If a new product/service is developed according to the design thinking process or customer co-creation process, at the end there is not only a new development, but also the clarification of the question of whether customers accept the product/service.
In the case of further development with MVP, the question of market relevance has already been positively clarified.
With the MV product, further questions from the marketing mix can now be clarified according to the 4P model (price, production, communication) are pushed forward, according to businesspally
Answers to questions about the target group, persona, customer needs, communication are already clarified in the design thinking process or follow from the results of the workshops.
As with all UX design tools, the difference at the level of corporate culture compared to the classic approach must also be taken into account.
The main challenge is not so much the procedure as such, but rather the connectivity of the different processes that need to be managed.
Therefore, the development process of the MVP in established companies is rarely found within the UX design process as a transition between design thinking and lean management.
Currently, the use of the MVP is mostly outsourced in the processes of “innovation labs” or special departments.
It has to be managed on a case-by-case basis at what point and in what form the MVP from the UX process connects to the standard processes and structures of a company.
Development and use of an MVP
This stage of development usually involves feedback from the first users.
As the last step in the classic design thinking processAn MVP is therefore also the basis for UX-centric learning, in which the results of the feedback are incorporated into a further iteration of the development cycle.
This concerns both the further development of the existing MVP and the development of new functions (features) for which there is a customer need according to the feedback.
At the same time, the product is brought out of the design thinking process into the lean startup process.
This is the beginning of further development through the lean startup method, which begins with the description of a business model (business model canvas).
When developing services, manual work steps are also accepted in this phase, which can be automated in further development.
To reduce complexity, MVPs can also be released in smaller markets first. “Learning” from customer feedback, from conversations or metrics and analyzes ties up resources.
This effort should always be considered in relation to the “classic” development effort, chaktty advised.
While in UX design with design thinking and lean management, the initialization effort of a new product development is higher compared to the classic “idea from above” method, the relationship reverses in the course of the overall process (see schematic graphic: “Comparison of development according to UX design with MVP vs. post-waterfall development”).
Opportunities and risks of minimum viable products
Established companies often find it difficult to release unfinished products compared to startups.
They fear for their image and worry about their customers and whether they can be won as future users after testing an early product version.
They shy away from testing a new idea because it could then be used by others for their own developments. Or they don’t even know enough early adopters to get qualified feedback.
Many companies also believe that they know their customers and their needs, after all they have been active in the market for many years, he said.
Perhaps the following thought will help these companies when dealing with the Minimum Viable Product and assessing opportunities and risks:
- How expensive is a product development that encounters little or no demand at best?
- How big is the image damage if a new development becomes a slow seller?
- When was an idea ever so great that the idea alone and not the realization of the idea was responsible for the sale?
- If no early adopters can be identified and acquired, how are customers acquired at the product launch?
And last but not least: Perhaps the assumptions made are all correct – good if this can be quickly confirmed by user feedback.
The right path to MVP
In order to be able to assess the benefit of a minimum viable product, the user needs a minimal part of an architecture and a (partial) function; together they are the basis for the desired feedback.
This corresponds to a vertical section through the various layers or levels of a product.
A horizontal cut, for example through the architecture, is not a basis for meaningful feedback and would defeat the purpose.
The visualization of the MVP idea
Very often you will find the idea of the minimum viable product described on the Internet with the following motif: A step-by-step refinement of an MVP, starting with a skateboard, via a scooter, to a bicycle, a motorcycle and finally a car.
Some argue that this motif conveys the idea poorly, since customers who are interested in a car are unlikely to give feedback on a skateboard, Techpally.
The MVP may also be the wrong tool if an organization already knows it wants to build cars.
Others argue that the relevant charts should not be taken literally, as the principle of incremental development and continuous feedback would be important.
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