- Minimum viable product goes beyond the startup story, mature businesses can benefit from it just as much. Avoid overfeaturing 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 the 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 in 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 the product version with a simple basic feature set delivered to customers in the early product development stage. A bit raw but enough to stead.
So, originally MVP refers 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 logistic company. You’ll prefer to test the hypothesis in the 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, 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 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 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 on the initial stage. Learn more about PoC in software development
Challenge #2. Abandoning an “over-feature” culture
Especially if an enterprise already has a 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 with outlining the basic idea and value. Then list functions ranging from the most significant to the least.
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. But 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.
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 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. There are companies who 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 down below appeared as supporting or auxiliary projects to improve or change internal company routine. Though in the end they grew beyond the MVP limits.
Let’s travel back to 2006. Disney releases the second Pirates of the Caribbean, 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.
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.
Now let’s move to 2009. Stewart Butterfield, one of 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.
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 multipurposness. 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.
This was a successful MVP, iZum plans to sell subscriptions to other companies who offer internal courses for employees.
How to choose the right partner for enterprise MVP development
Generally, mature companies find themselves on the horn 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, provide onboarding and mentorship. That doesn’t sound like a fast MVP scenario.
Partnership model implies cooperating with an outsource team of the experts who manage the process independently but pursuing 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 a successful MVP.
We focus on the outsource 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 a market research to learn major players. Besides, if you keep in touch with owners of similar businesses, ask about some references on 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 outsource 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, 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 for startups. Here we are going to describe particularly how our team together with entrepreneurs make 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, 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 watch people 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 waste of time.
- 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 there begins the work that only experts can do.
Based on your insight and findings on market and users, designers gather a reference pack that includes UI examples, templates, icons, and elements. Sometimes design teams create moodboards reflecting color palette combinations, fonts and style of the product.
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 with creating a minimum viable product mind map that reflects user flow from the initiation to the target action.
Mind map helps the team realize what paths users take during their journey. This awareness is vital for building wireframes, rough versions of screen prototypes depicting the composition of elements and interface structure. Afterwards teams create one mockup reflecting the product visual concept and share it to get your approval. Then all that remains on 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-interface. Though before getting onto the very coding process, any partner would want you to specify the project tech stack.
- 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.
Step 5: Rolling-out and gathering insights
🎯Main purpose: release and feedback analysis
The final stage of the 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 a rational option as it allows business 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 what 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.
MVP Development Costs
Numbers vary. That’s an approximate estimation of a basic MVP development at Purrweb, but another outsource 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.
|Project estimation||8 hours||$0|
|Project analysis including features 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.