What Belongs In An MVP
(And What Should Wait)
Determining what belongs in a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) requires careful consideration of the core functionality necessary to deliver value to users. The goal is to provide a functional product with essential features while minimizing development time and resources. Here are some guidelines to help identify what should and should not be included in an MVP:
What Belongs in an MVP:
Include features that are fundamental to the product's purpose and solve the primary problem it aims to address. Focus on the key value proposition and ensure the product can deliver its core functionality effectively.
Key User Flows:
Prioritize features and user flows that represent the most critical paths users would take within the product. Identify the core use cases that align with the primary objectives of the product and ensure they are implemented smoothly.
Basic User Interface:
Design a simple and intuitive user interface that allows users to interact with the core features effectively. Prioritize usability and ensure a smooth user experience for the selected features and user flows.
Minimum Data Set:
Include the minimum amount of data necessary to demonstrate the product's functionality. Populate the product with sample or placeholder data to showcase its capabilities and enable users to interact with the key features.
Performance and Stability:
Focus on delivering a stable and performant product that functions reliably for the included core features. Ensure the product performs well under typical usage scenarios and provides a satisfactory user experience.
What Doesn't Belong in an MVP:
Avoid adding features that are not essential to the core functionality or value proposition. Nice-to-have features can be considered for future iterations once the MVP is launched and validated.
Advanced Customization Options:
Complex customization options can significantly increase development time and effort. Unless customization is a core aspect of your product, it's advisable to defer extensive customization capabilities to later stages.
Secondary or Edge Case Scenarios:
While edge cases and secondary scenarios are important, they are not critical for an MVP. Prioritize the main use cases and user flows that represent the majority of user needs and leave edge cases for future iterations.
Advanced Analytics and Reporting:
Detailed analytics and reporting functionalities can be resource-intensive and may not be necessary for an MVP. Focus on delivering the core product before investing in advanced data analysis and reporting capabilities.
Polished Design and UI Enhancements:
While a visually appealing design is important, avoid spending excessive time on fine-tuning aesthetics during the MVP stage. Prioritize usability and functionality over extensive design enhancements.
Remember, the goal of an MVP is to validate the product concept, gather user feedback, and iterate based on real-world usage. By focusing on core functionality and providing a valuable user experience, you can launch a viable product and gather insights to drive future development decisions and feature enhancements.