Guide to MVP Development for Enterprises

Some things sound crazy at first glance. Red meat increases health risks. Violets can be white and blue. Enterprises benefit from a minimum viable product release.

But don’t judge by the looks. A deeper jump into the subject might change your mind. Though, we aren’t speaking for nutrition or botany. In this article, we’ll uncover some perks, hidden truths, and examples of enterprise MVP development and prove that it’s not just for startups anymore.

Reading time: 11 minutes

Table of contents

Key takeaways

  • Minimum viable product goes beyond the startup story, mature businesses can benefit from it just as much. Avoid over-featuring your MVP, preserve brand consistency, and don’t let the new product interfere with the existing ones.
  • The most suitable way to create an MVP is to outsource the development. Partner with experts who share a reliable portfolio, show suitable communication potential, have enough resources, and value agility.
  • Before starting the MVP development process, conduct user and market research and brainstorm product ideas.

MVP for enterprise: how is that even possible 

When the term “minimum viable product” appears apart from the word “startup,” people feel perplexed. True that the concept got into the public limelight after the publication of “The Lean Startup,” a book that became the so-called Bible of the lean management technique.

However, if we look closer into the definition of an MVP, we won’t find any startups mentioned. Generally, there is going to be something like this:

Minimum viable product is a product version with a simple basic feature set delivered to customers in the early product development stage. A bit raw but enough to stand.
Uber MVP and full-featured product

Uber is a textbook MVP case. First released as a taxi app for iPhone owners from San Francisco, it proved successful and grew into a ridesharing/delivery/freight company.

Originally, MVP referred to new businesses that lack resources but have enough creativity to produce a product idea to validate. However, companies of any shape and size can adopt the lean approach and use its concepts as long as they prioritize continuous improvement, eliminating waste of time and money.

Let’s say your employee comes up with an idea for corporate platform modernization for your logistics company. You’ll prefer to test the hypothesis in a least-cost manner. In other words, release as fast, safely, and profitably as possible. MVP development approach can speak for all three.

The challenges when building an MVP for Enterprise

One might wonder why enterprise MVP development still remains off the radar compared to startups. The point is that mature businesses face challenges that startups don’t even think about.

Challenge #1. Opening up to the brave new world

Startups often seem reckless and venturesome, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed. Indeed, they barely have anything to lose. Driven by responsibilities, mature companies stick to a conservative mindset. Adopting the new MVP approach is always bound with risks. For business, it’s baptism by fire.

How to overcome: Gather insights on MVP development for enterprises, communicate with those who have stepped over the release, and be brave enough to discuss the idea with stakeholders.

You may dip your toe by developing a proof of concept, it’s a profitable way to make the project idea clear for all the stakeholders in the initial stage. Learn more about PoC in software development.

Challenge #2. Abandoning an “over-feature” culture

Especially if an enterprise already has full-fledged software, the temptation to take the well-trodden path is high. But lean management teaches teams to play by ear, create products that reflect the essence, and improve it gradually.

How to overcome: Start an MVP development by outlining the basic idea and value. Then, list functions ranging from the most significant to the least.

See also  Two techniques that will help you pick MVP features

Challenge #3. Preserving brand image

Customers have a certain level of expectations from a well-known brand. When Google wheeled out Google Glass tech, geeks cried with pride. However, it failed as the company didn’t manage to validate the feedback and define its scope of application. As a result, next-gen glass devices from Google may have to work their way through distrust and doubt.

Google Glass

Google Glass was just an MVP, and due to this approach, the company saved plenty of money

How to overcome: Ideas for MVP products have to be closely considered. You need to make sure they support a consistent brand image and meet the needs of your target audience.

Challenge #4. Keeping a close watch on everything

Any process, even if we are speaking about proof of concept development, needs the nurturing and attention of at least one person. Meanwhile, enterprises have existing products to care about, and they want to keep internal operations running smoothly.

How to overcome: Transfer the duties to a professional MVP development partner. Some companies specialize in desktop and mobile app development; they know the market, technologies, and processes.

Examples of successful MVPs

Instagram, Amazon, AirBnB — seems like everyone knows that all these legends used to be small startups. Whereas cases of MVP development for enterprises blur in mind.

All the examples below appeared as supporting or auxiliary projects to improve or change the internal company routine. However, in the end, they grew beyond the MVP limits.


Let’s travel back to 2006. Disney releases the second Pirates of the Caribbean, and James Blunt confesses he likes some beauty. Meanwhile, an American podcasting company, Odeo, brainstorms a service for sharing SMS with a group of people. Now, it’s known as Twitter.

Twitter then and now

Twitter met the world as an internal message service for company employees

After a while, Odeo crossed the Great Divide, but Twitter claimed momentum. By 2022, it has acquired over 368 million monthly active users worldwide, according to Statista.

Twitter then and now

This is what Twitter looks like today, just in case you haven’t logged in for so long


Now, let’s move to 2009. Stewart Butterfield, one of the co-founders of Flickr, formed a company under the name Tiny Speck to release a video game. Meanwhile, he developed a chat application to communicate with the team. The game came up short, but the app made it big.

Slack app

Slack grew from a supporting project into a solid business that made names for its developers

In 2020, the total price of the app was estimated at $27 billion.


However, MVP isn’t just for a gazillion-dollar enterprise. Small mature businesses can implement such a model as well. Our experience shows its versatility. Several years ago, we worked with iZum, a chain of mobile phone stores. The company needed an educational platform to onboard employees, and together we built iZumator.

iZumator app

iZumator users could sign up and log in, build and take courses, create schedules, and take assisting and supervising roles

This was a successful MVP. iZum plans to sell subscriptions to other companies that offer internal courses for employees.

How to choose the right partner for enterprise MVP development

Generally, mature companies find themselves on the horns of a dilemma: “Should I develop the product in-house or outsource it?” The answer depends on the very MVP development project you plan to release, your resources, and deadlines. Even platform modernization that seems fast and easy at first glance might need a team of experts to release.

Say an enterprise is ready to run an MVP development process the first way. It has to form a product team specifically for the project: hire managers, designers, web developers and provide onboarding and mentorship. That doesn’t sound like a fast MVP scenario.

The Partnership model implies cooperating with an outsourced team of experts who manage the process independently but pursue the objective you set. That’s the approach suitable when there are no internal experts to participate. That’s a stressless and profitable way to have a successful MVP.

We focus on the outsourced approach, as it’s the fastest and the most cost-efficient way to validate new concepts. Our team helped 300 entrepreneurs, so we know a thing or two about cooperation. Here’s the checklist, backed by our experience, that might help you find a responsible MVP development partner.

✅Conduct market research to learn the major players. Besides, if you keep in touch with owners of similar businesses, ask about some references for developers.

✅Google the name of a potential partner and get a social cover-up. You don’t want to trust your ideas to controversial figures. Read blog posts on social networks to see what approaches and techniques an outsourced team implements.

✅Consider teams with a reliable portfolio of mature clients. This proves they understand your areas of growth and business processes. Resources like  Clutch might become your BFF in gathering feedback.

✅Contact several agencies and evaluate their communication potential and resources. This is vital to filter out only those who are on the same wavelength and have all the staff you need. Generally, you need frontend/backend developers, designers, and QA.

✅Inquire about free services. Like, initial product estimation or preliminary negotiations.

✅Don’t make decisions based on price/speed. Quality-assured products won’t cost as cheap as dirt and aren’t made in 3 days. The offer should be reasonable.

✅Stick to agility and make sure the partner does, too. MVP remains a lean management concept, after all.

Eventually, the development company you choose should share your product vision and be after the most impactful results, regardless if we’re speaking of a platform modernization or a brand-new app development.

How to build an MVP for Enterprises

MVP development process for mature businesses has much in common with that of startups. Here, we are going to describe particularly how our team, together with entrepreneurs, makes first-found projects run wild.

Step 1: Outlining product idea & researching

🎯Main purpose: come up with a fit-to-market concept

Before you send a product to delivery, you send it to discovery. That’s a vital preparatory stage when an owner decides what to build. There are 4 important things you need to do during this phase:

  • User research. Enterprises who are already running a business should know their customers well enough. Still, you can dive deeper and conduct surveys and interviews and observe user behavior. Besides, it would be useful to utilize Google Trends to learn what your target audience is searching for.
  • Market research. Again, being a mature business, you must have already studied your rivals from cover to cover. But here, you should focus on similar projects in particular.
  • Brainstorming. This method involves a team of creative minds who generate as many project ideas as possible. This stage may go side by side with trendspotting when business owners highlight trends that could impact the software.
  • Contextual inquiry. Might be an optional thing to do. This technique implies observing the target audience in its natural environment. Like, if you plan home assistant app development, you need to observe people who are using smart home devices.

Step 2: Prioritizing features

🎯Main purpose: specific list of functions to start with

The goal of MVP development lies in creating the basic version of a solution. However, for mature businesses, this could be a weak point as they are more accustomed to building fully operating software.

We advise starting your MVP development project with a feature priority matrix to range functions by priority. This matrix considers the following aspects:

  • Effort. How much time/money/attention will be necessary to add a feature?
  • Impact. How will the enterprise/target audience benefit from the feature?
  • Risk. How difficult is it to implement a feature?

The answers to these questions provide a ground for the graph, where you define and visualize must-haves, nice-to-haves, can-be-dones, and wastes of time.

prioritization matrix

That’s what the feature prioritization matrix usually looks like

  • Low effort, low risk, and high impact features are what you MUST HAVE.
  • Low effort, low risk, and low impact features are what CAN BE DONE.
  • High effort, high risk, and high impact features are NICE TO HAVE.
  • High effort, high risk, and low impact features are a WASTE OF TIME.

This technique might help with drafting a gradual roadmap for fast and smooth product scaling in the future.

Step 3: Designing UI/UX

🎯Main purpose: design mockups

Whereas an enterprise may discover product value and functions without any third parties, from here begins the work that only experts can do.

Based on your insight and findings on the market and users, designers gather a reference pack that includes UI examples, templates, icons, and elements. Sometimes, design teams create mood boards reflecting color palette combinations, fonts, and product styles.

However, design is not just about color schemes and frills. There is a crucial task you are going to solve at this point. That is building product architecture and user experience. They should be natural without any barriers and weak points that could frustrate users.

We start UX visualization by creating a minimum viable product mind map that reflects user flow from the initiation to the target action.

mind map in app development

On this mind map for a cryptocurrency wallet case, we differentiated actions, screens, entry points, and content for better visualization

A mind map helps the team realize what paths users take during their journey. This awareness is vital for building wireframes and rough versions of screen prototypes depicting the composition of elements and interface structure. Afterward, teams create one mockup reflecting the product’s visual concept and share it to get your approval. Then, all that remains at that stage are the rest of the mockups for each screen and condition.

Step 4: Developing & testing

🎯Main purpose: a finished product

The next step of MVP development for enterprises is to turn design mockups into actual web interfaces. However, before getting onto the very coding process, any partner would want you to specify the project tech stack.

Those who are new to the app development world might feel thrown in at the deep end, but that’s only natural. Any partner would be eager to consult you on the suitable stack options. Our personal preference here is JavaScript.

  • It has a worldwide community of coders who contribute to its improvement and evolution.
  • There are lots of frameworks that can be used both for mobile and desktop software. In terms of mobile apps, we stick to React Native, which allows you to release a product both on iOS and Android at once. That’s a convenient path for MVP cases.

Make sure your partners realize the minimum viable product should be scalable, as in the future you want to add new features and adjustments without much stress.

See also  What technology to pick for an MVP

Step 5: Rolling out and gathering insights

🎯Main purpose: release and feedback analysis

The final stage of MVP development, though not the last resort of the project, is deployment. Developers make sure the software meets all the platform requirements and roll it out.

Minimum viable product sounds like a rational option as it allows businesses to save money for marketing. Promoted software attracts more users who leave more reviews to consider. This feedback provides a ground for further iterations. This is an advantage that comes together with agility, you can embrace improvement and do it gradually to grow the product value.

Entrepreneurs often scan through download statistics and sincerely believe that it will serve. But to build the right product strategy, you have to look deeper than that. Here are some tips on how you might proceed after the release:

  • rediscover your target audience, find out if you reached the right public or not, and whether you need to change your strategy;
  • point out what has to be improved in the first place, what aspects can wait till the next iteration;
  • answer the primary product development question: “Can I monetize this? Can it bring any money?” We all know what goal we pursue in the end.
See also  How to start MVP marketing when your MVP is done

MVP Development Costs

Numbers vary. That’s an approximate estimation of a basic MVP development at Purrweb, but another outsourced team may give you completely different numbers. That’s why we’re speaking only for ourselves. Our team starts each project with estimation, which is always free of charge.

Stage Time Approximate costs
Project estimation 8 hours $0
Project analysis, including feature prioritization 1 week $1,000
UI/UX design 4 weeks $5,400
Development 9 – 10 weeks $36,000 – $40,500
QA Concurrently with the development $5,400 – $6,000
Project management During the whole project $3,950 – $4,100
Total 3 – 4 months $56,000


In this article, we covered some key insights on MVP development for enterprises.

If you have an idea for an app, don’t hesitate to contact Purrweb. We’ll make a free estimation of your project in 24 hours.

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