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The Agile philosophy was developed to streamline IT project development by segmenting each step in the development process into micro-projects called sprints. Each project can have anywhere from 10 to more than 50 sprints.
Understanding the client's perspective is a large part of building a successful product. Most clients do not have an IT background and can become quickly frustrated with draft sketches and concept meetings wanting; instead, a product to test. Likewise, spending months developing a product your client hates is a waste of team resources (and could cost you the client).
Rather than take these risks, Agile teams create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP takes 1-2 months to complete and appears fully functional but isn't. An MVP gives clients a product to test, allowing teams to make adjustments based on feedback but doesn't waste resources.
An MVP can sound like the ideal solution to wasting resources (and it can be), but it's also a concept that's misunderstood.
It's vital to keep in mind that an MVP is first a teaching tool created to help teams better understand client expectations and, on the flip side, to help clients understand what a team is capable of creating.
In creating an MVP, watching out for the following pitfalls:
Keeping in mind the purpose of an MVP (to understand client expectations), here's how to begin building a minimum viable product:
It's essential to prepare your client for an MVP by stating the purpose of the initial design. Allow clients to test and play with the MVP and gather all feedback for later adjustments.
The primary purpose of an MVP is to help teams fully understand client expectations without fully developing a product. Some clients may not find the product your team develops useful, and some clients may change a concept entirely based on an MVP. By developing an MVP, you can determine whether your client will like the product you can create while gathering valuable feedback.
Your client may not like the work that your team does, but it's much better to discover this truth before spending 12 months creating something that never launches. Developing an MVP can also work as a marketing strategy by giving your client something to test immediately (much more appealing than mock-up drafts!). In most cases, your client will appreciate the collaborative nature of an MVP and the chance to become involved in a process.
Are you looking for a skilled Agile team or team member? Take a look at our database of highly skilled tech talent here.