June 14

Build a Better Minimum Viable Product

How to Plan a Minimum Viable Product: a Step-By-Step Guide. An MVP allows you and your team to invalidate (or validate) product assumptions and learn how your target users react to your product’s core functionality. Creating an MVP is an iterative process that helps you identify user pain points and determine the appropriate product functionality to address those needs over time. Iteration is key to properly using an MVP to learn about your customers and improve your product. Chris Ciligot describes the approach he uses to plan a minimum viable product for mobile apps. (via @ClrMobile)

4 steps to building a minimum viable product. If you’ve ever had an exec say “We have $5 million in funding and we have to get this right. How can you guarantee you won’t fail?” you may appreciate the value of an MVP. The trick is to remember that “the underlying principle behind a Minimum Viable Product is to learn quickly with minimal investment.” Elijah Chang shares the four step approach he uses to define a minimum viable product to learn about your customer’s needs and the best way to satisfy them. (via @devbridge)

You’re probably building your MVP wrong. When you create an MVP you can choose between experiments that can validate or invalidate your assumptions about your business model. N. Taylor Thompson explains that there are two types of MVPs – validating MVP’s and invalidating MVP’s – that can help you determine if you’re building the right product. Just be sure to pick the right type of MVP for your situation.  N. Taylor gives some advice on how to do just that. (via @ntaylorthompson)

The MVP is broken: It’s time to restore the minimum viable product. “The minimum viable product (MVP) is one of the most abused terms in the modern lexicon of software development.” Allan Kelly recommends narrowing the focus of your MVP down to three possible types:

A product that has only the features necessary to test the market, a product with its must-have features, or a product proof-of-concept. Most MVP’s diverge quite a bit from these types. Allan explores how we got to this point, and how to make MVPs useful again. (via @allankellynet)

The ultimate guide to building an MVP. “The best way to describe the minimum viable product (MVP) is as a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and in order to provide feedback for future product development. So, building a minimum viable product is always a big risk.” The folks at Startup Basics list all the steps that can help you reduce that risk and successfully get started. (via @startupbasix)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at KBP.media and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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