We recently took a look at what exactly an MVP—Minimum Viable Product—means to us: why people often misunderstand the concept, why it is an effective solution for all business (especially SMEs, charities, and start-ups), and how prioritising a core concept can mean getting to market more quickly and more cost-effectively.
But, of course, what many people will be wondering is what exactly happens in the MVP development process? How does a development firm understand what businesses, in an array of different markets, should focus on when creating tech solutions? What kind of opportunities does the MVP afford moving into the future?
So, today we’re going to take a look at these specific questions, and dive into the MVP development process, explaining how and why we combine the specialised knowledge of our own staff with our clients industry and business insights in order to create solutions that help them achieve their long-term goals.
One thing people occasionally misconceive about building tech solutions is that it’s all about the tech-side of things, when in fact a huge component of creating effective strategies is combining technical knowledge with leading industry insight. For this reason, our first stage of the MVP process is always workshopping solutions with clients—gaining insight into how their business and industry function in order to best comprehend where digital solutions can be used most effectively.
A great example of this is the project we worked on with The Lang Cat—a financial platform advisory that uses a wealth of technical financial information to help firms and advisors select investment platforms that will be most beneficial to their clients. Needless to say, when it comes to financial investment, we at Bad Dinosaur are not industry experts. But what we quickly realised while workshopping with The Lang Cat was that we could use our technical skills in order to help turn a manual process that involved hours of Excel input into a streamlined digitised process that has cutdown workload to a fraction of what it once was.
In fact, workshopping with our clients has allowed us to recognise that across industries most digital solutions fall within four main categories that allow businesses to: scale quickly; digitise a manual process; cut costs/save time/become more efficient; or create a digital tool. For this reason, we always begin by asking our clients questions like: why do you want to build a digital solution? What do you think it will achieve? How will it improve your business? What specific changes do you want to see?
By focusing on tangible outcomes we can best use our technical skills alongside our clients' wealth of industry knowledge to develop a uniquely tailored solution that isn’t built to simply solve one problem but is built to achieve long-term goals.
To have a look at some of the other stories behind our past projects, take a look at our portfolio, which will allow you to gain direct insight into how we take a unique and tailored approach with each of our clients.
Once we have determined a strategy through workshopping, we like to jump right into the mix and usually within a week provide our clients with “snapshot releases” and a clickable prototype that give them a basic feel for their solution. And unlike platforms that are built to spec, the MVP process allows us to work innovatively with clients, giving them the opportunity to provide specific input and feedback that we can implement immediately.
Similarly, this “agile” work-style is maintained throughout the development process by having weekly catch-ups (sometimes online, sometimes in person) with clients so that they not only remain up to date with the process, but have the ability to provide input. Often aesthetic design and user interface, for example, can differ depending on who the solution is targeted for—will it be used in-house by employees? Is it out-facing and to be used by customers?—and we have found our clients enjoy being able to have a say in these designs.
Also, by keeping in close contact with clients throughout the development process we are able to maintain a continuous exchange of ideas for the future—considering questions like: how else might you use this tool? What other features might you prioritise? Can this platform be integrated with others that you use? This means that we can help ensure that the MVP has the ability to adapt and grow with the client’s needs. In fact, once the MVP has been piloted and used for proof-of-concept, we can then go about that process of prioritising and developing those additional features, something that is far more difficult and costly to achieve when building to spec.
Overall, we like to visualise the MVP as an evolutionary process. By starting with a core concept you not only give yourself the best opportunity of achieving your primary goal, but you also allow users to adapt and adopt new technology. Then, as time goes on, additional tools and features can be added without having to start from scratch, and as users are already comfortable with the core feature new additions are easy to take onboard. By building the MVP way, you are therefore giving yourself the best opportunity to achieve success not just on your immediate project but well into the future.
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If you would like to learn more about building an MVP the Bad Dinosaur way, please do get in touch to start the conversation. We pride ourselves on being honest and direct with potential clients, and if there is a better solution somewhere else out there for you then we won’t hesitate to direct you to it.