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Natalya Brinza Project Manager
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Minimum Viable Product: The Correct Way of Managing Products

Having an idea of a great product doesn't mean that it will work well with the real target customers. You can easily develop, in your mind, something people want, but you will never know for sure if it is worth all the troubles before you launch it.

Based on Spotify's way of development, I'll try to explain why MVP is considered an efficient tool in bringing a product to life. So Spotify's idea was to give users the opportunity to listen to music whenever they want and, depending on how many times they share the music, motivate performers by remunerating them.

That was a great challenge if you take into account the difficulties that might appear in the process of development. Despite this, the project was successful and had more than 1 million subscribers in the US. The question next is, how did they manage the project and haven't gone bust? It's all the fault of Iterative Method of work – they have combined principles of Lean Startup, Agile methodology as well as MVP methods. Let's take a closer look at the role MVP plays in the process of product development.

mvp

So the base of MVP product is iterative development cycle that includes four stages: thinking over, developing, uploading, and fixing up. The process is all about stage work – a team is to perform their part in little portions that are joined in one finalized project.

Each stage has its goal:

  • To think over means getting the project idea, creating prototypes and testing product viability inside the company.
  • To develop means to design a land-based MVP that can be tested by its users.
  • To upload means to launch MVP to the market and continue gathering information to improve the product.
  • To fix up means to get the process of iteration upgraded according to collected feedback.

Sounds familiar, yes? These stages are the hybrid of the Lean Startup methods and Agile development.

The concept of the lean startup is all about “to develop, to determine, to conclude” cycle. Such approach saves money, resources and time to implement clients' requirements. MVP is a product of high quality, but quick to develop and cheap. It's your must-have when creating a cost-based and resource-demanding product. Each of the four stages above is considered to be lean – small teams are always working on testing estimates. “To think over” stage is about testing the quality of the MVP concept; another. “To develop” stage is about testing the quality of the MVP itself. “To upload” and “To fix up” are constantly testing product compliance. MVP is launched step by step, always paying attention to users' feedback.

“Lean” thinking is necessary for formatting the right insight on how to design a new product into the usage of Agile methodology. The difference in principles is next: the lean startups are used to create a new market product, while the Agile methodology is responsible for the software development.

The team members are various specialists that do their job in small portions (so-called 1-4 week-long Sprints). Working in such way, they will react to the changes in the requirements list faster.

Read alsoHow to Build Your Startup Team

Summary

MVP strategy puts stress on a joint work, saving the same product team in all stages of development cycle. Sprints are also vital for managing all the resources on the “To develop”, “To upload”, and “To fix up” stages – the most intensive work takes place here. Constant testing and checking of the results at the end of each step of work will definitely keep your MVP on its lean way, even if product changes are inevitable.

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author Kate Sipkina Kate Sipkina
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Natalya Brinza project manager
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