In this article, I would like to share with you some tips to create a minimum viable product (MVP) in a Lean Startup approach.
A minimum viable product allows you to test hypotheses and collect immediate feedback on future developments. Below are some tips for optimizing the MVP design and development process.
Prioritize user needs
It is essential to hear from your stakeholders beforehand. The most effective way to do this is to organize an ideation workshop and get them to agree on a user needs narrative or story mapping. It is important to remain neutral during this phase and to encourage participants to make drawings to clarify their ideas. This will help you save a lot of time later on.
It is possible to complete this process by conducting in-depth interviews. During these sessions, it is important to gather the opinions and perceptions of stakeholders on several proposed features. The questions can be formulated by negation in order to keep only the indispensable needs (Kano’s method):
- The product does not have feature A, what do you think?
Sometimes your stakeholders are not the end users of the product. In this case, you should also look at your competitors and study the market to check the potential of your product.
With the above, you should have all the information to create user stories and organize them in a prioritized backlog. You should focus first on the minimum mandatory features (MoSCoW method).
Agree on the mockups as soon as possible
Drawing mockups of your MVP is essential to explain your product clearly and efficiently. It is an easy-to-understand visual aid for stakeholders and the development team and allows you to ask the right questions. It is not necessary to make detailed and complete mockups that take a lot of time.
Be prepared to give details about input fields to your team because they have direct implications on the application architecture:
– Is it mandatory to fill out this field? What is a valid input field?
– Is it a link to an existing element? Can there be several elements?
– Can it be auto-filled? What is the interpretation of a field left empty?
Simplify the work of your development team
Once the backlog is filled with enough essential features, it’s time to organize the delivery sprints. For an MVP, it’s important to keep user stories as simple as possible to move forward quickly. This means that development should initially focus on:
– Illustrating the most common scenarios and excluding exceptions or rare situations
– Ignoring unnecessary constraints on objects and the relationships between them
– Favoring reusable development structures in technical tasks
Please note that some of the above recommendations may not be appropriate for you if you plan to open your minimum viable product to the general public.
Make early adopters count
If the goal is to have as many people as possible use your MVP, you need to take care of your end users:
– Make sure your MVP has an attractive, intuitive interface with no apparent bugs
– Automatically collect user input and provide a form for feedback and suggestions
– Fake features you haven’t developed to measure user interest
With the above, you are now ready to attract more and more users while making continuous improvements to your product.
Would you like to get support to create your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? Contact us today.