MVP creation process. How do we do it at Stepwise?

blog post cover MVP creation process

Are you wondering if your business idea makes sense? Do you want to make sure that your software has a market potential? The fastest and cheapest way to check the chances of success for a digital product is to create a Minimum Viable Product. Find out what the Stepwise MVP creation process is and what it looks like.

What is MVP

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product that contains the most important and necessary functions. It is a working software with only key functionalities from the user’s point of view. You can test such product immediately, present it to investors or give it to potential customers for testing. This allows you to quickly and without unnecessary expenditure verify whether the created digital product has a market potential. It’s an effective solution that Stepwise always proposes to each of its clients.

An example of a great use of MVP to test a business idea is Zappos – e-commerce in the clothing industry. The originator of the platform, Nick Swinmurn, before investing in complete software, created a simple e-store with photos of products made in the stationary stores of the competition.

When a customer placed an order in the e-shop, Nick would go to a stationary point where he had previously taken a photo, purchase the product, pack it and ship it to his customer. A minimal contribution to the sales system and a practical experiment confirmed that this business has potential. Nick made the decision to further develop the product and business, and eventually sold it to Amazon for nearly $ 900 million!

The main goals of creating an MVP at Stepwise are:

  1. Saving resources until you feel you are investing time and money in a product that has a chance of success.
  2. Analysis of consumer trends and the potential of your product to create an effective promotion strategy.
  3. Securing the interests of the first users of your product.
  4. Building brand awareness.
  5. Preparation of the product for presentation to potential investors.
  6. Checking the product’s scaling potential.

How to choose the key elements of your idea or product? Stepwise follows the famous Pareto principle in the MVP creation process. According to this approach, 20% of the most important functionalities of dedicated software are responsible for 80% of product end user satisfaction. This 20% is the Minimum Viable Product.

What is the process of creating an MVP in Stepwise

The basis for efficient cooperation

The process of creating an MVP in our software house is based on two basic assumptions.

  1. The first is to maintain an agile software development process. The full scope of work on MVP is inherently limited by the specificity of such projects. At the beginning, we focus on the most important functions of the system and break the project into smaller parts that allow the client (independently or with the help of the product owner) to maintain control over the development of the project. A clear action plan made up of flexible modules allows to easily make changes to the project.
  1. The second important aspect in Stepwise is the flat structure of the team and project. Our teams consist of many experienced specialists with comprehensive technical achievements. Nevertheless, we maintain a flat structure without prioritizing positions. The client may directly contact any member of the team. The flat structure of software development means that everyone in the team has the same responsibility for the effect of a given sprint (iteration) and for the final MVP result.

Continuous integration, continuous deployment

Creating an MVP in Stepwise is a bit like building a Lego house. The project is implemented in smaller parts that can be easily modified. The client can check subsequent parts of the product as we go and have them tested to end users. The feedback collected in this way allows you to efficiently evaluate functionalities, throw out the redundant ones and develop the most promising ones.

Implementing changes to the project as often as possible allows to develop your MVP very dynamically. Regular testing of individual software components is the basis for process automation, such as deployment. Efficient error identification, real-time functional improvement and the use of proven cloud solutions allow us to create MVPs at the highest possible level.

blog post cover MVP creation process

A team of IT specialists and the role of the client in building MVP

The IT specialist teams at Stepwise are people with extensive technical experience. They are people who know how business works and are able to deliver a product that meets the requirements set by the market and consumers.

We believe that the key to creating great software is mutual understanding and clear communication. For this reason, each of our employees, regardless of whether they deal with coding, architecture design or UX design, has a set of above-average interpersonal skills, and our internal native speaker takes care of the highest level of English of the entire team.

Our best specialists take part in the MVP creation process. We work on many different projects. Thanks to this, we have proven methods of creating dedicated teams small enough to effectively build an MVP and experienced enough to allow the project to develop efficiently.

The client at Stepwise comes first. From the beginning to the end of our cooperation, you have a real influence on the shape of your product. At the beginning, we will help you understand the entire process and provide you with a proven and flexible work methodology. Depending on your needs, we will prepare the necessary infrastructure for global scaling.

The product owner plays a key role in the MVP creation process. The client can take care of it personally, appoint a person from his company for this position or use the help of our dedicated specialist. The product owner understands the business, advises the partner and is the link between the Stepwise team of specialists and the client.

Product owner, together with the client, draws up a functional backlog, i.e. the activities necessary to complete the MVP project. Then we break them down into smaller parts that are assigned to developers, software architects or UX/UI designers. Product owner makes sure that each Lego brickof the project is implemented in accordance with the adopted schedule. They help manage risk and take responsibility for their own actions and decisions, just as each developer team is directly responsible for its part of the work.

When creating Minimum Viable Product, there is always a dilemma related to the choice between quick preparation and lower cost of applying specific technologies, and a comprehensive approach and creating a more expensive solution that may take more time. Product owner makes decisions in this area, with what is best for the project in mind. What is important, the client always has the last word when making key decisions.

How much does it cost to create an MVP?

At Stepwise, we create the Minimum Viable Product primarily so that the client can save money and other resources, until the product’s market potential is confirmed.

Sometimes your MVP project is mature enough to start monetizing it. The pool of software users gathered at this stage can allow you to earn real money.

When entering into a partnership with Stepwise, clients are free to decide the final price of their MVP. If you have a list of functionalities of the planned application prepared, we will discuss it together during workshops. Depending on your needs, the necessary number of specialists and specific competences, we will be able to estimate the time frame of the project and provide the approximate size of investment that will have to be taken into account. We take into account many factors, such as design risk or potential changes in the scope of works.

When developing software, there are billing models in which you will receive a specific MVP execution amount in advance (e.g. Fixed Price). We sincerely advise against them. Our experience proves that digital projects are always dynamically developing and evolving, and some things are simply unpredictable. At Stepwise, we provide the client with the freedom to make changes, which is why the agile approach and flexible range of project expenses work much better.

If the budget of your project is determined in advance, the software house should help you optimally use all funds. Regardless of whether you come with a budget of EUR 50,000-100,000 or you can spend much more, Stepwise will make it clear what we can do for you. Together, we will make a list of all the functionalities that your product should contain, from the most important to the least important. Then, within the available budget, we will divide them into three categories of solutions, which:

  1. we will certainly deliver,
  2. there is a good chance we will deliver,
  3. there is a slight chance we will deliver.

Each project carried out at Stepwise is based on transparency of activities from the first contact with the client. Clear rules, coherent implementation of projects and convenient work methodology make us gain trusted partners for years. We believe that this should be a priority for every reliable software house.

Check what you can gain from MVP, audit and PoC in our other article: Click here

Other advantages of creating an MVP with Stepwise

Stepwise’s extensive experience has allowed us to develop effective rules of cooperation with partners from many EU countries. We understand business and know how dynamically your environment is changing. We have a flexible approach to cooperation and, apart from regular meetings, we are constantly at your disposal. We provide exactly the services that you need the most at the moment. 

Proven technologies in the implementation of MVP projects, such as Jira (preview of the implementation of project activities) or Slack (asynchronous communication) guarantee you a clear picture of current events and ensure a smooth exchange of information. We know how to effectively create MVPs, because we have tested it in practice in many different projects.

We value our clients and we respect their time and resources. Each new product that we create is the result of the entire pool of experience gained while creating software in the past. We learn something new from each client. As a result, the most experienced specialists represent Stepwise in the creation of Minimum Viable Product.

We treat our clients’ success as our own, which is why each member of the Stepwise team will do their best to provide you with an MVP with global market potential where you will be able to earn real money.

MVPs are always the most interesting projects. Stepwise suggests this solution to anyone who wants to create modern software with the potential for effective monetization. We love building innovative products with our clients. Contact with real business and great people, dynamic development of brilliant ideas and creative activities is something we have always felt best in. If you need a reliable partner when creating MVP, we are here for you.

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