Agile Organization

When MVP Is Not Enough: Minimum Viable Investment

The way project manager and business analyst Chris Matts sees it, the point of the minimum viable product (MVP) is to test if your assumptions of the interests and needs of your customer segment are true. He does not think the MVP has much to do with an actual product. In organizations with many existing products and customers, an MVP may not be practical, so Matts conceives a new solution.

Valuable Ideas

Existing companies looking to scale agile clearly carry a lot of baggage, but they still try to incorporate as much agile process as possible, including lean principles and, yes, the MVP. With existing products though, MVP is often re-conceptualized as a “minimum viable rewrite” as it pertains to making the product more agile. However, Matts believes that a minimum viable rewrite usually involves just rewriting the whole thing, which is less than ideal. “Scrum” teams who go about working these projects often are not so agile at all, as customer feedback is not incorporated and much of what is “released” is released into only what Matts describes as a “pseudo-production” environment until large chunks go live all at once. In response to these problems, he proposes a new “minimum viable investment” approach instead:

First instrument up your product so that you understand your current metrics. Then identify investments into your product to improve it. Gradually make small investments into your product until you can make big architectural changes easily. In effect you refactor your product towards a new vision of the product. Start from the outside and work your way in. In other words, start with your customer and work back through the value stream. Understand that taking an inside-out approach will lead to a massive and risky transformation that ignores your customer.

Transforming an existing product is hard. Transforming the approach to building the product is easier. This is where MVI comes into play. Might this idea be applicable to your situation? You can view the original post here: https://theitriskmanager.wordpress.com/2016/03/26/mvp-considered-harmful-introducing-the-mvi/

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