TABLE OF CONTENTS
MVP Product Development - from idea to product testing, roadmap in MVP.
Facebook, Twitter, Zappos, and Uber - what connects these brands? They all started with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) development. Properly conducting an MVP from idea to testing and release is not easy. Therefore, many companies and startups utilize a method called an MVP roadmap. The roadmap is not the only method that can support your startup and MVP development, but this article will focus on it.
What is an MVP roadmap?
An MVP roadmap is a plan that outlines the steps to achieve the minimum set of features. It is important for teams creating new products as it allows them to focus on the most essential elements of the product and avoid getting distracted by less significant functionalities. In an MVP roadmap, the following should be determined:
- Product goals and business objectives
- Target audience
- MVP features and characteristics
How can an MVP roadmap help guide a project from idea to product testing?
Using an MVP roadmap helps structure the entire MVP development process, increasing the likelihood of project completion.
Let's go through it step by step.
Product goals and business objectives in MVP:
The product goals and business objectives provide information about the benefits the MVP should bring and the main business goals it should fulfill. These goals and objectives in the MVP roadmap should be clearly defined and understood by all team members. They should also align with the overall business strategy of the company and may include the following elements:
- Overall goal: defining the main purpose of the product and the benefits it brings to its users.
- Business objectives: specifying the main business goals of the product, such as increasing revenue, enhancing customer loyalty, etc.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): identifying the metrics that will be measured to evaluate whether the product meets its business objectives.
Determining the target audience
The target audience in the MVP roadmap consists of the primary users of the MVP. This allows the team to better understand the needs and expectations of this group. Similar to business objectives, the target audience should be clearly defined and understood by all team members. It should also align with the overall business strategy of the company. The target audience in the MVP roadmap may include the following elements:
- Demographic characteristics: specifying the demographic attributes of the target audience, such as age, gender, location, etc.
- Needs and expectations: identifying the needs and expectations of the target audience towards the product.
- Activities: determining how the target audience will use the product and their purchasing habits.
- Problems and needs: identifying the problems and needs of the target audience and how the product can address them.
- Technological solutions: specifying the platforms and devices used by the target audience, e.g., iOS, Android.
Defining MVP features and characteristics:
Features and characteristics provide information about the elements of the product that are essential for the MVP to fulfill its goals and be useful to the target audience. In the MVP roadmap, features and characteristics can include the following elements:
Key features: identifying the most important product features that are necessary for achieving its goals.
Additional features: specifying features that are less crucial but may be useful to the target audience.
Visual aspects: determining the product's visual appearance and its visual characteristics, such as user interface or branding.
Integrations: specifying how the product will integrate with other systems or tools.
Establishing a schedule
The schedule in the MVP roadmap is a plan that outlines the sequence in which individual MVP features and characteristics will be added. It is important as it allows the team to manage time and resources better and plan the subsequent stages of the project more effectively.
The schedule in the MVP roadmap should be flexible and adaptable to changing needs and expectations. It may be necessary to adjust the schedule as the project progresses to better respond to changing circumstances.
The schedule in the MVP roadmap should include the following elements:
Milestones: Break down the MVP development process into key milestones. These milestones represent significant stages or achievements in the project and serve as checkpoints for progress.
Timeframes: Assign timeframes to each milestone, indicating the estimated duration for completing the associated tasks. This helps in planning and tracking the project's timeline.
Dependencies: Identify any dependencies between tasks or milestones. This means understanding which tasks need to be completed before others can begin. It helps in sequencing the work efficiently and avoiding bottlenecks.
Resource Allocation: Determine the resources required for each milestone, including the team members, technology, tools, and any external support needed. This ensures that the necessary resources are available at the right time.
Iterations and Feedback Loops: Incorporate iterations and feedback loops in the schedule to allow for continuous improvement and refinement of the MVP. This involves gathering user feedback, analyzing data, and making iterative updates to enhance the product.
Quality Assurance and Testing: Allocate sufficient time for quality assurance and testing activities to ensure the MVP meets the required standards and functionality. This may involve conducting user testing, bug fixing, and performance optimization.
Launch and Release: Plan for the launch and release of the MVP, including any marketing or promotional activities. Coordinate with relevant teams to ensure a smooth transition from development to the market.
The budget in the MVP roadmap outlines the financial resources allocated to the MVP development process. It includes the costs associated with tasks, resources, and any external services or tools required. Considerations for budgeting in the MVP roadmap include:
Development Costs: Estimate the costs associated with the development phase, including salaries, technology infrastructure, software licenses, and development tools.
Testing and Quality Assurance Costs: Account for expenses related to testing the MVP, conducting user research, and resolving any issues or bugs identified.
Marketing and Promotion Costs: Allocate a budget for marketing and promoting the MVP, including advertising, public relations, and user acquisition strategies.
Ongoing Maintenance Costs: Consider the costs associated with maintaining and supporting the MVP after its initial release, such as server hosting, software updates, and customer support.
Contingency Budget: Set aside a portion of the budget as a contingency to accommodate unforeseen expenses or changes in scope.
By considering these elements and creating a comprehensive MVP roadmap, teams can effectively guide the project from idea to product testing. It helps align the development process with business objectives, understand the target audience, prioritize features, manage the timeline, allocate resources, and plan the budget. This structured approach increases the chances of delivering a successful MVP that meets user needs and achieves the desired business outcomes.
Pre-Seed Phase, or the Stage Before the Idea
Reading this article probably made you think, "Hey, this sounds very similar to the pre-seed phase." If not, and you want to learn about what the pre-seed and seed phases are, I invite you to read our article on the subject. In a nutshell, the pre-seed phase is a stage in the startup creation process that precedes the seed phase. It is the first stage where you need to define the product's purpose and business goals, target audience, as well as the product's features and characteristics. In the pre-seed phase, you also need to develop a budget and project schedule.
Does it sound familiar?
The pre-seed phase is important because it allows you to develop a solid plan that will serve as the foundation for further work on the product. Market research should be conducted to better understand the needs and expectations of the target audience and determine which features and characteristics are most important to this group. This knowledge is essential for developing an MVP roadmap.
If you want to learn more about the pre-seed and seed phases, read our article.
An MVP roadmap is a plan that outlines the steps to take to move a project from an idea to product testing. The MVP roadmap consists of several elements, such as the product's purpose and business goals, target audience, features and characteristics, as well as the budget and schedule.
The purpose and business goals in the MVP roadmap define what the product aims to achieve and its main business objective.
The target audience in the MVP roadmap refers to identifying who the primary recipients of the MVP will be.
The budget in the MVP roadmap provides information about the resources (e.g., human, financial) that will be needed to carry out the different stages of the project.
The schedule in the MVP roadmap outlines how each stage of the project will be implemented over time.
How can we help you? In our business, we have prepared many MVPs, and the roadmap is part of that process. If you would like our assistance, please contact us. If you are not yet at that stage, read some of our articles.
The article worth reading next is "Do You Need a Native Mobile Application?."