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Identifying Minimum Viable Product

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.”- Eric Ries


The book ‘The Lean Start-up’ by Eric Ries introduced the concept of minimum viable product as a version that allows maximum validated learning of customers by least efforts.


What is a Minimum Viable Product?

In agile the minimum stands for the least effort whereas, the viable is a validation done by questioning simple three questions as,

  • Does the public want this thing?

  • Will the public pay for this thing?

  • Is there a place for this thing in the real market?

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is defined as the minimum form as a prototype or paper mock-up of the product that is tested in the real market. This helps the team to understand the response on a product, product assumption, products functionality from the market. This helps the enterprise in deciding whether there is a place for this product in the market or not. It provides a short preview of how the product's success will look like.

The context of the MVP may be of different types for different products or enterprises. Some MVPs may range from demo videos, software prototypes, etc.


Why Build an MVP?
  • To achieve the immediate value from the product

  • It reduces the Cost

  • It helps you in learning about end-user and customers more

  • Give a prior idea about a product launch in the market.

  • It clarifies the future iteration planning for the development of product

  • It helps in showcasing the business potential and hence in acquiring new stakeholders

Identifying the MVP

As now we have understood what MVP is and why they are built we will move towards identifying the MVP.As the user stories and epic backlogs are already prioritized to identify the MVP we need to only make a bit of change in it as we cannot take the epics or user stories as it is from the prioritized backlog as they are stacked vertically on one another.

So here we need to drag the user stories or epics horizontally. By doing so we will see the detailed steps the user will use while interacting with every interface and then only they will move forward to other ones. This detailed step of user stories arranged in a two-dimensional format of client interaction is known as the story map. In this two-dimensional, the vertical represents the priority and the horizontal defines the user steps performed in the system. Now let’s identify the MVP as the story map is already layout.


So first of all we collectively with the team need to focus on the first column of our story map and identify the minimum set of user stories or epics required for fulfilling the basic need of the user. Similar identification needs to be followed of the other columns in the horizontal order of the story map. Once this identification is completed, the collection of the minimum required identified steps is our required minimum viable product.

Most of the time teams not fully understand the term MVP and mistake it as the smallest functionality to be delivered. But MVP needs to add the main criteria of sufficient learning of business viability.


Once the MVPs are identified and released, the next task is to collect feedback from users. The feedback from the user will provide with the value of the product and lacking quality of the product. This will help to shape the further path of product development. The benefits of the MVP concept mentioned by Eric Ries show us how “It is better to sleep on things before-half than lie awake about them afterward” is true.


About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.


Connect with us at advanceagility.com to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. Write to us at contact@advanceagilty.com for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.



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