Move Over MVP

Matthew Dunn - 01/06/2017

So do you give the client what they ask for or what they actually need? In true consultant style the answer is “it depends”. If the company is looking for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and the focus for them is “minimum” then that is one thing. However, unless you are a fan of the 1960’s American movement, then it’s unlikely that you actually like minimalism.

The modern software market isn’t a fan of minimalism either. The top three reasons for app rejections during the 7-day period ending May 2nd 2017 for the Apple App Store were performance related—making up 37% of rejections. In other words, if the product is too minimum, and a good level of functionality isn’t available, then prepare to be rejected.

This is a harsh lesson for companies who want to get a feel for the market. They enlist an organisation or internal resources to just deliver the least possible to get feedback, to try out the market as they’re not sure about this idea so “let’s keep costs down”.

Maybe they offshore it too as that’ll be a cheaper option — don’t confuse cheap with good ROI! On the surface, this sounds like a good idea. In reality, if it doesn’t get out to the market then it is often wasted money with little or no feedback gained.

Let’s not mention the damage that’s done in the competitive environment too by not getting something out quickly—lost opportunity cost anyone?

From the consumer side, 33% of mobile app engagements last less than one minute. Why is this? Is it because the customer doesn’t love the product? One minute doesn’t give you much time at all so better make sure that whatever you put into the market has enough for people to engage with and want more.

A good software development company will partner with you and strongly encourage and advise you, work collaboratively to develop a product that people will fall in love with. They will help you build the Minimum Loveable Product (MLP). This is not a new term, but getting it from theory into reality is something that few companies can successfully do.

In order to deliver this there needs to be a high level of collaboration between all parties involved. The Agile Manifesto places customer collaboration over contract negotiation, with a keen focus on a highly skilled, motivated team, in constant interaction with the product and the customer at every phase of the project. So in order to do this being co-located is a huge advantage. Scrum-based Agile methodologies will always recommend that you work in co-located teams.

Therefore, an important part of your shopping list should be to find a company that can guide you, work in an Agile fashion, advise you, one you can physically meet (from BA’s to developers), that has strong, stable, local teams who know the market.

Now let’s not be an advocate for a “let’s not ship anything until it’s completed” camp. That theory has more holes in it than a tramps vest. What is needed is a balance. Enough functionality for people to want to interact and know more but not so much that you’ve spent hundreds of hours on functionality that isn’t needed by the end user. As a business you need to know if you are on the right track with your development strategy whilst not alienating potential clients by giving them a sub-optimal experience.

A good software company will help you on the way to success, so make sure that you pick one that cares enough to not just do MVP, let’s work together towards a MLP.

This post first appeared on LinkedIn, published by Matthew Dunn, Business Development Manager, Kiandra IT

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