Minimum Viable Products: First Steps into Agile Development

Have you been considering launching a new business, digital product, or app? Is your company looking to expand on its current digital presence? If you are considering these options but hesitant on the costs to getting to market, a minimum viable product (MVP) might be for you. MVPs are relatively new concepts in product development. The idea behind developing an MVP is that the end result is an actual website, digital marketplace, or app that you can offer to your current customer base and collect data.

MVPs lower cost and time to full product development by streamlining the process. Basic features are immediately working in your MVP. As your customers enjoy your current product, you can use their behavior and feedback to further refine your end product. Questionnaire forms are great, but statistics show that if you can observe behavior the data is far more reliable than asking.

If you want your new digital product to be a success – building it to the exact specifications of your user makes sense. When you use MVPs, you save time and money. You can dynamically create your final product through the needs relevant to your audience. It also prevents any unnecessary costs in developing a product that may be a great idea on paper, but in real-world applications, there is no market. Read more to learn more about MVPs, benefits, and where to get more information.

Table of Contents:

  1. Benefits of Minimum Viable Products
  2. What is Agile Manufacturing?
  3. Getting Started with an MVP Team

Benefits of Minimum Viable Products

As a business owner or manager, you don’t want or need to know every technical aspect of an MVP. Bottom line, you want to know how an MVP can help you launch your product or service successfully. The biggest benefit of any MVP is the understanding you gain about your customers. It can be data about their preferences or types of product options. It can be as simple as color preference. What companies are finding out is that the sooner you can discover if your product has an audience, the less expense you spend on building a product that doesn’t have a chance for success.

Don’t let the word ‘minimum’ cause you to think small. Did you know that MVPs have turned several startups into major top 500 corporations? Some successful companies that began as an MVP are Facebook, Spotify, Uber, and Airbnb. The 10 benefits of starting with an MVP include:

  1. UX Functionality: Graphic design is far more important in MVP design than simply choosing colors and fonts. Many don’t understand the crucial role of a graphic designer in building an MVP. Graphic design includes focusing on the user experience or journey and developing engagement opportunities. You want your product to be more than an install. Studies show that more than 20% of apps are tossed after one use. An MVP allows you to test your product on a real audience. If there are any issues, today’s digitally conscious user will be sure to inform you. Your goal is to gain users on a long-term basis. If you create something completely focused on what your customer wants – you build and scale as you go along. UX functionality is fine-tuned along the way.
  2. Early Adopters: With an MVP, you can engage your current customer base and get early adopters to be the first to try out your product. Early adopters are great sources of data for improving your product and giving feedback on making improvements. Do you know what is even better about early adopters? They use social media. Imagine being able to produce a final product that is totally customer-focused, all while being raved about online. This is how start-ups pass the finish line successfully.
  3. Demand Discovery: Using an MVP gives you the opportunity to discover if there is a real demand for the product. Can you imagine the dollars wasted if your really great idea bombed and the features are only awesome to you and a few coworkers? It happens more often than you think. Over 40% of startups fail because of a lack of market viability. An MVP allows you to find out with minimal costs.
  4. Strategy for Monetization: Do you have a monetization strategy? If you want to see real returns you will need a price-point. Setting that price level can take some research of other similar available products. You also need to make important decisions in the beginning. Is this product you want to develop only for paying users? Will you include any other income opportunities such as in-app purchases or ads? Your early adopters, would this be the baseline freemium option? One great thing about using an MVP to initiate your product is that as it is further developed you can test to find out the most viable ways to create an income stream from your services. If you start off with the offering of a completed product, you don’t really have much as far as pricing options.
  5. Cost Efficiency: Complete product development can take a great deal of time. If you consider taking months to get to release and all the time you will spend for a team of specialists, your overall costs prior to your opening launch are increased. MVPs can be made in about eight weeks and with a minimized team. You can earn revenue from simple applications. If you view this as an iterative process, then you can see that you can start generating profits that can help pay for the cost of adding the additional features to get to your full product design.
  6. Clear Focus: You want your new idea to help you gain users. Today’s tech-savvy world has found many of the apps and services they believe that they need. If you don’t try to build your product, how will you know if it could be successful? Sometimes as you develop from the basic MVP to your final product, the list of features may become overwhelming and be unnecessary to the main use of the software. Since an MVP is the simplest version, you can add only the core features your users ask for.
  7. Quicker Release: One of the great benefits of using the MVP methodology for building your product, is a quicker release. Even if minimal, you get a workable product in the hands of users nearly 75% faster. That is worth noting.
  8. Customer Needs: When you use the MVP approach to build your product, you are addressing your customers' needs as you go along. When you introduce the first minimal version, your early adaptors will help you understand what other features they really want. In this way, you build a product from the ground up based on customer needs.
  9. Minimal Risk: Any move in business has some risk. Regardless if it’s a tech startup or a new health service, starting with an MVP reduces financial risks. There are many things that can go wrong in the funding process. You don’t want your business left holding the bag or unwanted technology that you invested time and money building to completion. When you build over time, you can discover and weigh the risks of each step along the way.
  10. Flexibility: Flexibility is a built-in factor in the MVP agile development process. When you are customer responsive, you will find that your end product has features you hadn’t thought of in the beginning. Some ideas you might have had are on the floor. Learning as you go from your users makes the process of adding options quite flexible.

What is Agile Manufacturing?

Agile manufacturing or agile methodology is a concept of building a product based on validating user input. The MVP is the central player in agile development. When you start your product development with an MVP, you are putting into practice the concepts behind agile manufacturing.

Using this type of methodology has more benefits than those listed above. The process itself lends to better development practices and easier scalability of your product.

Getting Started with an MVP Team

When you want to discuss your options for an MVP, fill out the form below and set up a no-obligation consultation. Here, at DataCose, we can help get you started. We have the world’s top tech experts on staff and are ready to get your MVP on the market. We hire the best designers, testers, managers, SEO specialists, and software developers to make sure your product goes from initial concept to final product.

Building an MVP requires a relationship, one that listens, understands, and works hard to deliver on time and under budget. The DataCose team can be your startup solution partner. We can walk you through the steps from your idea to the end product. Let us help you introduce your product to the world.

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