Hello, everyone! I hope at these tough times you stay careful and healthy. If you wanna start an MVP and have no idea how to do that you are in the right place. Today I’d like to cast light on 7 steps to run a successful MVP.
For those who have no or just a little idea what an MVP is, I’m gonna give a short description.
An MVP or a minimum viable product is a simple version of a potential product that is usually created for testing and receiving information on a target market.
This product allows you to get a clear vision of the product and gives you an opportunity to meet the decision about whether to launch the end product or not.
When you wanna create a successful MVP, you should keep in mind that it should be both minimal and viable. It is necessary for you to turn attention to problems and “headaches” of the potential users and just after testing the product can be changed and released on the market you’ve chosen.
Before we get to the point allow me to reveal the purposes and benefits of the MVP.
Purposes of an MVP
- minimize errors and losses;
- save time and money;
- reduce the cost of an initial development;
- introduce the product as soon as possible;
- finding the balance between your own decisions and the customers’ needs;
Benefits of the MVP
- You can concentrate on your idea. You can focus on the core of the product.
- Testing with minimal or even without risk.
- Feedbacks from users which enable you to save time and money for you know their needs and that allows you to choose the right direction for the development of the best product you can.
- “Making bridges” or developing relationships with possible customers. While testing users will say and point out those features that they would like to have or change. They actually show you the direction you need to move. Moreover, people who will test the product can become potential customers in the nearest future.
- Market validation which helps you to understand whether your project will be accepted on the market, what features make it unique and what can be done to make it better.
You know, guys, at first glance the building of the MVP seems rather simple and obvious, but later it turns out to be hard when you start developing it. But don’t worry, I’m gonna give you 7 essentials steps that make it in a way easier. So, let’s take a look at them.
Step #1. Provide research
Research is one of the most important points in all projects. That’s crucial for you to know what you want to achieve and what obstacles you’ll have on the way.
As a rule, this step usually includes several stages or blocks:
1.Defining of a business idea
First of all, you need to define your business idea – create the vision and understanding what is the main purpose of your product and what you wanna achieve by producing it.
You have to understand what features or peculiarities it will possess and after that, you can create the whole picture of work.
2. Identification of the main targets
When you have done the first stage you are ready to move to the next one – identification of the main targets and aims of your product. Why have you decided to develop it? What people and specialist will use it? What functions and features will it possess? Will it make life better and easier? What is the portrait of a typical end-user?
All these questions are to be answered by you and just after that, you will be able to put all puzzles together and make the whole picture of the future product.
3. Identification of the market
One of the most essential factors for the development of a good MVP is the market situation which is crucial to investigate. When you conduct such an investigation you will collect the information in the competitors in the niche and the moves to be taken for creating a better product. Also, it will be clearer to you if the market you’ve chosen is the right place for your MVP.
4. Conducting the research
When you have defined everything above-mentioned that’s time to move to the research. That’s necessary for you in order not to search a black cat in the darkroom, you will get to the work as soon as possible with a deep understanding of the things that need to be done.
Types of researches
As a rule, I define two types of researches that might help your MVP: customer and market researches.
In the first case, you will try to build the portrait of a potential user and understand the problems that he or she might have while using your product. In turn, you have to provide the solutions for those problems and find out how it can be done.
Market research helps you to define your direct and potential competitors, find the traits which differentiate you. Also, you get the idea where you can be better than they and what solution you can provide in contrary to them.
Step #2. Budget
How many times I’ve seen that companies drop all the money in the project skipping this step and then stay neither with money nor a successful project.
That’s highly essential for you to distribute your funds wisely and properly. Surely, sometimes it works but, believe me when you put all funds at once and stay with no money at all and wait for a good result – that’s sucks. In the majority of cases, such a strategy fails.
But it could be much worse if you put all the money at the stage of preparation before the MVP is even launched.
It is not really wise to try to develop an MVP that would be nearly advanced as the end product. Why? Firstly, that’s a waste of money. Secondly, in any case, you will need to change something or even rebuild the app. Third, pay attention to the researches and results that they have provided. Always pay attention to the tests and make decisions on them.
The best thing for you is to focus on one platform for your MVP and test it there, not trying to put it to all existing platforms.
Step #3. Customer journey map
When you have decided to develop and launch an MVP that’s necessary to think from the position of an actual customer. Try to imagine yourselves in the customer’s shoes and create “the customer’s journey map”. It should display how the actual customer would interact with your app or product, which buttons he/she would press or type, what he/she would search and which routes and stages they would go through while using your app/product.
If you do so, you will be able to understand customers’ way of thinking, moreover, you will know more clearly what actions you need to take to reach the goal you’ve appointed before.
This “map” will help to realize what features and points must be included in each stage of the customer’s journey.
The main thing that gives this “map” is the visualization of the project and a clearer vision of the features which are necessary to be applied at each step. No doubt, this will make the process of the development of the MVP much easier.
Step #4. Define the main features and prioritize them
When you have created “the customers’ journey map” you can define the main features that your MVP will possess.
As I said before, you need to write different features on each step of the customer’s journey. After that decide which are necessary and which not. Just then you may prioritize them.
Don’t know how to do that? Not a problem.
First of all, you need to point out the most important action that users are to do in the product. It will be the main feature. To make it easier, just write all the features you’d like to offer to a potential customer and choose the most significant out of them.
The next point is to prioritize all the features you’ve just chosen. Give answers to such questions as: “What features are the most important? Which features are really important and useful for a customer?
Have you picked up all the necessary features and prioritized them? Congratulations, you are ready to create the first version of your MVP.
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Step #5. Give value
When all the above-mentioned work is done you have to reconsider your main goals and features, think what you can add to that product. Try to ask yourself: “Is it a final core of my MVP? How can I bring the most possible value? Will it make the life of customers easier and more comfortable?
Be honest in your answers and make your product not so much for the money but more for people. Try to give real value to customers and they will be grateful and not refuse to pay for your product a fair price.
Surely, sometimes it turns out that your product brings a little value to a customer. When such a thing happens, you should reconsider your project and make some changes. You can provide a poll for a better understanding of the customers’ needs. If you reconsider everything I’m totally sure, you will be able to create a useful and timesaving product which will be needed on the market.
Step #6. Size of the product
One of the most important things is to decide how big or small your project should be. You have to choose the basic minimum which will be the core of the product. If you did all the steps noted above, it won’t be hard to decide which elements should be included in your MVP.
Nonetheless, you may have problems on that stage but these 5 key points are here to help you:
- Do you target your MVP on a small or big audience?
- Did you find out the problems of possible users/customers?
- Is your application or product well designed and easy to use?
- Is your MVP easy to launch?
- Do you spend a reasonable budget on it?
If you answered “No” at least once, that means you are to keep working on. You still need to pick up the core elements and values of the product. It will be necessary till the time when you will be finally sure that it’s actually an essential minimum.
Remember that as long as your product is simple, convenient, useful and makes life easier, your chances for success increase exponentially.
Step #7. Point out success criteria for your MVP
How to understand your project successful? Easy. You need to define your own success criteria. The basis for this is the main purpose of the project. After that, you can take a look at the features you have or at the customers’ expectations and develop some more criteria. When the project is done but not launched look if all the criteria were achieved.
Which criteria you’ll pick, what you want to accomplish and what goals you will perceive as successful that’s up to you.
I, personally, use such criteria as:
- engagement level;
- client lifetime value (CLV);
- active users and percentage;
- client acquisition cost.
To sum everything up I’ll give a list of 7 steps to run a successful MVP:
- Provide research.
- Reasonable budget.
- Customers’ journey map.
- Define the main features and prioritize them.
- Give value.
- Define the size of the project.
- Point out the success criteria for the MVP.
I hope you enjoyed and gained some valuable information.
If you are interested to read some more, please, check this link, here you can find all my articles.
I wish you a nice day, stay safe, healthy and hardworking!