What is a minimum viable product (MVP)? Why should you care? Let us break it down for you. Every product starts with an idea. Then, a planning or specification phase typically follows the idea brainstorm—details are hammered out, and costs are considered. Next, the plan moves into the implementation phase, where results are to be delivered on time, and within budget. Finally, the result is revealed! Will the consumers like the product? Will they have what they need? Will they find it useful? Unfortunately, all of these questions cannot be answered until the product goes to market.
This is where a minimum viable product comes into play. An MVP allows you to gather reliable data about the customers’ reaction, by starting with just that – the bare minimum. One of the biggest advantages of an MVP is that it allows you to test and validate your product, service or idea quickly, to decide whether it’s still worth pursing – and if so, whether and how to modify it as needed. For MVPs to actually be effective, it is imperative to listen to the market feedback that is received.
A minimum viable product essentially offers a more flexible way of working, and helps alleviate overbuilding, which could lead to potential delays. It may not be right in all circumstances—but for a digital product, where the cost of change is usually on the lower end, it may be worth considering. MVPs offer some distinct advantages:
Reduce rework, by lowering the cost of development.
Create meaningful relationships with your customers right away.
Bring critical business functions and core value propositions to the forefront.
Increase customer satisfaction and word of mouth recommendations.