When someone mentions an MVP, most of us immediately think of it as a sports term referring to the Most Valuable Player. And who could blame you for that? But, in the world of software development, the acronym means something quite different. When developers or project managers refer to an MVP, they're talking about the 'minimum viable product' that could be developed. And, if used properly, an MVP could help save your development project time and money. Here, we take a look at the benefits of an MVP for a startup or any other business...
5 benefits of an MVP in software development
What is an MVP in software development?
According to Techopedia, “a minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users.” So it's all about developing a product with minimum effort in order to achieve maximum learning. This learning will then inform the next/final phase of the app or product.
How can it help save you money?
The main advantage of creating an MVP is that it helps save your project time and money. Here's how...
1). Shorter development timeline
The average app development project takes between 3 to 9 months to complete, and that often excludes testing and tweaking. One of the benefits of creating a minimum viable product is that it significantly decreases the project timeline. The simpler the end product, the quicker it'll be to build, the less money you spend on ongoing labour.
2). Paired back requirements
When budgeting for a software or app development project, it's critical to take into consideration the product's requirements. Each technical addition or function comes with a price tag covering the developers' time and expertise. If you need video, GPS, or payment functions, it's likely to affect your final quote.
But, with an MVP, the purpose is to build a product that's paired back and streamlined so that you can launch it to users. Then, with their feedback, you can determine additional functions. Rather than anticipating needs and spending money on functions users might not require, you start off as simple as possible and adjust from there.
3). Quicker time to market
The reduced timeline means you can get your product to market much sooner. This is crucial, because you want your target audience to be using the product as soon as possible, so you can determine next steps. Generally, the longer a project takes to complete, the more it'll cost you. Not only does a quicker time to market save you money in the development stages, but you can earn money faster after your project has been launched. Once a product is out there, you can start using it to create additional revenue streams for your business.
4). Earlier testing
There's always a stage in the software development life cycle that's dedicated to testing. Depending on the product you've built, and its functionality and usability, this phase could take a while. Obviously, if you've stripped away all the complex features, an MVP will have fewer elements to test and the testing stage is likely to be simpler. This all helps reduce the turnaround time, and keep some money in your pocket.
5). Increased customer knowledge
This is probably the most significant benefit of an MVP, and the reason so many startups are opting for them. When you're building a software development product, you make many assumptions because it's hard to know exactly what your customers are looking for. And, as Albert Einstein said, "assumptions are made, and most assumptions are wrong." Sadly, in the development world, incorrect assumptions can end up costing you money.
But, with an MVP acting as a mid-point in your development cycle, you know exactly what your users are after, which functions they need and what they want the final product to look like. This means you can save money giving them what they want instead of spending on an experiment. Everyone wants a development project that's time and cost-efficient. And an MVP is just that.
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