Every young entrepreneur who is up with his startup business is always thinking of adding more and more cool features to their app just to achieve perfection and gain more customer engagement. But simply adding useless features that modern customers don't demand is pointless and can be the worst mistake of businesses in today's competitive world. In fact, this is one of the foremost reasons why the majority of startups aren't able to survive for a longer time in the market.
However, failure can be prevented to a great extend if entrepreneurs are aware and emphasize developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in the first place. It will help them save all the time, efforts, resources, and capital wasted on useless functionalities or services that customers don't need. Avoiding all the unnecessary complications throughout the product is what MVP is all about.
In this post, we'll explore what MVP methodology is and how to decide MVP feature prioritization for a product's overall success!
What is MVP?
Coined by Frank Robinson, MVP technology is the minimum viable product that includes the most basic features required for an app or a product to be released in the market. Simply put, MVP development involves fewer efforts, time, costs, and resources and helps develop a full-fledged product that easily meets the customers' expectations. To attain this, the development team and the client must collaborate and work closely on all aspects.
Feature Prioritization for MVP is the key!
Prior to developing an app, every entrepreneur needs to keep one thing in mind- focus on the features you need, not the features you want. Initially, you need only to have the basic and necessary features, not the ones you admire. This is where feature prioritization is an important step throughout the development of a Minimum Viable Product that needs the input of clients and product managers as well.
In feature prioritization, those features are identified which support the basic functionality of an MVP product. Besides identifying priorities, feature prioritization also helps in setting up the project roadmap, defining work boundaries while separating needs and wants.
How to prioritize features for MVP app development?
For prioritizing the product development process, one needs to dive deeper to understand their field of business while having a thorough knowledge of business goals. For this, businesses need to analyze how successful businesses set their roadmap, scaled with time, came up with new features, and how they avoided including the cool and not-so-popular functionalities while building an MVP.
During a project, businesses can prioritize features in various manners that include- prior to the MVP software development for determining the basic functionalities which must be included in the MVP approach while it is being deployed for the very first time. Apart from that, once the initial deployment of MVP, the project team members need to sit down during the inspection phase for further prioritizing the features of an MVP software depending on field data, including bug reports, user feedback, and so on.
Key participants of feature prioritization in MVP development
The feature prioritization during the MVP development process solely involves three major participants.
Business Analyst: BA is responsible for outlining opportunities, challenges and showcasing solutions to the stakeholders, and gets the product backlog sorted out in the first place. The business analyst works diligently with the product owner to address problems like forecasting, budgeting, and thoroughly monitor the product development work process.
Project Manager: The project manager is responsible for organizing the project workflow and mobilizing the project teams. Besides focusing on overall market success, the project manager also accounts for defining the product development process, assigning roles to individuals in the product development team, producing necessary process documentation, evaluating project requirements, tracking progress, and a lot more.
Client: The client offers the business's scope and is one of the Agile team members who solely doesn't decide the framework to be used to prioritize the roadmap but holds considerable input in the implementation part. The client usually aligns a product manager responsible for sorting the majority of the team's backlog and keeping the stakeholders informed about the recent progress.
Stages to prioritize a roadmap
Information gathering: A huge volume of data in line with the business's scope must be gathered to prioritize the roadmap. This data can either be from the existing, past, or potential customers, which you might get in the form of- support tickets, survey results, social media, email messages, or customer support. Further information can be gathered from customer feature recommendations, MVP feature performance data, and bug reports.
Understand & organize the feedback: After the information is gathered, it is necessary to analyze it thoroughly. You don't need to consider every customer complaint, but you must identify the reason behind all the feedback to save time and resources in the long run. Besides that, you must prioritize bug reports and feature requests in order to organize the feedback. Feature requests will comprise the newly added or removed recommendations made by the team members and users. At the same time, bug reports will include all the malfunctioning parameters about the MVP.
Stages to prioritize bug reports
Firstly, the bugs need to be grouped based on their similarities. After that, bugs need to be prioritized, considering multiple factors like the customer or the complainer, how dissatisfied they are, how many people complained, and how important the fix is.
Stages to prioritize product features
Firstly, you need to arrange feature requests and recommendations from user stories based on their similarities, where you can also add the information of who made the request or recommendation. After that, you can prioritize the grouped recommendations and features.
This process can be carried out while considering multiple things that include- is reporter a paying customer or not, how many legal/ natural people filed the same request, how important is this feature for them, what is the relevancy of the request, did you ever consider these needs previously, are there any business benefits and do these requests align with the futuristic vision of the product or not.
Prioritizing the features remains to be an inevitable part of MVP product development and further comes up with a full-fledged product. From project manager, client, to the business analyst, each of them has their own importance and set of responsibilities to take care of throughout the product development. It might be a daunting task in the initial phase; however, feature prioritization will ensure business success in the long run and save you a lot of time, effort, resources, and capital.
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Anil is a dynamic professional who primarily focuses on digital asset management and business analysis. With over 14 years of experience, Anil works closely with requirement gathering, analysis, estimation, design, development, testing, and production support while supporting business solution software and analyzing business operations for top global enterprises. He possesses multiple certifications that include Certified Scrum Master and Certified Product Owner.