Minimum viable product (MVP) has a variety of practical applications, and one of them is risk management. In a concise article for Scrum Alliance, Olufemi Sonuga explains why MVP is so useful against risk. And as we all know, anything that mitigates project risk is worth our consideration.
Risk in the Environment
Sonuga was recently talking to a senior scrum master who failed to understand why Sonuga advocated use of MVP in agile. The scrum master could not wrap his head around how MVP could address risk, so Sonuga framed it like this:
What would happen if he multitasks, and as he’s getting getting closer to the end of the sprint, for some bizarre reason the environment crashes or something else detrimental happens? He indicated that he had not experienced such a situation before and that he is a pro at multitasking (alarms went off!). I have been in IT since 1995 and cannot count the number of times that an environment has gone down inexplicably.
When the occasion calls for it, Sonuga likes to get the team swarming on completing one product backlog item at a time. This guarantees that at least one or a few backlog items will be ready to go for “show and tell” time. It also means that, even if something severe and unexpected happens, you will have something to show the stakeholders. Sonuga concedes that multitasking through the sprint can succeed, but if something like the environment going down occurs, you are left with a mess that might not inspire stakeholder confidence.
You can view the original article here: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2015/december/mitigate-risk-with-a-minimum-viable-product-approa