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6 MOST COMMON MISTAKES DURING AN MVP DEVELOPMENT

Marketing Manager
Anastasia Shevchuk

INTRODUCTION

Many people think of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as a full-featured product, while others think an MVP is a beta version of the final product. In reality, both ideas are incorrect. An MVP is a no-frills version of a product that has the core features required to solve your users' problems and provide immediate value, while also minimizing development costs. A 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 career of many startups, which is why this process requires thorough preparation.

However, there are several common mistakes when building an MVP often made by startups during MVP development.

Let's take an in depth look at the 6 most common MVP development mistakes to avoid!


MARKET RESEARCH DURING AN MVP DEVELOPMENT? NO THANKS!

An MVP is used to test key hypotheses within the market and gather customer feedback, so the biggest mistake that many product owners make is to ignore market research completely and just let things take their natural course.

A lack of research on user preferences and habits may cause 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 actually need.


market research

THINKING "M" MEANS "MAXIMUM"

Startup CEOs often believe that customers will only accept perfect products.This mindset makes it difficult for them to build an MVP with a limited feature set, as an MVP is not supposed to be the final product, but it will achieve its goal by process of elimination. However, many business owners don't wait and begin by including everything the final product will offer. In other words, they don't just stick to the minimum number of features, but embed most or all features. They also try to make top-notch designs, leaving no space for future changes and improvements.

The reason for this fast approach is obvious: to impress the audience. This is why developers feel the need to polish the user experience by adding more features to display the app's multi-functionality.

Deciding which features are crucial while developing an MVP depends on two factors:

The first is the feature selection process, which involves going through the MVP's goals and objectives, as well as customer needs, to determine the key MVP features relevant to the goals.

The second factor is the description of each proposed feature and its specific benefits regarding the predetermined goals and user expectations. This enables startups to have a clear view of their goals and avoid adding unnecessary features at the MVP stage.

Ever wondered what the acronym "MVP" stands for and why there is so much hype around it? Then check out 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 to provide the necessary features in an optimal timeframe.

Here are some tips for building an MVP:

  • 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 in order 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.

This is a 5-day workshop concentrated on validating design hypotheses. It's a great opportunity for the team to identify goals, a target audience, key functionalities, and design. Being fully prepared thanks to the knowledge gained from the workshop means 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 and MVP features is an important ingredient in your MVP's success.

When it comes to hiring a team, startups usually make two common mistakes:

Choosing the cheapest option

Opting for the cheapest option is a common mistake made by startups. Your MVP is the foundation of not only your application, but also your business, which is why choosing the least expensive option when aiming to produce a quality product is a sure fire way to end your startup career before it's even begun.

Don't hire a full-service team

Hiring an improper, inexperienced, or unprofessional team is another common downfall of MVPs. A team of designers, developers, QA engineers, and PMs is required to build an MVP, however, if this team does not have top-notch skills and proficiency, 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, so an unprofessional team is likely to miss deadlines and ultimately slow down the process or miss opportunities altogether.

Feedback analysis.

As timing and analysis are crucial for an MVP, its success depends on the competence of the entire team. If your team is incompetent, they may be unable to improve your product upon receiving their first set of user feedback. The best development teams focus on the product so much so that they might provide some very valuable feedback and insight themselves. They act as consultants both on the technology and the product.

LACK OF EXPERIENCE AND COMMUNICATION

This point relates to the importance of soft skills.

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 a project. If the team has little experience with the needed tools and technologies, it will inevitably harm the project and result in poor quality, meaning they will be unable to develop an MVP successfully. If the team has poorly organized communication processes, it will lead to constant misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and many other unpleasant issues.

Before embarking upon any development project, be it an MVP or the development of a final product, make sure that your company has well-organized internal procedures regarding communication with the client. Remember, communication is a key to solving almost every problem.
BOOST YOUR PROJECT DEVELOPMENT WITH A DEDICATED TEAM!

IGNORING QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE FEEDBACK

Risk management is the process of identifying the factors which 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

In summary, creating a perfectly balanced MVP is not a simple process to master, but it will undoubtedly bring many benefits to your startup. Having an MVP allows your key users to test the product, give their observations, and help you find out if the product has the potential to be successful before investing in the development of a full product.

Don't waste time if you are going to develop your MVP. Focus on determining 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?

There are many important aspects of building an MVP, none more so than listening to user feedback and doing proper market research during an MVP development. This list of MVP development mistakes to avoid should be a great place to start and help you develop an MVP successfully.
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