Approaching an MVP Development Process Effectively

Maria Boyarko

Maria Boyarko

Head of BA at Andersen

Business Analysis
Jul 12, 2022
11 minutes to read
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  1. How to build an MVP? Let’s begin with a definition
  2. Rationales behind launching an MVP development process
  3. More detailed purposes behind the steps to build an MVP
  4. MVP development stages in the first approximation
  5. Impediments to development efforts
  6. Wrapping up

Assume you, as a business-minded person, have generated a seemingly promising and lucrative idea. If you’re serious about capitalizing on it, in the capacity of an entrepreneur, you will start asking yourself subsequent qualifying questions. The most self-evident ones include:

  • Does a real-world market need exist for a product based on my idea?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What is its crucial functionality that will cover their previously unmet need in the unique market niche?

The information arising from these queries must be determined before the full-fledged development stage commences, since they lay a foundation for crafting a successful solution that is relevant, necessary for future end-users, and scalable enough. That is why we at Andersen have decided to re-examine the value of an MVP development process. As a trusted and highly ranked vendor of MVP development services, our talent has accumulated extensive multi-faceted experience in this domain, in all involved processes and stages.

So, here is our brief MVP guide.

How to Design an MVP (img 1)

How to build an MVP? Let’s begin with a definition

Statistics are unequivocal. As many as 90% of all startups eventually fail. Each business story is unique. Efforts made by young aspiring teams get undermined by different constellations of factors, at varying stages. Yet, researchers still have some dependable data to analyze. Per CB Insights, having a flawed business idea, in one way or another, is responsible for the following discouraging situations:

  • No market need at all (35%);
  • Getting outcompeted by similar yet better prepared projects (20%);
  • Unworkable business model (19%);
  • Wrong moment to launch a product (10%).

All these causes have something in common. Properly and timely taken MVP steps could prevent them.

Any MVP, aka a minimum viable product, is the inceptive version of a digital tool with a vital core feature that suffices to operate in the market and deliver real value to its users. MVPs might have no polished UI, may have no localized versions for all needed regions, no gold plating, no extra functions, or other minor attributes. However, if all relevant development stages and processes are considered while engineering an MVP, the latter can do one major thing. It can try to address a tangible pain point experienced by a chosen target audience.
Thus, the rationale behind building an MVP, with all the required processes and stages, is the ability to swiftly and cost-effectively test a raw solution. When the hypothesis behind an MVP proves to be right, this shows the potential of the app to bring greater utility to end-users in the future, in which case the resultant spending will be justified.

Concurrently, if the hypothesis proves to be wrong, it can be abandoned for good, which saves any company from wasting substantial effort, time, and funds on fully functional but impractical and purposeless software.

Rationales behind launching an MVP development process

We have arrived at the conclusion that all imaginable MVP development stages and purposes emphasize a single priority, consisting of two parts:

  • First, to embody a concept in a limited-scale solution;
  • Second, to let early users try it, decide how they feel about it, and gain feedback and actionable insights for potential future changes.

Any minimum viable product shares similarities with a proof of concept (PoC), which serves as a demonstration to substantiate the practicability of a method or idea, proving its eventual functionality.

The PoC involves crafting a defined prototype or test model. The crucial distinction lies in the deliverables: a PoC is not necessarily a finalized product but rather a theoretical corroboration of the basic potential to engineer it. Conversely, an MVP is a fully functional solution with a minimal set of features, designed to provide specific value to the end-user and build upon a clearly formulated software requirements document.

How to Design an MVP (img 2)

More detailed purposes behind the steps to build an MVP

In a nutshell, all feasible steps to build an MVP, enabling one to craft better software, pursue these three goals:

1. Preliminary validation of business ideas Whether establishing a brand-new startup or enhancing an already existing IT concept at later stages, it is imperative to validate an underlying idea. Assessing the demand for your product is critical. An MVP functions as a tool to test hypotheses using an initial version of software, enabling the evaluation of idea viability through real user feedback.

2. Securing investments effectively Successful user acceptance justifies allocations for your idea. Subsequent refinement of the MVP based on user feedback allows for the removal of redundant features and the addition of missing ones. These adjustments, grounded in feedback and metrics such as downloads, purchases, and UA rates safeguard your investment attractiveness by strengthening your awareness of customer needs and your ability to meet them.

3. Identifying paths for ongoing improvement Once the MVP is released and insights are gathered from users, opportunities for further growth and enhancement of the existing solution become apparent. The rapid and straightforward MVP development processes diminish the time-to-market ratio, providing essential information for seamlessly integrating the new solution with the existing basis and facilitating its large-scale implementation.

NB: How much time, typically, is needed for the development of a minimum viable product, with all the stages and processes? The reply will probably disappoint you, as it is very ambiguous. For instance, Business of Apps cites the following research in the IoT field stating that the timeframe mandated for planning and crafting an MVP can range from three to twenty-eight months. Analytics Insights, not limiting themselves to a given branch, estimate that normally three-to-four months would suffice, yet stress that it could be much more. Based on this, we can probably assume that three months is the absolute minimum.

Now, it is time to zoom in on how to build an MVP.

MVP development stages in the first approximation

Based on our experience, track record, and 100% grip of the importance of your product development process being properly arranged, we would propose these five stages. They are to occur while converting an idea into an MVP.

Stage 1. Ideation process

Primarily, the initial stage involves conceiving a general tech idea capable of adding value for end-users. This entails the organization of brainstorming sessions, development of end-user social profiles, conduction of market research, benchmarking, and exploration of innovative ways to propel the vague idea into a fully-formed concept. The anticipated result of this initial stage is a collection of essential data for subsequent analysis and software design.

Stage 2. Analysis process

Once the information has been collected, the next stage involves thorough analysis to grasp the core unaddressed needs of end-users and identify more efficient paths towards meeting those pain points compared to rivals. Simultaneously, the process to compile a definitive list of features essential for implementing the MVP is crucial, along with a project roadmap, ensuring full alignment among team members concerning priorities and the scope of functionalities to be released. To delineate product requirements, prioritize features, and document them, the expertise of skil