MVP Software Development: What, When and Why

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Julia Sakovich
Author, Geomotiv
Published: May 23, 2022

Today, software solutions accompany practically every task in our life. Companies and organizations try to automate processes for the convenience of their employees and clients. Digitalization is gaining momentum, explaining the continuously growing demand for custom software development services.

The size of investments that these services require may seriously differ depending on the type of a solution, its functionality, and its scale. However, with a software product that precisely solves the set tasks and meets the expectations of end-users, there are huge chances to get a rather quick ROI. But how is it possible to understand that the solution that you are going to build is bound to succeed?

Somebody may say that you will never know it before you try. However, it can be a rather risky decision. If something goes wrong, you may lose time and money spent developing, but your project will fail. Are there any ways to stay on the safe side and avoid financial losses? Yes, there is! MVP software development is the answer. And that is exactly what we are going to talk about in this article.

What is MVP in software development?

To begin with, let’s have a look at the explanation of this concept.

MVP (or a minimum viable product) is a product with a minimum set of features enough for early adopters to understand whether a solution is attractive for them and whether it copes with some particular tasks.

In other words, by creating an MVP, companies can validate their business idea and decide whether they should invest in developing a full-scale product.

Even if the first version of an MVP is unsuccessful, companies can use the received feedback to quickly introduce the necessary changes and test their ideas once again.

It’s important to note that MVP product development plays a key role in the agile methodology. It is based exactly on validating and upgrading products according to user input. If you want to learn more about this approach to software development that is widely used today, you can follow the link to read one of our previously published blog posts.

MVP in software development: How long does it take?

It is quite complicated to name any precise timeframes for the MVP app development when we do not know what solution we are talking about.

The entire process may take from just two weeks to around 6-7 months. In this situation, it’s important to understand that low-code or no-code development itself can last for just 2-5 days. At the same time, if code-based development is required, the development stage will take up to 6 months.

Just to compare. The development of a full-scale software product, on average, takes around 4-12 months, depending on the complexity of the solution. And if you have a huge feature-rich platform, developers may need years to create its full functionality and test it.

How much will it cost to build an MVP?

As we’ve already mentioned, the development of an MVP costs significantly less than creating a product with full functionality. As a result, you can reduce your financial risks.

Though your IT partner can provide the exact price of such services only after analyzing requirements, an MVP will need around 10% to 50% of the final software development cost.

In our blog, you can read the article written by the Geomotiv CEO, where he explained how it is possible to estimate software development costs and what factors should be taken into account.

Benefits of MVP software development

Let’s briefly summarize why creating an MVP can be a good idea when planning to launch a custom software product.

  • Launching a product with a minimum set of functions can significantly reduce the time to present your solution to the first users.
  • An MVP helps you to test and validate your idea with real users without the risk of losing all your budget allocated for software development.
  • With an MVP, you can receive feedback from your target audience and timely introduce the necessary changes in your solution. As a result, when launching a full-scale product, you can be sure that it precisely addresses the needs of end-users.
  • As your first contact with users happens rather early (compared to when companies decide to avoid this stage and proceed to full-scale development at once), you can establish close and trustful relations with your audience. 
  • While working on a minimum viable product, you can fully focus on the core functionality of your solution, which allows you to significantly enhance and upgrade it in the process of development to reach the highest user satisfaction.
  • Custom MVP software development allows you to reduce financial risks related to creating a completely new product and ensure that you are on the right path with your idea before it becomes too late to change it or replace it with something else.

If you want to validate the viability of your software idea, you do not need to take a risk and launch a full-scale product at once. Instead, let’s build an MVP first and then scale it up! Our team can guide you at all the steps of this journey!

MVP development process: How it is organized

First of all, we need to highlight that many details and peculiarities of this process can differ depending on the software you are working on. However, we can define the general steps of MVP development and implementation that may include different tasks and may take different periods. Still, in this or that form, they will take place.

Step 1. Discovery and idea creation

If you want to launch a software product, you need to research a market, detect the problems you want to solve and assume how you can deal with these problems with the help of your solution. In addition, you should clearly understand what features will address each aspect of the problems under consideration.

At this step, you also need to deeply analyze the peculiarities of your target audience, the interests, and requirements of your potential users, and their necessity to have this or that type of software product.

Though this step is optional, we recommend our clients consider the feasibility and necessity of prototypes and/or PoC. For example, software concepts and prototypes can often be of great use when you need to demonstrate them to stakeholders.

Step 3. MVP project planning

At this stage, it is crucial to define such points as:

  • project scope;
  • deliverables;
  • budget;
  • PM methodology;
  • timeframes and schedule;
  • possible risks.

Step 4. MVP development

There are several approaches to MVP product development. It can be either no-code (low-code) or code-based development.

No-code (low-code) Code-based development
This option presupposes building a
so-called landing page product that will be just a presentation of an idea with sign-up or questionnaire forms.
Code-based development includes the creation of either just one core feature or of some elements of different features.

The advertising of a product within no-code (low-code) development can also include manual performing of some processes that will be further automated. It is known as a flintstone MVP.

The MVP app development is similar to any development process and consists of UI design, UX design, and coding (if required).

Testing is usually conducted in parallel with development.

Step 5. MVP launch, feedback analysis, iterations

When everything is ready, the MVP is released, and the team starts its close monitoring of the user interaction with the software.

After the feedback is gathered and user behavior is analyzed, the team can decide whether it is necessary to introduce any changes in the product, whether they need to build a new one, or if it is excellent. Then, it’s time to scale the software with additional functionality.

Wrapping up

Software development is often associated with challenges and pitfalls. Even if you have studied the interests and needs of potential users before introducing an idea, there is still a risk that a final product won’t meet their expectations. However, thanks to the possibility of building a minimum viable product, you can not start running right off the bat.

And remember: an MVP can become your solid ground for launching your full-size software product. So rely on us, and we will help you go big. To discuss our possible collaboration and work models, please leave your inquiry on our website, and our experts will contact you.

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