Software goes through many stages, in the development lifecycle.is one of those key stages. A way of testing assumptions and finding out what potential customers/users need, before investing in further stages that take more time and work.
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) version?
Getting a version of software done, and ready to ship, is always preferable to waiting until something is perfect.
Perfect takes time. Bugs need to be worked out. Changes and updates made. New features integrated, and crucially, how do you know what users want unless they can test out new software?
Before software or apps can achieve the beta level, you need a more basic version that users can take for a spin. Software can’t be designed in a bubble. It can’t stay on the digital drawing board. Potential customers and users can’t test wireframes and imagine how it might work; they need to interact with something, start using an app as it’s intended.
An MVP version is the most effective way to test theories around a new software product. Developing an MVP is advocated as a key part of Lean software principles. Only with an MVP version can developers and the companies wanting software created benefit from the data and experiences of users trying out new software.
Benefits of developing an MVP version
Investing in software development isn’t cheap. It should be cost-effective, and one of the ways to ensure that is to start with an. version. With an MVP, this is one of the best ways to ensure you’re developing something customers are going to need, and therefore software that is going to generate a return on that investment. Here are five ways we help ensure you get the most from that MVP version, as part of the road to launching a new software product or app.
#1: Competitor analysis
How do you know if what you want to develop is solving a problem enough people have to make it viable?
One of the most important questions to ask early on is whether an idea for new software is needed. Companies need answers to a series of questions:
• Do customers want what we are going to develop?
• What already exits that’s similar?
• How many users do they have?
• How big is this market?
• Crucially, what can we bring to this market, to our potential customers/users that will encourage sign-ups/downloads?
Working with the right software partner, you should be able to get a clear picture of the competitive landscape. Understand who’s already got similar products on the market, and how you can provide better features for the users/customers you want. Early-stage competitor research is crucial for making the right investments in features down the road.
#2: Product vision and roadmap
Once you know what customers want, a software development partner should outline a roadmap and product vision.
Product visions should outline what an early-version (an MVP) is going to look like.
What minimum features will be included?
What will the finished version include; ultimately, what are you aiming for?
A product vision and roadmap outlines what you are aiming for, and how to get there. An MVP is a key starting point. Based on the user testing and data from an MVP, companies can more easily set out on the longer development journey to create a new software solution and launch it to a wider audience.
#3: User experience and user testing
An essential part, and one of the reasons for developing an MVP, is user testing.
Until you know how users interact with a product, it’s difficult to understand what features are needed, and what’s wishful thinking. Only with user testing can the user experience (UX & UI) be clarified and integrated into the product vision and roadmap. Data is essential. Data and user feedback.
With this information, you can more easily and effectively create and improve an MVP version. Ongoing iterations, based on data and user feedback is an essential part of the Lean development model. We integrate this into how software is developed, especially during the MVP phase.
#4: Engineering the tech stack
Developing software means having the right tech stack in-place. With an MVP version, it’s easier to find out what solutions are needed to make it work Engineering the right tech stack and architecture ensures a new product is going to be robust, secure, scalable, and deliver the original vision and roadmap aims.
#5: Quality and further testing
The final stage of software development, especially at the MVP stage is quality assurance and further testing. Even MVPs need to be of a high enough quality to ensure users actually can and want to use them. Only that way can companies get the data and feedback they need to take development to the next stage and launch a feature-rich version of a new product.
When you are thinking of launching a new app or software product, an MVP version is essential to ensure users and customers get what they need and want. An MVP ensures time and money is spent the right way. An MVP gives companies data and feedback that contributes to the development process, thereby ensuring a smoother journey ahead, and an ROI being generated from the investment.