A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Your First MVP

What is a Minimum Viable Prototype? Do I really need one for my start-up business software? How do I decide on its features?

If you have successfully developed a business model and ready to start working on the software product development, then building Version.1 of your product will be the next step. This is nothing but the Minimum Viable Prototype(MVP.)

A MVP is nothing but the miniature operational model of any software product that holds models of all the core features of the original product. The MVP must have sufficient features of the new software product and it must satisfy the early adopters.

This early version of the software product must be used to gather customer feedback, and the complete product is built based on the structure of the feedback obtained from early users.

Here are a few guidelines to building your first MVP.

Make sure that you understand your customers’ requirements before you start building the MVP.

Prioritize the features for the MVP

Selecting the required features for your MVP isn’t as complicated as it looks, you can easily do that be prioritizing the features based on your customers “Needs vs. Wants.”

Ask the following questions to yourself :

What are the most important features without which the software can’t go to your customers hands? What are the features even without which your software product can operate? What is the main problem that your software product will address?

Classify the features accordingly and include the most important ones in your feature list. Only include these important features and your MVP is good to go to your initial testers.

Follow agile development methodology

The MVP must be capable of providing a complete user experience with just minimum essential features. These bare minimum features must clearly fill the major user requirement of your product.

To build the MVP with these essential features you should follow a development framework, like scrum or Kanban frameworks. Agile development methodology is most preferred because of its efficient and easy implementation features.

Agile development methodology leads to quicker MVP release, easy feature implementation, and gives a high-quality outcome that’s very transparent to the developers/product owner.

Releasing the MVP for early adopters

Once the Minimum Viable Prototype is built, you can now release it for the initial users to try on. Releasing doesn’t mean that your product is entirely built and ready for selling in the business market.

Here the MVP is released only for acquiring the customer response/feedback on issues or improvements in your V.1 of the software product. It involves a lot of data collection and storing them for designing your future software product developmental plan.

This testing phase is the essential part of any MVP building. Testing your MVP under real-time user environment will give you an idea about what and where to improve on your product, and what the users really expect out of your software product.

Collect user response & Iterate

Record all the initial user feedback and add the relevant ones to your priority list of features. This step will give you a clear view about what the users expect from your product and direct your development process accordingly.

Continuously test the MVP and add prioritized features to it during every sprint. Continuous improvement is the only way to develop a successful software product.

Iterate the entire process during every sprint release and continuously improve your fully operational, user-centered software product.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about building your own start-up business check out our e-book “The Definitive Guide To Building Your Own Innovative Software Product

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