7 Steps to Run a Successful MVP
What is an MVP?
An MVP is a minimum viable product — a simple version of a potential product that you can test on the target market and decide whether to launch an end product or not.
The key to a successful MVP is actually making it both minimum and viable. In web or mobile app development your MVP is a service that has a capability to respond to the “pain” of a user and can be released to market and be tested.
Although an idea of building an MVP may seem pretty simple and obvious — it can be tough when it comes to actually developing it. But don’t worry — we are here to help and guide you through this process. Here are the seven essential steps to go through while developing an MVP.
Step #1: Do your research
The first step consists of a few stages: defining your business idea, main targets and market, and then conducting a research.
At first define what is your business idea — what is the main idea of your product and what do you want to achieve by producing it. Then decide what features would your product have, what are your main targets and which market would you like to reach.
Then comes the stage of conducting researches. If you don’t want to start blindfolded, not knowing what to do, how to do it and which directions to choose — research stage is essential.
Two main types of researches that might help your MVP are: customer research and market research. A customer research contains the most important question you need to answer: how can your product solve the problem of a user? The market research is needed to define your competitors and understand how can you differ from them, what can you do better and which problem can you solve that none of your competitors do.
Step #2: Budget
Many companies skip this step not realizing its importance. It is essential that you properly distribute a budget that you have. Putting all your money to creating and MVP and then being left with nothing — is not the best idea. Especially on the stage of preparation before the product launch.
Don’t try to develop an MVP that would be nearly as advanced as the end product, it would be a waste of your money. It is also better to focus on just one platform for your MVP and test it there, not trying to put it to all the existing platforms.
Step #3: Customer journey map
When thinking about launching an MVP try imagining how an actual customer would interact with your product — which buttons would they push, in which order, what would they type and search for, which stages will they go through while using your application.
Write out the main steps customers are required to do in order to reach the main goal on your app. This would help you realize which features should be included on each stage of the customer journey. It would be easier to understand this if you visualize it — create a map of this steps and each steps required features and it would be easier to apply it to your MVP.
Step #4: Define main features and prioritize them
The next stage after drawing a customer journey map is to define the main features your MVP would have. At first try listing them on each step of a customer journey and then decide which ones are necessary and which ones are not. After that you will need to prioritize them.
How to do that?
Firstly, realize the main feature — what is the most important action the users have to do. Then think of additional features that are essential. To define them write out all the features you would like to offer to a customer and choose the most significant out of them.
Next prioritize all the additional features you just chose. What features out of them all are the most necessary, which ones you would prefer to have and which ones are actually not that important to the customer journey process.
When you have all the features defined and prioritized — you are ready to create the first version of your MVP. If you want to create the first prototype of your MVP, but don’t know how to — we can help you with that, message us your ideas about the end product and we will help you building an MVP that would be effective and represent your vision in the most accurate way possible.
Step #5: Give value
After all the previous stages look at what are your main goals, main features of a product and think of what can you add to that? Is this a final core of your MVP? Are you bringing the most value with it? Is your product making the life of your customers easier?
Give really honest and thought through answers to those questions to understand if your MVP is actually bringing any value to the customer. If you realize that the main feature doesn’t bring any value to the customer — maybe you should reevaluate, what you want to do with your product. Unless your application is useful and timesaving — it is unlikely to be needed on market.
Step #6: Decide on how minimum your product should be
Decide on how minimum your product should be. Look at all the previous stages and consider what is necessary and should be included on your MVP and what should not be. To understand what is important and what is not — answer these five key points:
- are you targeting your MVP to one small audience or is it really broad?
- are you solving a (painful) problem of a user?
- is your application well designed and simple to use?
- is your MVP easy to launch?
- are you spending a reasonable budget on it?
If your answer is “no” to at least one of these questions — keep working on declaring the core values of your product until you can be sure it is actually minimum. As long as it is simple, convenient and makes life easier — your chances for success are much higher.
Step #7: Identify success criteria for your MVP
To estimate if your MVP was successful or not — identify a criteria of measuring the success. To do this you will need to look at the main goal of a project and see if it was achieved. And also list the points that would mean that your product was successful. What are you willing to achieve and which accomplishments would be perceived as successful to you.
To sum up — realize how minimum your product should be, which features should it have to solve users problems, define your budget and success criteria, and you are good to go! If you have an idea about launching your product but don’t know where to start from — we can help you. Our team is always here to hear you out and provide the best web solution for you — just message us.
You will receive weekly digests with trending topics on web development picked for you by our team.