Release your product
The trend nowadays is release quickly and update continuously. Sometimes this trend seems to be the driving force behind management’s decision to approach projects in an agile way. “Others release quick, we should as well.” At the same time this need for speed brings some challenges.
- When are we ready to go live?
- What must be in? What would be nice to have?
In his book ‘The Lean Startup’ Eric Ries provides many examples of biases people have defining their product. Overcoming the temptation thinking that one knows exactly how a certain function is to be implemented and what a product should offer is far from easy.
Before you know it, time and effort are spent on building, testing, and discussing functionality that is never used or evens may be be undesired. Scrum is an excellent framework that – if put to use correctly – assures that the functionality offering the most value is built first. But how to determine what is most important?
The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) offers a very practical solution. While a good Product Owner uses his skills to collect as much information from all stakeholders as possible and prioritises it in his Product Backlog, the best and most honest feedback is gathered from testing the product with real users even if it’s not ready, even if some functionality is plainly basic.
The Minimum Viable Product is not a minimal product; it is a strategy and process directed toward making and selling a product to customers. It is an iterative process of idea generation, prototyping, presentation, data collection, analysis and learning
The Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning with the least effort (for more info).
So it is a continuous cycle of building, measuring, and learning. Each phase with its own results: An application, collected feedback / data, and new ideas (for the next version of the MVP).
At Maxcode we try to encourage you to go live with part of the application or basic implementations instead of the full feature set, in order to find out what your customer really wants. While the measuring and learning phases take place, we can work on something else. When you have learned, redefined your MVP and updated your Product Backlog (new ideas, other priorities) we are ready to continue with the next release.