What is a minimum viable product?

Peter Woodbridge
Thursday 8 April 2021

We recently read a great article from Paul Boag on this topic, which inspired this post: Minimum viable product (MVP). What is it and why should you care?.

What is a minimum viable product?

A minimum viable product is a great way of building user centric digital services in a fraction of the time. It will also lead to big cost savings.

A minimum viable product has just enough features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for future developments. You can then gather valuable data on user interactions to iterate further and improve the product as time goes on.

The trick is delivering a product to users or customers that allows them to complete their top tasks successfully at an early date, instead of the product being delayed with superfluous features that won’t be used as often.

What are the benefits of a minimum viable product?

There are numerous benefits of using the minimum viable product approach:

  • It reduces the overall cost of development because no time is spent creating unnecessary features
  • The product is released faster, thus initial returns and improvements are noticed earlier
  • The end-product is something that the real user actually needed, with no redundant components or feature bloat
  • There is less future maintenance from the point of the operator
  • User satisfaction is at a high rate at an early stage because their top tasks are catered for. Other features can be added later.

Also in the case of digital products it leads to easier to use solutions. That doesn’t just increase satisfaction, it reduces support costs too.

Here is an explanation on the minimum viable product idealology from Paul Boag himself:

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