MVP Development | Launch Plan, Skills, Investments
MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: THE ESSENCE
Minimum viable product (MVP) development is building a software version with core features and minimalist design, using basic infrastructure. Deploying an MVP, you verify business assumptions for custom software and test the demand for a new product, with minimum investments.
The number of MVP development steps and their duration will vary depending on the complexity and novelty of a solution, as well as a minimum viable product type. Below are the typical MVP development steps.
Step 1. Discovery and MVP planning
(2 weeks – 1 month)
Business analysis FOR PRODUCTS
- Product idea generation.
- Target market, customer, and competitor research.
- Creating a product concept.
- Identifying the selling price.
- Planning a KPI dashboard for MVP.
Check a sample KPI set for MVP
An informative KPI set can be lean and have, e.g., 3 key groups:
- Customer acquisition (e.g., the number of signups, the number of downloads, customer acquisition cost).
- Customer engagement and satisfaction (e.g., CSAT, shares/reactivations/invites).
- Predicted revenue (e.g., customer lifetime value, predicted monthly recurring revenue).
Business analysis FOR CUSTOM ENTERPRISE SOFTWARE
- Identification of business needs and business process improvement options.
- Project stakeholder interviewing and analysis.
- Software idea conceptualization.
- Feature outline for the full software version.
- Feature prioritization for the full software version based on user stories, user scenarios, prioritization techniques (e.g., Kano and MoSCoW), cost-benefit analysis, etc.
- Deciding on MVP functionality.
MVP architecture design
with attention to:
- High-level design of the final solution (if the MVP won’t be re-built in the future, but further improved in iterations).
- Performance requirements.
- Information security requirements.
- HIPAA, FDA, PCI DSS compliance (if needed).
Planning MVP integrations
with third-party systems (if needed).
Choosing a technology stack
for the optimum MVP development time, costs and efforts, software reliability (if the MVP is to stay and be further improved in iterations, the full software version should be kept in mind in the course of all considerations).
Step 2. Proof-Of-Concept (optional) and rapid prototyping (optional)
To demonstrate the software concept in a sales context, give an understanding of how the software will work to stakeholders, or check technical feasibility of software based on a highly innovative idea.
Step 3. MVP development project planning
The main focus areas are:
- MVP development project scope.
- MVP development project deliverables.
- MVP development budget planning.
- The PM methodology (most often, one of the Agile options – Scrum, extreme programming (XP), etc.).
- MVP development project timeline.
- MVP development project schedule and breakdown into iterations and deliverables.
- MVP development project risks charter.
Step 4. MVP development
No-code MVP development (~1-2 days)
Code-based MVP development
The development of a software-based MVP has the following stages:
MVP UX design
Key deliverables of this stage are user personas and user journeys helping future customers fulfil their tasks quickly and easily, and drive conversions (for products).
MVP UI design
At this stage, custom design of user-facing parts (buttons, menus, tabs) is created.
Note: the stage is reasonable only if design is a competitive advantage, otherwise it’s better to use default themes and focus on the MVP functionality.
- Back-end development to build the MVP server side and APIs.
- Front-end development to transform static interface images provided by UI designers into a fully functional MVP client side, and ensure its communication with the server.
- Testing runs in parallel with development.
The result of this phase is a working MVP and supporting documentation.
Note: Popular clouds like AWS and Azure offer many ready-to-use components and services to minimize development effort.
Step 5. MVP launch and further iterations
Software gets deployed to the production environment ready for use. Complex MVPs can be first moved through testing and staging environments so that the team could safely introduce changes or catch remaining mistakes before releasing software.
Monitoring how users communicate with the MVP, the project team:
- Validates or redefines user stories.
- Identifies arising risks and updates a risk management plan
- Adjusts feature/features.
If the MVP gets market validation or shows positive changes in business processes, it can be completely rebuilt or further improved to cater for the needs and expectations of a growing number of users.
– oversees an MVP project, including delivery on time and on budget, preventing feature creep, etc.
Business Analyst (BA)
– elicits functional and non-functional MVP requirements, technical limitations, defines MVP modules and integrations with other systems.
– performs UX research, designs minimum necessary user interactions with an MVP, and information architecture, conducts usability testing.
– working closely with UX designers, creates aesthetically pleasing, custom visual style of the user-facing MVP interface.
Back-end developers (1-3)
– builds the MVP server side and APIs.
– creates the MVP client side.
Quality Assurance Engineer (optional)
– designs and implements the test strategy, plans and cases, validates the developed MVP and produces test summary reports.
Additional talents can be required, depending on the nature of the project, for example, you may need to draw on the skills of data scientists, 3D designers, etc.
- Direct supervision over the MVP development process and team productivity.
- High costs.
- No quick access to specific competencies.
- Prolonged MVP project start (if you don’t have a development department yet).
- All hiring and managerial efforts are on your side.
Partial outsourcing of technical resources
- Optimal resource usage at peak times.
- Quick access to specific tech knowledge when required.
- Project team coordination, quick and quality MVP delivery concerns and risk management are on your side.
Full outsourcing of technical resources
- Fast MVP development project ramp-up.
- Established communication and processes within the technical team.
- Project team coordination, quick and quality MVP delivery concerns and risk management are partially or totally on your side.
Full process outsourcing
- Vendor assumes full responsibility for the team arrangement and management, MVP development process establishment and coordination, quality of the results and related development risk management.
- Vendor risks are higher.
ScienceSoft recommends considering popular clouds (Azure, AWS) to quickly lay the foundation for a modern cloud-native application able to take advantage of the cloud elasticity and scalability and multiple ready-to-use cloud services (messaging, service discovery, AI, AR/VR, IoT, data science, and more) offered by cloud providers.
- Ready-to-go services for advanced functionality (IoT, AI and machine learning, blockchain).
- Globally spread Content Delivery Network.
- Built-in containerization and orchestration tools.
- CI/CD management tools for automated building, testing and deployment.
- Scalable serverless data storage.
- Azure free account allows free access to popular Azure services (including Azure Virtual Machines, Azure SQL Database) for 12 months and access to more than 25 Azure services that are always free (including Azure App Services, Azure DevOps, Azure Machine Learning).
- Ready-to-go services for advanced functionality (e.g., AI and ML, blockchain, media broadcasting).
- Global content delivery.
- Built-in containerization and orchestration tools.
- DevOps and CI/CD tools (AWS CodeStar AWS CodePipeline).
- Scalable serverless data storage.
- Some AWS services include a perpetual free tier that offers enough capacity to validate MVP.
Power BI Embedded
- Easily embed reports and dashboards into an application.
- Start quickly with an extensive library of data connectors, fully documented APIs and SDKs.
Pricing (with Azure nodes):
The investments for a launch of a software-based MVP vary a lot – from approximately 1/10 to 1/2…1/3 of the final software cost.
The grand total for MVP development depends on a multitude of factors:
BUILD THE RIGHT MVP WITH SCIENCESOFT
With hundreds of successful minimum viable product development projects under our belt, we can help with:
MVP development consulting
- Help with your idea conceptualization.
- Define MVP functionality.
- Determine MVP tech stack and architecture.
- Advise on disruptive techs (AI, machine learning, big data, AR/VR, etc.).
- Help comply with GDPR, and your industry standards and regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, FIPS, and COPPA.
- Deliver a detailed MVP implementation roadmap.
End-to-end MVP development
Our team takes over:
- Product/enterprise application idea conceptualization and feature management.
- MVP UX and UI design.
- MVP development and testing.
- Integrations with third-party systems.
- MVP launch and support.
- MVP performance evaluation and further iterations.
A US-based IT consulting and IT service company, ScienceSoft has been helping startups and enterprises envision and build software since 1989. Contact us if you want to quickly verify your software idea with a high-quality MVP.