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6 MOST COMMON MISTAKES DURING AN MVP DEVELOPMENT

Marketing Manager
Anastasia Shevchuk

INTRODUCTION

Most people consider an MVP to be a full-featured product, whereas others think that an MVP is a beta version of the final product. That is not so and both options are wrong. MVP is a no-frills version of a product with the core features needed to solve your users' problems and provide immediate value while minimizing development costs. Minimum Viable Product allows you to test key hypotheses, gather user information and go to market quickly.
MVP development can be a turning point in the carrier of many startups therefore this process requires thorough preparation.

However, there are several common mistakes seen among startups during MVP development.

Let's consider 6 common mistakes to avoid while an MVP development!

MARKET RESEARCH? NO THANKS

The concept of MVP is to test key hypotheses with the market and gather customers' feedback. So the biggest mistake that many product owners do is ignore the market research completely and just let things take their course.

Lack of research on the users' preferences and habits may cost you significant financial losses, including the time that was spent on development. Before starting any work on project development, double-check you are acting in the interests of your potential customers and create a product that they need.

THINKING "M" MEANS "MAXIMUM"

Startup CEOs often follow the strategy that customers will only accept product perfection and with such a mindset it's difficult for them to build an MVP with a limited feature set. An MVP is not supposed to be the final product, but it will achieve its goal by subtraction. However, many business owners don't wait and start including everything the final product should offer. In other words, they don't just stick to the minimum number of features but embed most or all features, also they try to make top-notch designs leaving no space for future changes and improvements.

The reason for such speed is obvious: to impress the audience. That is why developers feel the need to polish up the user experience and add more features to display the app's multi-functionality.

Deciding what features are crucial while developing an MVP depends on two factors:
The first factor is the feature selection process. It involves going through the MVP's goals and objectives as well as customer needs to determine only the key features relevant to the goals.

The second factor is the description of each proposed feature and its specific benefits about the predetermined goals and users' expectations. This enables startups to see clearly and avoid adding unnecessary features at the MVP stage.

Wonder what the acronym mvp means and why there is so much noise around it? Read our article: MVP or why you shouldn't create a "perfect" product right away.

STRIVING FOR IDEAL DESIGN AND OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE

While building an MVP, startups should aim at providing the necessary features in an optimal timeframe. Here are some tips:
use frontend frameworks and components;
avoid spending too much time on continuous integration, performance, and extraordinary design;
control the technical debt – no worries, it's very common and even smart to incur some technical debt at the MVP stage to deliver it faster to the target audience;
avoid building parts of the code that may not be used in the final version.
MVP development shouldn't take more than 3 months. If you want to accelerate this process, even more, a good start is the Design sprint.

It's a 5-day workshop concentrated on validating design hypotheses. It's a great opportunity for the team to identify goals, target audience, key functionalities, and design. Being fully prepared, thanks to the knowledge gained from the workshop you can start an MVP development without any concerns.
HAVE A GREAT IDEA OF AN MVP?

HIRING THE WRONG TEAM

If you lack the required technical skills to effectively develop, launch, and support your MVP then finding a technology partner who can deliver all the required technical aspects is an important ingredient in your MVP's success.
When it comes to hiring a team, startups usually make two common mistakes:

Choose the cheapest option

Opting for the cheapest option is a common mistake most startups make. Your MVP is the foundation of not only your application but also your business; therefore, choosing the least expensive option when aiming to produce a quality product is a straight way of ending your startup career before it's even started.

Don't hire a full-service team

Hiring an improper, inexperienced or unprofessional team can be an MVP's downfall. What is needed is a team of designers, developers, QA engineers, and PMs to build an MVP. However, if this team does not have top-of-the-notch skills and proficiency, then the development stage will fail.

When you work with an unprofessional team, you are likely to come across two issues:

Missed deadlines. An MVP needs to be developed in a fast-paced environment. There is a need for constant testing and upgrading. An unprofessional team is likely to miss deadlines and in the end slow down the process or miss opportunities all together.

Feedback analysis. Since timing and analysis are crucial for an MVP, then its success depends on the entire team's competence. If your team is incompetent, once you receive the first feedback from your users, they can be unable to work on a better version. The best development teams focus on the product so much that they might provide some very valuable feedback and insight. They act as consultants both on the technology and the product.

LACK OF EXPERIENCE AND COMMUNICATION

This point relates to soft skills and their importance.

When a customer describes his idea to the development team, it rarely happens in the form of well-structured and definite requirements. Most often it's just his vision and description of desired functions so it's up to a Project Manager to interpret these ideas into the requirements for the team.

Here is where poorly organized communication and lack of experience will kill the project. If the team has little experience with the needed tools and technologies, it will inevitably harm the project and will result in poor quality. And if the team has poorly organized communication processes, that will lead to constant misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and lots of unpleasant issues.

Before getting down to any development project, be it an MVP or development of a final product, make sure that your company has well-organized internal procedures on communication with the client. Remember communication is a key to solving almost all problems.

HIRING THE WRONG TEAM

If you lack the required technical skills to effectively develop, launch, and support your MVP then finding a technology partner who can deliver all the required technical aspects is an important ingredient in your MVP's success.
When it comes to hiring a team, startups usually make two common mistakes:

Choose the cheapest option

Opting for the cheapest option is a common mistake most startups make. Your MVP is the foundation of not only your application but also your business; therefore, choosing the least expensive option when aiming to produce a quality product is a straight way of ending your startup career before it's even started.

Don't hire a full-service team

Hiring an improper, inexperienced or unprofessional team can be an MVP's downfall. What is needed is a team of designers, developers, QA engineers, and PMs to build an MVP. However, if this team does not have top-of-the-notch skills and proficiency, then the development stage will fail.

When you work with an unprofessional team, you are likely to come across two issues:

Missed deadlines. An MVP needs to be developed in a fast-paced environment. There is a need for constant testing and upgrading. An unprofessional team is likely to miss deadlines and in the end slow down the process or miss opportunities all together.

Feedback analysis. Since timing and analysis are crucial for an MVP, then its success depends on the entire team's competence. If your team is incompetent, once you receive the first feedback from your users, they can be unable to work on a better version. The best development teams focus on the product so much that they might provide some very valuable feedback and insight. They act as consultants both on the technology and the product.
BOOST YOUR PROJECT DEVELOPMENT WITH A DEDICATED TEAM!

IGNORING QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE FEEDBACK

Risk management is the process of identifying the factors that pose a risk to your project's success and the steps you can take to eliminate the effects of these risks. In some instances, you might decide to accept the risk if it won't have much impact on your project team and your stakeholders.
You could do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis at this point, focusing on the weaknesses of your project team and the threats your project faces. Weaknesses might include factors such as the lack of technical skills in your organization, while threats include competing products or other constraints from outside your team that could contribute toward the failure of the project.

SUMMARY

Summing up, creating a perfectly balanced MVP is not a simple process to master, but one that will undoubtedly bring many benefits to your startup. Having an MVP allows your key users to test the product, give their observations, and find out if the product can potentially be successful before investing in the development of a full product.
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Don't waste time, if you are going to develop your MVP. Focus on discovering what your vision is, plan your marketing and sales activities from the beginning, and ask yourself as many times as necessary what is the goal of building this MVP.
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?