Minimum Viable Product
to facilitate successful innovation.
I find the Lean Startup concept of a minimal viable product (MVP) rather exciting: It entails creating a first product version to test our ideas as quickly and cheaply as possible. This could be a throwaway prototype such as a mock-up or a product increment, working software that is tested and documented. The MVP works together with a build-measure-learn cycle: developing software, gathering customer feedback, and learning from it.
With roots in the Scrum tradition, this sounds rather familiar to me: Validating assumptions by gathering customer feedback using product increments is called empirical management or inspect-and-adapt in Scrum.
But Scrum advocates the use of a product backlog containing the outstanding work necessary to create a successful product. How does the backlog fit into the picture? And can the product backlog be helpful to create a minimal viable product?
This blog posts answers this question and investigates how Lean Startup and Scrum concepts can be combined successfully.
The Product Vision
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses,” said Henry Ford famously. A vision, an idea of the future product, is the start of any successful innovation. Without a vision, we lack a shared goal, a common direction.
To reach our goal, we have to decide on an approach or strategy. This includes making assumptions about the target group, the needs the product should address, the key product features, and the value it should create for the organisation developing. I use my Lean Start-up Sheet to capture and visualise the product strategy.
The strategy’s assumptions must be validated. A great way to do this is to create the minimal viable product and to release it to the target customers and users.
Lean Start Up What is it all about
A lot of this is taken from Eric Ries book based of his own work with start-ups do I think it works. Yes
You need to sort this from right at the start
Activities such as
- Value propositions
- Key partnerships
- key activities
- key resource
- customer segments
- customer relationships
- Cost structure
- revenue streams
The above diagram was created by me in 2008 for the LEAP programme you will see a lot of this over the coming months
Lean Startup” is a largely theoretical methodology for developing businesses and products first proposed in 2011 by Eric Ries. Based on his previous experience working in several US startups, Ries claims that startups can shorten their product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and what he calls “validated learning“. Though still largely unsubstantiated, Ries’ overall claim is that if companies, especially startups, invest their time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers, they can sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches.
Originally developed in 2008 by Eric Ries with high-tech companies in mind, the lean startup philosophy has since been expanded to apply to any individual, team, or company looking to introduce new products or services into the market. Today, the lean startup’s popularity has grown outside of its Silicon Valley birthplace and has spread throughout the world, in large part due to the success of Ries’ bestselling book, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.
Ries developed the idea for the Lean Startup from his experiences as a startup advisor, employee, and founder. His first startup, Catalyst Recruiting, failed because they did not understand the wants of their target customers, and because they focused too much time and energy on the initial product launch.After Catalyst, Ries was a senior software engineer with There, Inc.Ries describes There Inc. as a classic example of a Silicon Valley startup with five years of stealth R&D, $40 million in financing, and nearly 200 employees at the time of product launch.In 2003, There, Inc. launched its product, There.com, but they were unable to garner popularity beyond the initial early adopters. Ries claims that despite the many proximate causes for failure, the most important mistake was that the company’s “vision was almost too concrete,” making it impossible to see that their product did not accurately represent consumer demand.
Although the lost money differed by orders of magnitude, the failures of There, Inc. and Catalyst Recruiting share similar origins, with Ries stating that “it was working forward from the technology instead of working backward from the business results you’re trying to achieve.” Ries began to develop the lean startup philosophy from these experiences, and from others observed by working in the high-tech entrepreneurial world.
I like Eric’s words I like LEAN start-up.
Thanks Eric Ries.
Thanks Wikapedia a very useful resource.