5 fascinating facts about MVPsAug 27, 2023
MVP (Minimum Viable Product in design and development, not Most Valuable Player in sports!) is something worth understanding. Every few calls, one of my students in Leading Successful Change asks me about Agile and I never really go into too much detail because people can get very emotional about what they think Agile is!!! And because I teach fit-for-purpose Change Management in my Leading Successful Change program, you can work in a flexible and agile way once you’ve built the confidence in your Change Leadership. But in a nutshell: Agile as a project management methodology is - plan a bit and set objectives, then create, launch, get feedback, iterate, and keep going through this cycle until it’s ready. Versus Waterfall project management methodology where you plan, plan, plan then build, build, build then have a big bang launch. Agile can also be a way of working (usually little “a” agile) so be sure you understand how your project or organisation is using the term agile. Avoiding the wrath of agile evangelists, there are lots of elements that have been pulled out of agile that get thrown around in corporates today. One of those is MVP.
What is MVP?
Minimum Viable Product at its simplest means: what is the least that we need to do to satisfy our objectives (or the customer’s requirements)? So the least amount of work, the least amount of features, the least amount of updates, the least amount of compliance corrections. That’s the “Minimum”. But it has to be launchable. Because Agile came out of product development area, viable means we do actually do need to satisfy the needs of the customer or the set objectives. The project or Product Owner has to decide what is the Minimum Viable Product.
So now you know the basic concepts, here’s 5 fascinating facts about MVPs:
FASCINATING FACT #1: Not every MVP comes from an agile project or way of working
Minimum Viable Product is a big element of agile, but it's not always used. Not every agile project will launch a Minimum Viable Product, and not every Minimum Viable Product will birth from an agile project or way of working.
FASCINATING FACT #2: MVPs may be planned into phases
So my first ever Change Management role, I worked on a project working agile and they actually planned 3 phases of MVP, each with its own launch. So they went into the first launch knowing they were going to improve and update features a few months later. But we still launched the first minimum viable product that could stand on its own two feet.
FASCINATING FACT #3: MVPs may be planned along scale
Other projects I’ve worked on, the MVP was more based around testing and scaling up, and the solution and its supporting processes and materials got more and more developed at each stage of the scale. So Proof of Concept was a very small amount of users in the launch and tested the product. Pilot went wider and tested the scalability. Then Full Rollout was launched to everyone.
FASCINATING FACT #4: MVPs may be planned along regular rhythms
So most technology and software you use today is simply regularly released Minimum Viable Products. There might be monthly updates, quarterly updates, 6-monthly updates or annual updates. Each one may provide enhancements, fixes, features or corrections, or chip away at an overall list of objectives or requirements.
FASCINATING FACT #5: Every MVP release is a launch in itself
It’s a mistake to think that just because an MVP is “minimum”, that it doesn’t require full change support, proper training, and a launch. If anything, it’s probably more important because changes are happening more frequently! There are ways to reduce the workload, repetition and fatigue - such as by having an overarching theme or program to bundle the MVPs or putting in place regular communication rhythms and training tools to point people to consistently with each release. But the success of each MVP builds on the success of the one before and will pave the way for the one after so each launch is as important as the next.
You can totally bring an MVP approach into everything you do, including your Change delivery! And did you know… I used an MVP approach to develop my Leading Successful Change program? I ran a small pilot with a handful of students, co-created and co-designed as I launched and tested the course product, then gathered feedback and ideas before then building the course into its final version. I learned how to craft, launch and develop my Leading Successful Change product with Jeff Walker’s world-class Product Launch Formula coaching program. I created a course, but you could create anything using PLF: a book, a podcast, a physical product, a digital service, a membership, a retreat, and more. So if you’ve been dreaming of a side hustle or passive income, or just how to take your ideas and monetise them, PLF might be a great next step for you. Jeff opens up PLF once a year and registrations for this year’s intake closes in 2 days.
Join via my exclusive affiliate link below and you'll get my bonus "Seed Launch Learnings Playbook" which steps through how I created LSC and what I learned along the way:
Affiliate Disclaimer: I’m a proud affiliate partner of Jeff Walker and his Product Launch Formula and I may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you, if you decide to join Jeff's paid training program.
Free Coaching Action Guide : Underpaid & Overlooked
If you're thinking about a pay rise, promotion or full career change, download my free "Underpaid & Overlooked Coaching Action Guide" now to change with confidence and earn your worth.
By completing this form, you'll join my mailing list for info and marketing and can unsubscribe at any time.