MVP Software Development and Your Company's New Initiative

Is MVP For Software Development Only Limited To New Startups?

Releasing an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) is something that many businesses are beginning to do, especially when it comes to new software and website design. It's seen as an effective way to minimize the loss of development costs and risk of failure. However, as effective as an MVP can be, it's still often seen as a strategy employed only by startups. This is because startups often live and die by the success of a single product, whereas established companies are often able to sustain a failure or two. But that doesn't mean that established companies shouldn't consider implementing the MVP process as well.

What Is The Concept Of MVP In Software Development?

The traditional way to release a new software app is to spend a significant amount of time and money on development until it's done and then release it. The risk of doing this, of course, is that if the software fails, then you're out of luck -- you've just wasted all of the resources that you've poured into its development. By implementing the MVP process, you essentially release the software before it's completed. It may not have all of the features and functionality that it will have as a finished product, but its main functionality or features will be available. Early adopters will use your software and give feedback on what works, what doesn't work, and what bugs might be present in your software.

As you collect feedback, you can continue developing the software into what will eventually be the finished product. This feedback can be used to improve the software and to ensure that it meets the needs of your target audience. For example, you may decide to add functionality based on the feedback you've gotten, which could help make it more successful once the software is completed. Of course, initial feedback from an MVP could also tell you that your software is a complete failure and that there's no demand for it. If this is the case, you can cut your losses early on in the development cycle.

It Is Not Just Startups Who Have New Software Products To Launch

Startup companies are often based around the software they are developing -- therefore, the launch of their software is a sink or swim moment. While the survival of established businesses may not depend on the launch of their software (most established companies are simply updating old apps that have already proven to be successful), they may still have new software products that they want to launch. Just because they have the resources to develop new software until it's complete doesn't mean that they should. The MVP process can be just as beneficial if your company is already established and looking to launch a new app.

Whether It Is An All Company Initiative Or A Single Internal Team

It doesn't matter whether your entire company is focused on the development of a new software product or you only have a single team dedicated to a smaller app. The MVP process can help ensure that you make more efficient use of your resources creating a software product that has the functionality and features that your audience needs. The MVP process allows you to get your software out on the market quickly, giving you a step up on your competition.

Your Company’s New Initiative Should Follow Mvp Guidelines

There are essentially three ways to implement an MVP software development process. There's the Wizard of Oz method, in which you essentially fake a solution without building the product so that you can get feedback from your audience before you begin development. Then there's the concierge method, in which you find out what your audience wants, then use that feedback to develop your software product. Finally, the piecemeal method is where you build your software using what resources you have and limiting it to its core functionality and features, then releasing it to early adopters and using their feedback to continually build on and improve your software.

For New Software For Internal Use

Your company may be developing software for internal use to help increase productivity or cost-effectiveness in one department or another (for example, your sales department or your accounting department). This means that the software you're building is not a product that you plan on selling to consumers. However, this doesn't mean that you can't apply the MVP process here. Developing software for internal use still requires resources, after all.

In a case like this, the concierge method can be quite effective since you'll have direct access to the people who will be using your new software. They can explain to you exactly what they need and/or want, and you can then apply this feedback towards building software that will improve their abilities to do their jobs.

For New Software That Is Customer Facing

If you're developing new software as a product for consumers, then MVP development is arguably even more important. Not only can you improve your product through customer feedback, but getting it out onto the market as quickly as possible can give you a huge competitive advantage.

Existing Customers

The concierge approach works well with existing customers because they are familiar with your other software products. They are a part of your target audience and therefore can give you a good idea of what software solutions they need. The piecemeal method will also work well since many existing customers will jump on the chance to try out new products with the understanding that they are not complete. In fact, not only will the feedback they provide help aid the development process, but existing customers will also help spread positive word of mouth about your product so that once it's finished, there's a good chance it will be exposed to an even wider audience.

For Capturing New Customers

The concierge method is probably more effective for existing customers than it is for new customers. While the piecemeal method might work, it's easier to convince existing customers to try out software products that aren't complete yet. However, the Wizard of Oz method can be a good way to spark the interest of new customers and to get them to provide you with feedback.

4 Reasons Your Internal Team Should Think Like A Startup

Besides some of the obvious reasons for considering an MVP process, getting your internal team to think like a startup in general can be beneficial for a number of reasons.

Removes The Feeling Of Failure Being Acceptable

Established companies with established software products don't have as much to lose when releasing a new software product. If it fails, you can always fall back on the product that helped your business succeed in the first place. However, just because a failed product won't tank your business doesn't mean that failure should be acceptable. You want your team to work on your new software product as if failure were not an option and to put forth their very best effort. Getting your team to think like a startup will help make the product's success much more imperative.

Helps Them Focus On Bigger Picture Outcomes

When you're an established business with an established product, there's a chance your internal team may become a little risk-averse. They may not want to take big risks the way that startups are prone to do and their new software products may not bring anything new to the table. By encouraging a startup frame of mind, your team will be more capable of looking at the big picture when developing new software instead of just focusing on the status quo.

Forces Them To Adapt To Change

By implementing MVP development, your team may be forced to adjust course as they develop your software product based on the feedback they are collecting. This can be hugely beneficial by forcing your team to learn how to adapt to change. As a result, they'll be more capable of thinking on their feet when faced with sudden, unexpected challenges.

Inspires Them To Approach The Opportunity With Fresh Eyes

Startups have to look at things differently to make a name for themselves. Thinking like a startup will allow your team to look at projects with fresh eyes, finding ways to bring innovation and creativity to new software development projects.

Having An MVP Mentality For Internal Projects Is Integral To Success

Thinking like a startup will help prevent your business from growing stale and will allow you to continue being innovative and competitive. It's why you should implement an MVP development process when developing new software, whether it's for internal use or for consumer use.

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