Minimum Viable Product Implementation Strategy: How to Define, Prepare, and Launch
MVPs get created by companies to give them the quickest and most cost-effective way to get a product to market. Instead of spending lots of time and money building out a complete product before releasing it, MVPs focus on a few core features and let customers test them out.
However, to make sure that your MVP meets its projected goals you'll need to have an effective implementation strategy in place. And that's what we're going to talk about in todays’ article. Read on to find out how to implement an MVP, which steps to take, and what pitfalls to avoid.
Defining Your MVP Implementation Strategies
When it comes to identifying which MVP strategy to pick, we always recommend focusing on your goals first — what exactly you want to achieve with your MVP. By doing that and working your way from there in kind of a "backwards" manner, you will understand which resources, tools, and technologies will be needed, and at which point, for a successful MVP implementation for a software product.
Things that You Should Do Before Launching a MVP
There are a few other things that also need to be taken into account before implementing an MVP. These will help to set up a solid foundation for your project and mitigate risks of losing investments on an unprofitable project. So, here's what you should do:
- Validate your business idea;
- Do the market research;
- Outline the main pain points of your audience;
- Find out how customers deal with those problems.
Once that's done, you are ready to proceed to the MVP product development.
Top Reasons Why an MVP Implementation Might Fail
1. No market for the product
The first and most important factor for a successful MVP implementation is to have a market for your product. If there is no one interested in the product or service, then your MVP will probably not be able to reach its projected goal and will fail.
It is important to do thorough market research before starting to work on an MVP and to identify the needs of a target audience. Competition is another important factor to consider as you want to know how to differentiate your product from other offerings on the market.
Look into market trends, conduct user surveys, and gather insights from the focus groups — all these will give you more insights into customer expectations and current market reality.
2. No real problem to solve
Another key factor why many MVPs fail is the inability to target a real customer problem or working with an 'artificial' one — a problem that doesn't in fact exist. Oftentimes, the reality is different from what we identify in our product concept sheet. This is why it's necessary to study your market in advance to understand customer preferences, their pain points, and demands.
By doing so companies can better understand which functionalities to add, what features can stand the test of time, and — what's even more important — if there is any point in working with a particular product concept or not.
3. Poor product quality
No one wants to use an app or website that is slow, buggy, and crashes all the time. So, that's why it's crucial for a product to follow the latest UI/UX trends, meet the predefined quality standards, and be bug-free. It should also be noted that oftentimes companies mistakenly believe that MVP is not the finished product and thus needs to be approached as a prototype in terms of design, quality, etc.
However, an MVP is not some cut-down version of a fully-fledged product and shouldn't be treated as such. An MVP should always stay on par with the finished product in terms of UX, design, and code quality.
4. Weak marketing strategy
A successful MVP implementation is impossible without understanding how to promote your product. The development and release of the MVP is only a part of the whole process, and once your MVP goes live another stage starts. Thus, the marketing side shouldn't be overlooked.
To make your MVP promotional campaign a success, have a well-defined marketing strategy at hand that outlines the goals and objectives of your product or service. It should come with a precise description of your target audience, their needs and problems, as well as digital mediums they prefer to be in (social media, portals, blogs, etc.). This will help you understand which communication channels to use in order to reach your users.
For more about different ways to market your MVP read in 12 Proven Ways For Testing Your MVP.
5. Inadequate development workflow
Without a clear product roadmap at hand, projects risk falling into production chaos where the priorities and direction change in a blink of an eye, and developers randomly jump from one task to another without a clear understanding of where this all is leading them.
To keep that from happening, make sure to prepare the product roadmap beforehand to understand how your MVP will be developed, by who, when, and by what means. This will significantly simplify the development process and allow for better planning of resources and delivery timelines.
6. User feedback is neglected
Getting user feedback is essential for a successful MVP implementation. It is the only way to get honest, unbiased real-world market information about your MVP. Ignoring it or assuming that you know better what will work for the project may take you into the situation where demand for your MVP will decline drastically and eventually you end up with no market for your product at all (see the first paragraph in this section).
We strongly advise you not to disregard user opinions and always take them seriously as these are the users who can actually guarantee the success of your MVP.
Successful MVP Implementation Strategy
1. Prioritize features
The key to a successful MVP is to focus on only the essential features and prioritize them carefully. This allows you to keep the scope of the project manageable and ensure the MVP is built quickly. Start by outlining core functionalities you want to include in the MVP and then prioritize them based on customer needs and the value they bring.
When developing an MVP, we normally recommend choosing not more than 2 or 3 core features and focusing on those. It's also important to consider the time and cost associated with each feature. Some features may take longer to build and may be more expensive, so make sure to keep that in mind when making your choice.
2. Come up with a business model
The next step is to come up with a business model for the MVP. This will help you understand how the MVP will generate revenue and make sure it stays viable in the long run. It is important to think carefully about the revenue model. Consider how your product or service will be priced, whether it will be distributed for a one-time fee or offer different subscription plans to its audience, etc.
It is also necessary to think about how the product will scale. For example, if the MVP turns out to be successful, how will you expand the product later on? What will be your next steps in that regard? Also, don't forget to map out the customer acquisition strategy. How will you acquire new customers and retain existing ones? What channels will you use to reach them? And so on.
3. Gather development team
Once you have a clear business plan for the MVP, it's time to gather a development team. It should include people with the skills and experience necessary to build the MVP. Here you have several options — you can either build an in-house team, opt for freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, or outsource your project to a professional software development company.
When doing everything in-house, you get the most control over your project. However, keep in mind that this approach is the most time and resource demanding as you will need to manage dozens of people, pay salaries, taxes, rent, etc.
Working with freelancers may be significantly cheaper, but the main disadvantage of this method is you get the lowest level of control. Plus, no one can guarantee you that a freelancer won't disappear in the middle of the process leaving you with an unfinished project.
Partnering with an outsourced development team on the other hand is the most viable way for developing and launching MVP. By partnering with an established team, you get to work with programmers with solid technical expertise who know how to deliver your project fast and on budget.
4. Build MVP
This is where the technical side of the process gets carried out, and your product is put to the test. It is also here that you need to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure is set up for the MVP. Plus, it needs to allow for seamless product scalability in the future.
5. Gather customer feedback
Customer feedback is essential for understanding how users interact with the product, what features they need, and what difficulties they experience while using your product. You can do that by setting up user interviews and surveys.
It is also helpful to look at the usage data of the product and different metrics — how long users stay on the main page of your website or app, where they go from there, how many of those convert and reach the final stage, etc.
Once that's done, set up a feedback loop — ask customers for feedback on a regular basis and use it for future updates. This will help you make sure the product is always improving and meeting customer needs.
6. Build, Measure, Learn
The Build, Measure, Learn approach is all about the improvement of your product. This is an ongoing process during which you learn what works best and change what's not. After studying the customer feedback and product data, identify the weak points of your product and improve them. This could be anything from tweaking the page layout to adding new features. Once that's done, measure the impact of the changes to understand how the update affected the user experience.
Best Practices For Building an MVP From Our Experience
When building an MVP it is easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you have no prior experience in this domain or haven't worked on digital products before. Not everything will go as planned. So, it's very important to stay on the right track all the way through, to end up with a product that users will love. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
1. Have a clear goal
Have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish with your MVP right from the very beginning. This will help you stay focused on the key features and prioritize the tasks that need to be done. Knowing what you want to achieve will also help you keep the long-term perspective in mind.
2. Know your limitations
Developing an MVP can be a complex process, and it is important to be realistic about the resources available. This could be anything from the budget to the time frame, so consider what is achievable on the budget you actually have and within a manageable timeframe.
Knowing your limitations will help you determine the best course of action and avoid wasting time and effort on secondary features or extra integrations that are not necessary.
3. Keep the long-term perspective in mind
When you are building an MVP, it is easy to get caught up in short-term goals and forget about the long-term perspective. You should be able to envision how the product or service could evolve over time and how you could add new features and functions when you have more 1) resources and 2) information regarding the viability of your business concept (user feedback).
4. Have a clear set of priorities
With any project, there will be competing demands, so it is important to have a clear set of priorities outlined. It can be tempting to start working on everything all at once, but the priorities will help you focus only on those areas that contribute the most to the successful realization of the product's core idea, while also eliminating those that only consume resources. This could involve anything from deciding which features are most important, to what technologies will be used.
5. Don't forget to adjust
Building an MVP can be a complex process and things may not always work out as planned. The market conditions or the buying behavior of your target audience may change (think of shifts in buying habits during COVID-19). So stay flexible, and be prepared to adjust your plans according to the current conditions.
Why Development Team Matters
With the right software development partner on board, you can achieve the results you're looking for faster, and more efficiently. Being a full-cycle software development company, we at Lunka.tech have been helping companies from Europe, the US, the UK, and Canada deliver digital products of different scales, types, and fields.
Building an MVP is a great way to quickly test your idea, gain market insights, and gather a customer base. It can be valuable for startups and existing businesses alike. It allows them to test the waters and gain traction in the market before committing significant resources to the product or service.
However, if the MVP implementation is not done properly, it can lead to many issues, including costly delays and a greater risk of failure. By understanding the main reasons why an MVP might fail, startups can plan their MVP implementation strategies and launch the final product in a risk-free way.
We hope that now you have a better understanding of the minimum viable product implementation strategy and its main steps. Feel free to contact our team if you need more information or are simply looking for a professional software development company!
What are the factors to consider in making MVP?
- Focus on the pain points of your audience and develop your MVP in a way that would help users mitigate those. Make sure that everything you do in the project, both feature- and technology-wise, revolves around the concrete value that you want your product to provide.
How long will it take to implement an MVP?
- On average we're looking at 2 to 4 months. However, the MVP delivery timeline will depend on such factors as project complexity, the number of features you want to integrate, team size, and the general work scope.
What is the most important thing about launching the MVP?
- The most important is having goals and requirements outlined before proceeding to develop an MVP. You should also have an MVP implementation roadmap established to make the development smooth and time-efficient.
What comes next after the MVP?
- Once your MVP goes live you can start collecting user feedback and working on further improvements to the product based on the information you receive.