The acronym itself stands for Minimum Viable Product, which is the product that may be presented to stakeholders, early adopters, and investors. It is a long shot from the final stage, but it should contain all the core functionalities that were agreed upon at the beginning of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). Let’s look at it as an evaluation or an experiment.
MVP is a commonly used term in Agile methodology, in which the development is divided into shorter, usually 2-week-long sprints. During the MVP software development phase, basic features are implemented. Testing and debugging happen too, in order to ensure that the fundamental functions are working as they are intended to. It may be just a call-to-action button or a simple transition between different layers within an application. It is a crucial part of the process because this will serve as the base. Without it, the project cannot proceed and no further steps can be taken. All the later functionalities and updates at later stages will be added to this. Using an analogy, it is like the foundation of a newly built house. You cannot raise the walls, do the plumbing or put a roof on it, without the proper understructure.
When does the MVP development end?
The generally accepted consensus is that it should be no more than 3 months. This scheduled phase should grant enough time for all participants to create a product that will resemble and demonstrate the core functionalities.
The MVP development phase also provides a chance for providing feedback while reflecting on the results and making modifications in order to have an application that stands out from the crowd and hopefully is in need – or meets the initial backer’s needs.
This is where the next stage of the whole project is decided before any new features are developed or added. Of course, certain changes can be applied in order to attract more investors and cater to a wider audience, and be used as a catalyst for further funding.
The Pitfalls of MVP software development
During the MVP development stage, resources should be used carefully because it is only the first milestone in the product’s life cycle. However, it is important to keep in mind that the market is getting more and more saturated. Ideas that seemed ground-breaking at the beginning may become obsolete, therefore certain features could be outdated and not needed anymore.
All of these can easily prolong this initial period, therefore making the initial budget go south, the product to be outdated, and the project to end up in dereliction. Due to the above-mentioned reasons, it is crucial to reflect on the MVP and make well-thought decisions about the changes that have to be applied in order to make the next step.