When you first envisage a mobile or web app, you will naturally have a huge number of ideas of features that you want to add to it. This is great, but if you built all of the features that came to mind before your first release, your project would likely run out of funding before the user even laid their hands on it. The obvious solution here is to pick the most important features of your application and develop those first. A minimum viable product takes this to the extreme, by only implementing features that are 100% necessary for the application to work.

What is a minimum viable product?

There’s no secret behind a minimum viable product. It’s pretty much exactly what the name describes. It’s a minimum, viable, product.

It’s minimum.

If the feature isn’t critical to the operation of the application, then you don’t implement it. You should only solve the key problem that the majority of your users and customers face and you aim to address. Anything additional features are considered as flair and should be excluded.

It’s viable.

You don’t want to ruin your reputation by releasing something that isn’t ready. It should still be capable of working successfully and do what your users expect. It’s feasibility is what you are trying to prove, so ensure that it does actually work, otherwise you are wasting your time.

It’s a product.

It should still be a product and should address the primary problem that the product tries to solve. The user should still be able to use it and it should be free of bugs and issues. Just because it’s minimum doesn’t mean that the quality of it has to be minimum.

Why do I want to create a minimum viable product?

You don’t just want a minimum viable product, you need to create one. Even if your budget was infinitely large and you had the best team of developers in the world, you still need one. Minimum viable products add value and There are two main reasons to build a minimum viable product.

The first is that it will minimise waste.

Developing a minimum viable product helps you to quickly begin the process of learning and do it as quickly as possible. If you can learn what your project needs as early as possible, then you won’t spend time developing unnecessary features for your product or service.

The second is that it will improve cash flow.

Feedback from the user is the most important factor when deciding what to implement next and ultimately the path that your business takes. This means that you can gain revenue as soon as possible and combined with the lower levels of waste as described above, cash flow for your project will be improved.

Even though this post was focused particularly on software, keep in mind that minimum viable products work across industries. Any venture, in our opinion, can create a minimum viable product. Take, for example, a new burger restaurant. Their minimum viable product is the food that the serve. If that isn’t successful, everything else is a waste.

Hopefully this post has given you a quick introduction to minimum viable products and how they can help your enterprise to succeed. Keep in mind that minimum viable products are only truly effective when you are brutal during feature prioritisation. If unnecessary flair and advanced features start to creep into your product, ask yourself how much value they will add before you commit to implementing them. If you’d like to talk to our team about how we can guide and help you to implement a minimum viable product, contact us today.