Your MVP Correctly
The two goals of an MVP release are solving customer needs and helping customers complete their goals. Achieving these goals ensures customer satisfaction and increases the chances of repeat customers.
If you’ve been thinking about different ways you can better your business, start with an MVP. We understand how challenging attempting new business efforts can be, so we’re here to lend a hand. Following these straightforward steps will help you achieve your goal. Here at United Perfectum, we provide software, product development, and AI and data science solutions. We help businesses excel in their industry every day. Let us work for you. Contact us today to learn more about our innovative business services.