You deserve an organization that is capable of launching a new product every month. Impossible? No! Not if you follow the minimum viable product method. Here are 5 steps on how to do this.

As I described before, a minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers while also providing feedback for future product development. Building an MVP is a great way to test your product in the market. Gathering insights from an MVP is often less expensive than developing a product with more features.

A Great MVP Example

The minimal viable product has proven to be a successful method of product development and testing. Let’s describe an example. When I was a Google executive, I was involved with the development of AdWords Express.

This is basically a simplified version of AdWords which generates relevant ad copy for the customer. From the beginning, this process seemed to be automated, but when this product was being developed, the back-end consisted of a group of students who were very quickly typing ad copy.

When this experiment proved successful, AdWords Express was further developed, and the process is now fully automated.

5 Steps to Build Your Own MVP

There are differing opinions about the best way to build an MVP. At RevelX, we believe the best practice for building an MVP is as follows:

  1. Get to know your customer

Always start with having your full attention focused on your customer because they are the ones you want to help out, right? Go meet them and make sure you ask relevant questions.

Customer journey maps are a great tool to get to know your customer better. If you want to dive deeper into this subject, I recommend you read René Jongen’s article about customer journey mapping.

  1. Define a value proposition

What is the set of features and traits that make your company’s proposition valuable? What makes you stand out from the competition? How can you make these tangible?

There are many ways to explore this subject. The Value Proposition Canvas is one of my personal favorites. At RevelX, we use it in our DISRUPTR game.

  1. Define your minimal viable solution

Now, make your MVP. This is a fully working product. However, it is the most minimal version of the product possible and designed to test risky assumptions.

You accomplish this through a Google design sprint. This is a 5-day program in which you build and validate an entire MVP for your intended customer group.

  1. Test your assumptions

The most valuable way to improve your product is through customer feedback. Go and get it! In other words, you should focus on questions such as:

  • Do people really have the issues you are trying to solve with your product?
  • How do they use the product?

In an earlier article, I recommended getting some basic data analytics tools. You can use them now:

  1. Learn and validate

Which features of your MVP should be maintained? And which should be killed, updated, or upgraded? In this stage, you try to learn as much as possible from customer feedback.

Here are some events you should organize at this stage:

  • A growth ideation session: This is a brainstorm session on steroids. Instead of just spouting ideas, insights from data will be the input for the next great update of your proposition.
  • Sprint meetings: In these sessions, everyone will be updated on the work that has been done so far, and challenges will be discussed.
  • Weekly standups: These are short updates that help plan out the way to go. They are also a perfect method to keep your people enthused.

Happy MVP’ing!

Are you ready to build your own MVP? The only thing I can recommend to you is just start building great things! But one last piece of advice: our MVP Toolkit  can help prepare you for this task. It provides you with a framework, a list of must-reads, and some workshop canvases so you can start practicing right away. You can download the MVP Toolkit here.

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