Minimum Viable Product

Usually, the initial take away resulting from the Discovery Process, is that the client’s application can be developed in phases, with the initial release being what is called a Minimum Viable Product. The MVP solves the problem you have identified, but doesn’t have a lot of features that you’re just guessing the market wants. Build the app that does only what is needed, get it to market, ask your users to evaluate it. Their feedback will tell you what features need to be added in the next release. MVP software saves you money, because you build only what the customer is willing to pay for, rather than building every possible feature.

Sketches

It is often very helpful in the planning process to actually create visuals that describe the flow of the application. This is a collaborative process which begins in the Discovery white board session, and is very helpful in getting a clear understanding of how the app will work. The process, while costing a few hours of an engineer’s time in “pointing” the project, can save you big bucks in coding errors down the road. Some of our clients actually create the visuals themselves before the white board session, to reduce the amount of time spent in Discovery. Even so, the software engineers have knowledge of what goes on in the background, and can point out inefficiencies and “black holes” that will need to be addressed.

Planning Your Product

Craft a statement or two that distinguishes your product from your competition. This is called a Unique Value Proposition. The key is understanding the core of the problem you are trying to solve, and then designing your product to provide the features and benefits your customer wants. Keep in mind that your minimum viable product is not ready for the mainstream yet. You will be reaching out to early adopters, which requires bold, clear, and specific messaging about the problem you can solve.

Data Modeling

Once your Minimum Viable product is clearly defined, your user stories developed and pointed, it time to describe the flow of data within your product. This helps the team members understand the objective of each user story, and keeps everyone on track. Shown below is an example of one of the data models we created for a project.
Data Modeling

Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Sustainable competitive advantage is the focal point of your marketing strategy. It allows the maintenance and improvement of your product’s competitive position in the market as you learn more about your user’s needs. New customers want it quicker, cheaper, and able to solve their problems. Today, your sustainable competitive advantage should be built upon your product’s scalability and must constantly be reinvented to respond to changing market demands.

NEXT TOPIC: Lean Canvas