Software Development
Jakub Jakubowicz
Jakub Jakubowicz

How to build a comprehensive product from idea to MVP?

MVP is an approach in product development, which we strongly appreciate and recommend to our clients. Recently, we have been working on one MVP, which brought us lots of experience that I would like to share with you. This is a really valuable lesson showing how to build a comprehensive product from an initial idea to the MVP development.

What is MVP?

Let me start with a brief explanation of what Minimum Viable Product is. MVP is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future product development. In other words, it is a product built as quickly as possible with enough basic functionalities. This approach allows the implementation of a product on the market so that the customer can test it, gather feedback, and constantly improve it. MVP provides cost effectiveness and time savings. Perhaps, this is the best solution for you too. Why? See yourself the most important benefits that it can bring you:

1. You verify your product. Thanks to the basic functionality, you can give your product to customers, verify its value and identify weaknesses and strengths.

2. Savings in the budget. Thanks to MVP, you have a reasonable budget. The development phase covers only the most important (strategic) functionalities. Only later, step by step, further ones are developed.

3. Minimize the risk. After a while, you can say that your first attempt was completely unnecessary. This is one of the biggest threats to your product. In the case of MVP, you test various functionalities, draw conclusions and collect continuous feedback from customers. Nobody will assess the value of the product better than the customers who will use it.

4. Time-saving. MVP implies that the development process focuses on the most important functionalities. Therefore, in a relatively short time, you will achieve the basic draft of the product.

How to build MVP

Our case study: How an effective development of MVP looks like

It's best to find out what the development process of MVP looks like on a real example. In recent months in Codest, we have been working on a project from the AdTech industry. We have established cooperation with a client who commissioned us the creation of a product from scratch. The product should be the company's internal tool. The client defined his needs, he sent us the specification and our cooperation started. We divided it into four phases.

1st phase: Conception

The first step was to determine the details of the product. We started by meeting our client to get to know his vision and expectations. We wanted to understand the type of business, needs, goals and functionalities of the product as best as possible.

We didn’t focus solely on what information the client gave us. Of course, we gathered and considered all information, but then presented our feedback to the customer. We have advised on possible development paths that would bring the best results. It was like tech consulting. Two visions coming together for the same target. It was necessary for the whole development process to be as well planned as possible so that the product could reach the expectations.

To sum up, at this stage, we defined: product details, principles of cooperation, daily communication and feedback, and selection of the best-fitted technologies.

1st phase duration: 15%

2nd phase: UX design & testing

After the conceptual phase, it was time for the UX designers team to do their part. Mock-up sketches had been developed. Several versions were tested to find the optimal solution. The word ‘tests’ is key here. This stage is a constant search, verification and implementation of changes to meet the customer’s needs. The final step of this phase was to create the final mock-up. Only then, developers could start working.

Attention! Not everything at this stage ran smoothly. Before starting the cooperation, we had established the deadline for this project. After we started the development, the client asked for additional functionality. This happens very often in this type of project. However, according to MVP, the whole procedure should be realized as effectively as possible and all functionalities should be set in the first phase. Anyway, we agreed to introduce new features, but we stipulated that the project deadline will change.

Therefore, the most important lesson you should remember from this point is to avoid changes during development. Plan and think about everything before starting the development process.

2nd phase duration: 20%

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3rd phase: Development

Then, a team of developers started to work. This stage usually takes the longest. The whole process is carried out following the Agile principles to keep the highest efficiency. The team used tools such as Jira, Slack and Harvest. We also had backlog grooming, spring planning, daily meetings, retrospective meetings,and demo for the client.

3rd phase duration: 60%

4rd phase: Finalization

After the development process, the project comes to an end. If all the basic functionalities have been implemented, the MVP project can be considered complete. But at this point, the product development process isn’t over. The further stages of development should be planned with the client.

4rd phase duration: 5%

MVP development process

Final summary

This is how the overall product development process based on MVP looks like. I am fully convinced of its effectiveness. However, the key is the comprehensive implementation of the first phase. If this is properly implemented, we reduce the risk to unnecessarily lengthen the work and have to increase the budget in the next phases. As you see, the whole MVP process is not complicated.

Do you want to know the detailed case study of our work? WRITE TO US!

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