Minimum Viable Product Development: The Essence
Minimum viable product (MVP) development is a way to verify business assumptions for custom software or test the demand for a new product with minimum investments.
ScienceSoft helps both enterprises and product companies plan and build MVPs and evolve them into successful large-scale software quickly and cost-efficiently.
The number of MVP development steps and their duration will vary depending on the complexity and novelty of software and a type of a minimum viable product.
Below are described the typical steps we at ScienceSoft take to complete MVP development projects.
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, efforts, and software reliability. If the MVP is to be further improved in iterations, we also keep the full software version in mind while choosing techs.
Step 2. Proof-Of-Concept (optional) and Rapid Prototyping (optional)
ScienceSoft recommends opting for PoC and/or prototypes in case you need to demonstrate the software concept in a sales context, show stakeholders how software will work, or check the technical feasibility of software based on a highly innovative idea.
Step 3. MVP Development Project Planning
During this stage, ScienceSoft defines:
- MVP development project scope.
- MVP development project deliverables.
- MVP development budget planning.
- The PM methodology (most often, one of the Agile options, e.g., extreme programming (XP), Scrum).
- 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
Code-based MVP development
MVP UX design
Our key deliverables of this stage are user personas and user journeys that help future users fulfill their tasks quickly and easily and drive conversions (for products).
MVP UI design
At this stage, ScienceSoft creates custom design of user-facing parts (buttons, menus, tabs).
Best practice: We include this stage only if the design is a competitive MVP advantage. Otherwise, we use default themes and focus on the MVP functionality.
At ScienceSoft, this stage includes:
- Back-end development to build the MVP server side and APIs.
Best practice: At ScienceSoft, we actively use many ready-to-use cloud components and services, mostly from AWS and Azure, to minimize MVP development effort and cost and streamline the delivery.
- 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 that runs in parallel with development.
As a result of this phase, ScienceSoft delivers a working MVP and supporting documentation.
Step 5. MVP Launch and Further Iterations
We deploy ready-to-use software to the production environment. In case of complex MVPs, we first move them through testing and staging environments so that the team can safely introduce changes or catch remaining mistakes before the release.
After the release, ScienceSoft monitors how users communicate with the MVP. We:
- Validate or redefine user stories.
- Identify arising risks and update a risk management plan.
- Adjust feature/features.
When we see that the MVP gets market validation or shows positive changes in business processes, we either further evolve it or build new software from scratch to cater to the needs and expectations of a growing number of users.
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 tech stack and architecture.
- Advise on disruptive techs (AI, machine learning, AR/VR, etc.).
- Help comply with GDPR, and industry standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS, FIPS, and COPPA.
- Deliver a detailed implementation roadmap.
End-to-end MVP development
Our team takes over:
- Product 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.
Why Choose ScienceSoft to Deliver Your MVP
- In software development since 1989.
- In planning and developing SaaS solutions since 2012.
- In startup consulting since 2016.
- Practical experience in over 30 industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and banking.
- All needed roles onboard – from BAs and UX experts to QA and DevOps engineers.
- 2 days – 2 weeks to start.
– 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, we can also involve data scientists, 3D designers, etc.
You avoid excessive investments at the start and stay flexible in the future.
You get an opportunity to enter the real market and check the viability of your concept.
Minimum time to market
Code-based MVP will be ready for users in ~ 2-6 months, which allows you to roll out your product fast and stay ahead of the competition.
Quick idea monetization
The income from MVP can become a solid base for product evolution. Besides, it’s a chance to be noticed by investors.
Access to advanced techs
We can enrich your MVP with AI, VR, data science, IoT, and more.
What Our Customers Say
Being in the process of an online marketplace launch, we looked for a consulting partner to help us shape a final product vision with strong competitive advantages. Having accomplished all the market research activities, ScienceSoft provided a report featuring our core competitors: their products’ efficiencies and drawbacks, and monetization models. They also did a great job creating a dynamic UX prototype of our marketplace and planning integrations important for fast and effective business workflows.
Managing Director, Deyarat Trading Co.
As of the start of my cooperation with ScienceSoft, I needed competent and proactive consulting to help me shape my startup idea of a mobile app for social networking into a tangible business plan. I also required assistance in leading the project all through the development and launch stages. As a result of this market entry consulting part, I gained clear visibility into the competitive market and got the project scope defined. The stage was really valuable as it allowed me to have the functionality of my app and the roadmap with the major milestones planned.
Founder, Abdulaziz Alibrahim
ScienceSoft is the name we would recommend to every company seeking a committed IT services provider. We have been working with ScienceSoft for 6 years and they have become our long-term technology partner. ScienceSoft’s professional and knowledgeable staff has the willingness to endeavor best efforts to ensure project success.
As technology evolves we need to keep abreast. New features and improvements need to be introduced all the time. So I was in search of developers to handle parts of our back-end development. ScienceSoft came across as a reliable partner with decades of experience in the field and proven track record. ScienceSoft delivers great technical quality, really dedicated developers, eager to solve problems, and positive about their work and area of expertise.
ScienceSoft's team <...> have been working hard to ensure our product - Enonic XP - exceeds our customer's expectations. The team has become an integrated part of Enonic, and we appreciate their efforts and passion for the product. ScienceSoft's experience in agile development ensured smooth project implementation and iterative development of Enonic XP. This enabled us to adjust to the changing market requirements and incorporate features that made us stand out from competition. As a result, Enonic XP has evolved into an easy-to-use and scalable platform, which is crucial for our success.
Morten Øien Eriksen
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.
Outsourced MVP development team with in-house management
- 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.
Real-time data processing
Architecture designs and patterns
Traditional 3-layer architecture
Service-oriented architecture (SOA)
Various approaches to enterprise application integration
Why we often use cloud services in MVP development
Cloud services help deliver MVPs quickly, at a low cost, and with a possibility for code re-use in further development. Mostly, we work with two major cloud services providers – Azure and AWS. Here’s how they help with MVP delivery.
- 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.
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.
Three months of SaaS MVP development by a team of a BA/Consultant, a UI designer, a project manager, 3 developers, a QA engineer, and a DevOps usually cost ~ $105,000+.
The grand total for MVP development depends on a multitude of factors. At ScienceSoft, we consider the most significant cost factors to be:
A US-based IT consulting and IT service company, ScienceSoft has been helping startups and enterprises envision and build software since 1989. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified, we ensure robust quality and data security management. Contact us if you want to quickly verify your software idea with a high-quality MVP.