MVP is Not Simply a Release

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A common misconception is that a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) consists of the minimum set of features deemed necessary for a working software product, with the goal of bringing it to market quickly. This is incorrect as there is an over-emphasis on speedy delivery and time to market, as opposed to focusing on customer and market acceptance. Rapid development is important, but only to the extent that learning and research objectives can be obtained quickly.

If you don’t intend to learn from the MVP, it is not an MVP it is simply a release.

MVP should not be confused with Minimum Marketable Product (MMP), Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF), Pilot testing, Prototyping or Proof of Concept (POC).

MVP are for:

Learning – MVP is a strategy for learning about your customers.

Testing your hypothesis – break down your idea into a series of hypotheses and use an MVP to test your hypothesis; what is the fastest way to get through the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop with the minimum amount of effort?

Deliver iteratively – Move from big to small learning loops (Build- Measure- Learn).

Using the term MVP sparingly to avoid confusion – you don’t have to use the terminology above but make sure that whatever term you use everyone has a consistent understanding so you can all work towards achieving a shared vision that delivers value.

Bird, Andy. MVP: Some common misconceptions and confusions. Digital by Design. Feb 24, 2017.