Minimum Viable Product

Posted on Posted in Agile

In product management, product functionality developed can be released to customers in various strategies, 2 major strategies are

  • Fixed Scope release strategy
  • Regular cadence (time) release strategy

Minimum Viable Product, popularly known as MVP is one of the product management release strategy that falls under fixed scope release strategy. MVP is always focus on the goal of the product, incrementally releasing a subset of the final goal that is 100% usable

MVP release focus on just sufficient, usable functionalities of the product. The focus on MVP release has following benefits

  • Release the product with minimum usability to the customer for early feedback
  • Enables the customers/stakeholders, team and business to be constantly aligned towards the final goal of the product. Provides early feedback and corrections
  • Better ROI and market focused competitive functionalities, capture market early and stay on the top of the product segment.

Let’s look at these 3 cases.

 

 

Case 1: The goal is to build a truck.

V1.0 Construction of Tyres and V2.0 body of the truck are NOT usable by the customer and misunderstood example

This case is incorrect example of MVP !


 

Case 2: The goal is to build a truck.

V1.0 Bicycle and V2.0 Car are usable by the customer BUT these are not the functionalities the customer is expecting in truck and in the direction of product vision & goal. This is another misunderstood example

This case is incorrect example of MVP !


 

Case 3: The goal is to build a truck.

V1.0 Engine and the minimum load carrying capacity and V2.0 larger load carrying capacity incremented on V1.0, in this case both V1.0 & V2.0 are usable by the customer, these are the functionalities the customer is expecting in truck.

This is correct example of MVP!


Some of the examples of MVP releases are

  1. Apple phone with functionality increments
  2. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Flipkart and other such websites which has constant increments now were once released to market with minimum functionalities.
  3. Micro satellite, mini satellite and satellite products developed for research

and so on..

Lastly, MVP has nothing to do with Scrum, it’s a product release strategy in product management, this strategy can be used in any framework. Scrum has beautifully embedded inspect and adapt cycles that enables the teams to build the product with higher quality, ROI and release as MVP.

Product releases can also be at regular cadence (regular time based releases) such releases are usually preferred when the product is in the market and incremental functionalities enables the customers/users to get maximum ROI. Examples of such regular cadence releases are updates to firmware, updates to antivirus database, incremental functionality on the websites, additional add-on features, bug fixes, and many more… (More on time based releases in next article)

What is your product release strategy ? I would like to hear your experience working with the MVP releases and how that helped your organisation, team and customers achieve the final goal?