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Minimum Viable Product and Production

An overview of the benefits of establishing a Minimum Viable Product, including it's ability to keep your projects agile.

· Agile Zone

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Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is becoming an important concept in enterprise. Along with the ideals popularised by agile, MVP is a recognition that it is often impossible to accurately and efficiently plan complex projects involving teams of people from start to end, and that attempting to do so is more trouble than it is worth. By focusing on demonstrable results achieved through quick iteration and focused feedback, MVP allows you to tap into the effortless ability of people to identify what should be changed when they can see and use the product being developed.

It is far quicker and easier to discuss the potential effects of moving the third checkbox on the sixth page to the next groupbox when everyone can see and use the UI elements in question than it is to try and get consensus on the optimum number of checkboxes per groupbox during a committee meeting.

In short, Minimum Viable Product is a conversation starter. It forgoes the bikeshedding so often associated with long term planning of complex projects, and provides stakeholders with a common vocabulary for discussing improvements.

But enterprise often mistakes Minimum Viable Product with another MVP: Minimum Viable Production.

Minimum Viable Production is all about stripping a project down to the bare bones that allow a team to reach version 1.0. Minimum Viable Production is driven by time and financial constraints, or the need to chalk up a ceremonial win that can be taken to the next quarterly review.

If Minimum Viable Product is a conversation starter, Minimum Viable Production is a conversation ender. Let’s take a look at how these two ideals play out in the enterprise.

Minimum Viable Product Conversations

“Can I get that broder in a slightly lighter shade of green?”

“You sure can. I’ll have a build done in 30 minutes.”

“We need to swap these two pages in the application process.”

“I can have a build that demos that up by the end of the day.”

Minimum Viable Production Conversations

“Can I get that broder in a slightly lighter shade of green?”

“No. That’s not MVP.”

“We need to swap these two pages in the application process.”

“No. That’s not MVP.”

Be Careful What You Wish For

Minimum Viable Product and Minimum Viable Production are two very different things.

If you are looking for fast iteration and meaningful feedback without having to abandon and rewrite large chunks of code, Minimum Viable Product is a great design process. If you want to reach version 1.0 as quickly as possible, Minimum Viable Production is what you are actually asking for.

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mvp ,enterprise

Published at DZone with permission of Matthew Casperson, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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