MVP in SCRUM development

The Minimum Viable Product Approach in SCRUM - What is It and When to Introduce it to Your Business?

Aleksandra, Content Writer

Many freshly started companies and lean startups decide to introduce a minimal version of a new, marketable product. Throughout the years, the MVP concept has garnered many supporters - for valid reasons nonetheless. Today, we will cover the concept of MVP, starting with its definition, and enumerating its advantages - to ensure you'll be able to introduce new product ideas to the market efficiently and successfully.

Definition of MVP - What Does it Stand For?

While diving into this topic, we should first consider how we can propose a feature that delivers the most value to the customers. To extract this kind of information, a researcher can utilize numerous tools. These include reviews, surveys, focus groups, heuristic analyses, and many more. 
Regardless of our chosen approach, the fact is that the most valid information can be delivered by the end-users themselves - as the products should be designed to meet their exact needs. In that spirit, Eric Ries, one of the most prominent silhouettes in the entrepreneurial world and the author of the "Lean Startup", has coined the definition of MVP. 

In short, he describes a minimal viable product as an iteration of a new product which allows a team of programmers and designers to gather the maximum information input with the least amount of effort. By building an MVP, the team defines and creates basic features to build an early-stage solution with a minimum set of features that can already function within the market. That way, methodology defines the MVP as an iteration of a new product that allows you to test business hypotheses enough to prove its validity within your audience.

What is the key promise behind the MVPs?

The definition of the minimum viable product does not describe its size or actual shape. No matter if you decide to introduce a landing page or a more robust, yet still simple application - if this kind of product with the least amount of functionality allows you to collect the maximum amount of data and check whether people would even consider using the app, we are dealing with an MVP.
It is also important to remember that minimum viable products aim to proceed with validated learning about customers. This assumption is important because we are working on living tissue. It is your audience that presents its view on your solutions - and does it in their natural habitat. Therefore, it is worthwhile to open yourself to the fruits of this practice and use the results obtained by validating the information with this methodology. 

What is MVP in the Business Plan?

Knowing all this, we now have to consider the significance of the minimum viable product in the context of business. From this perspective, introducing an MVP brings to the table several things:

  • You can check out which components of the business model you want to implement have actual translation to ROI and other means of profit;
  • By validating business ideas within the Build-Measure-Learn frame, you answer to the actual needs of the end users. By doing so, you are also ready to adapt to new market circumstances.
  • Creating a Minimum Viable Product is less expensive - considering both time and budget - than creating a robust application on the fly. 
  • Also, behind the idea of MVP usually stand hours of interviews and workshops, provided by specialized IT and UX designers. Professional experts in these fields ensure that the ideas will be implemented with the use of the most optimal and cost-efficient means and tools.

Very often, our clients decide to create an MVP with the implementation of the Fixed Price contract. The main reasons behind this we cover in our latest blog article. It is worth reading - especially if you decide to use the concept of the MVP to build the app featuring your business solutions. 

What Are the 3 Main Elements of MVPs?

To grasp the idea of the MVP approach, we can highlight its three main components. By following them, you can ensure that your product will provide you with the maximum validated learning experience.

An MVP Has Just Enough Features

To provide our clients with a successful MVP, the Softnauts team designs the core features to answer the needs and pain points of your primary customers. To do so, we create a list consisting of one core feature and two or three extra ones. They are coined in the process of answering the following questions:

  • Can the feature's cost be precisely measured?
  • Is it possible to find a simpler, more elegant solution?
  • Is this solution time-efficient?

By doing so, we can release an already functioning version of a new product or service to your audience. Consequently, the process of data harnessing has begun - and based on that, we can implement changes that will reflect the primary users' actual needs.

An MVP Meets the Needs of Early End-Users

The opinions that will shape the final version of your product are coined by those who use your product. What is important is that rather than asking them about their experience, with appropriate tools and an expert team on your board, you can observe their behaviors and learn from their experience.
Known as 'early adopters', this kind of user will gladly share their opinion and be more considerate about your product's imperfections. Their feedback is invaluable while creating a prototype or harnessing marketing data.

An MVP 'enables feedback for future development'

Apart from more obvious perks - such as already existing income - MVP serves another purpose, vital for freshly starting enterprises. It allows to gather plenty of useful information directly from the source. 

This is a cornucopia of data for both developers and entrepreneurs alike. By design, an MVP allows to plan ahead and add other functionalities in the upcoming future. With the data from your users, you can make neatly informed decisions based on hard data. 

Conclusion: Minimal Viable Product in SCRUM

An MVP is a valid option for startups and lean companies who want to introduce a new product or service to the market while optimizing its ROI. As software designed to get the maximum amount of information with minimal effort from programmers and designers, it has gained vast popularity among entrepreneurs worldwide. An MVP must meet 3 conditions to be defined in the above manner:

  • enable the collection of information for future modifications 
  • meet the expectations of the first wave of end customers
  • have the optimal amount of functionality for the application to fulfill its function. 



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