MVP for Software Development: Bring Your Idea to Life with Minimum Efforts

In a software world, an MVP became a very popular and effective instrument for launching new products. To ensure a minimum viable product of a high quality, Appservice provides the customers with the most effective MVP service solutions during all stages of development.

Why is a Minimum Viable Product Important for Software Development Projects?

What is an MVP?

Creation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the easiest way to prove the viability of a business idea. It is a simple version of a new product that includes just essential features to meet the needs of early adopters. An MVP enables companies to start a product faster with fewer expenses, making improvements after gathering user feedback.

There are 3 main objectives of an MVP:

  • Viability verification. An MVP defines if the product you offer meets market and user demands before the final solution is released.
  • Cost and time reduction. Focusing only on core product features, this approach enables introducing a product quickly with fewer efforts, allowing developers to make adjustments step-by-step.
  • Feedback analysis. When the final product must satisfy all users, an MVP is built for early adopters only, thus gathering feedback from them ensures all adjustments will be made according to reviews of real people.

An MVP for Software Development

In software development, an MVP can be any product: a website, an application or even a CRM-system that is released with minimum efforts and time. An MVP development becomes the most effective way to start any project, as it envisages agile development cycles. The users get it faster, express their opinion and enable improving the product in the next development cycle.

Taking the above into account, here are the main points of an MVP for software development:

Advantages of Using an MVP programming for startups

In today’s world, 9 from 10 startups fail. Here are the most common reasons why it happens:

  • lack of budget
  • lack of market demand
  • development of user-unfriendly solution
  • ignoring customer feedback

When creating an MVP for an app or website, it is rather crucial to define target audience and conduct market research first, then focus on potential problems for future development. Therefore, building MVPs for startups helps companies to find their place in the market and make a profit.

As a part of product development strategy, an MVP programming can help to:

  • Define target audience and find early adopters. Building an MVP for a startup with a ton of features makes it harder to make adjustments in the future. Later, based on user feedback, you can add the desired elements during next steps of an MVP development.
  • Save time and money. An MVP leads to early learning and release with a minimum budget. In the future, you can invest in further product development when the project brings first profit.
  • Attract investors. Despite the final product may look ideally on paper, an MVP is more likely to attract investors as it is still a functioning project.

Therefore, in a world where almost all new projects fail just after their release, building MVP for startups enables companies to avoid risk of negative feedback, reduce costs and save time.

Need MVP?

Getting Started with Creating an Effective MVP

Although an MVP project has fewer features than fully functioning system, it still requires some serious steps to take:

1. Conduct market research

Start with checking if your idea meets the needs of the market and early adopters. Ensure your project is innovative and interesting by interviewing potential users, and don’t forget about competitors – conduct market research to analyze your closest rivals’ strengths.

2. Define MVP key feature list

List all the features users may need and divide them based on priority. Further, leave only crucial features vital for performance of the initial version and move forward to MVP programming.

Later, more detailed feedback from users is required, so you need to:

  • Choose users
  • Make a list of core features
  • Prepare CustDev questionnaire

After the evaluation, you can move on to build an MVP.

3. Begin MVP software development and testing

Creating a basic prototype is critical here, as it shows whether users really want to install the app on their computers or mobile devices. After CustDev is ready, the development team prepares Technical Specifications and provides a clear picture of the product, as well as estimates cost and timeframe for development.

Basically, MVP development consists of interface design, front-end and back-end development. The aim is to get a high-fidelity interactive prototype of the product, which allows users to navigate through the app/website. For apps, you can choose one platform for development (iOS or Android) or select a cross-platform approach.

When the customer is in touch with the development team at every stage, the process becomes more productive due to immediate feedback and prompt actions towards adjustments. That’s why the use of Scrum is preferable here, as it allows finding product weak points at early development stages. The customer and the development team perform each task from sprint together to monitor the results efficiently and provide proper MVP service solutions during the development process.

4. Learn from feedback

As an MVP for software development is a long process, it should be tested on a regular basis. The aim of it is to collect feedback and make appropriate adjustments to the product in the future.

Crucial mistakes in MVP software development

A minimum viable product creation is about sticking to a plan. Here are common mistakes made when building an MVP for software development:

1. Disregarding market research

One of the biggest mistakes many product owners do is ignoring target audience demands and market peculiarities. Lack of proper research can cost huge financial losses, not to mention time and efforts spent on MVP development.

2. Unprofessional Development Team

No matter what creative technology you use, if you don’t have an experienced and skilled development team the project is likely to fail. To create a strong MVP, your team should consist of professional designers, developers, QA engineers, and PMs to provide effective MVP service solutions, otherwise you may face with the following problems:

  • Missed deadlines
  • Hiring additional specialists/another development agency
  • Poor feedback analysis
3. An overloaded MVP

Adding too much into your project may cause huge money and time losses and the entire process of development becomes meaningless. If it’s hard for you to choose key features, follow an Agile methodology – divide the complex requirements into several simple features and set a deadline for every feature you have.

4. Ignoring the prototype creation

You should provide the users with a functioning product, so it needs to be user-friendly and appealing. Thus, the app/website should have an interactive prototype, reflecting the product information architecture and including interactive elements.

5. Disregarding User Feedback

User opinion determines whether the product will be in demand or not. You should take it seriously: it’s not about simply gathering information, but also reaching proper conclusions. Reviewing user feedback ensures making appropriate adjustments to the project and satisfies user needs.

Wrapping Up

Today, an MVP software development becomes the best method to find out whether the product will be successful on the market or not. Building an MVP means finding a balance between minimum efforts spent and creating a functioning product. Appservice enables project analysis during all stages of development, providing assistance based on the established strategy.


How to Build a Succesfull Dedicated Development Team: an Ultimate Guide

Today, outsourcing has become extremely popular: striving to reduce time-to-market, streamline the development and find cost-effective solutions, increasing number of companies choose to hire dedicated software development team.

Dedicated Team Model: the Meaning

The dedicated team model is an example of cooperation between a customer and a software development service provider, where the second party provides a team of skilled and experienced technical experts to work on a customer’s project on a full-time basis (that’s what dedicated means here) under the guidance of a client.

When hiring a dedicated team, a client must bear in mind the project tech stack and the skills the recruited specialists should possess to perform their functions properly.

How Does it Work?

This model of cooperation consists of the following stages:

When the Dedicated Team Model is the Right Decision

Choosing this model of cooperation, you get a team of our specialists fully devoted to your project. It enables you to concentrate more on working processes and the most important tasks, when the vendor is in charge of the recruitment, selecting the most appropriate candidates just to address your business requirements. So, you would probably like to use this type of cooperation if:

  • You want to enter a new/unknown market. The team you hire already has specific experience working with projects that might be unfamiliar to you, thus helping to avoid risks of possible issues in-house team may face.
  • Your in-house development market is small. Talents are everywhere – with a remote team, you are not limited by a region you work in and can look for necessary specialists across the world.
  • Cost of local software developers is too high for you. In certain regions, for example in the United States or Western Europe, salaries of engineers are quite high, especially for small businesses. Outsourcing enables you to choose the team size within the planned budget.

In-House vs. Dedicated Team

Despite hiring local specialists may look like an easy and painless process, here are the cases why you may find it less relevant in comparison with the offshore dedicated development team.

  • You have time and budget limitations. In general, small or medium businesses and startups’ budgets are limited, thus they might find it expensive to hire local software developers — For example, in the USA or Western Europe salaries of skilled and experienced specialists are very high, along with the recruitment process and other administrative expenses, such as HR and IT support. Moreover, since finding right candidates for a specific project can take quite a lot of time, especially for complex projects. That’s why the dedicated team approach is the best here — you don’t have to be concerned about search and hiring, as the recruitment process is carried out by the vendor, enabling you to have all potential candidates in the same place, ready to start working on your project as soon as possible.
  • You need specialists with rare/unique skills. Again, one of the main purposes of the offshore dedicated development team is to suit the demands of a particular project, thus all the specialists must possess specific skills, often unclaimed or unusual for a specific region. Thus, it frequently happens that the local IT market can’t offer right specialists. Global market offers various experts of certain skills and level of competence.
  • You need the team to be fully focused on your project. Another advantage of this model is that the dedicated team is entirely devoted to your project and actually becomes a part of your company, being engaged with your business aims and policy.

Advantages of the Dedicated Development Team

Taking the above into account, here are the main advantages of choosing the offshore dedicated development team model:

  • Cost effectiveness. Apart from salaries of the employees, you may face other considerable expenses when hiring in-house specialists, such as HR support, office space and training.
  • Easy recruitment process. Generally, a service provider already has a pool of candidates you can choose for your project. Together with the vendor, you pick the specialists according to the required skills and experience.
  • Devoted team. With profound understanding of the customer’s project and business objectives, the dedicated software development team is fully focused on the client, striving to deliver the best results.
  • Fast market entry. The hired dedicated team possesses broad experience of dealing with various projects, similar to yours, thus protecting you from potential problems freshmen may face during the development process.
  • Allows flexibility. You can easily scale down the team size of your project, asking the offshoring vendor to add/change/remove staff members upon request. Moreover, you are able to adjust the project in terms of scope and priorities, taking into account constantly changing market or unexpected budget restrictions.

Need Dedicated Development Team?

Time and Material and Fixed-Price Models

The dedicated team model is not the only type of cooperation between a client and the offshoring vendor. Apart from it, we would like to highlight two other popular models — the time and material and the fixed-price. Let’s take a look at them to see the pros and cons of each.

Time and Material Model

According to this model of cooperation, the total cost of the project remains uncertain until it is ready, as the final payment is made according to the actual number of hours spent on development. Although this model enables flexibility in terms of changing the workload and project requirements, it’s still hard to plan the budget, so the total cost might be totally different from the preliminary estimation. Comparing the time and material with the dedicated team approach, the latter allows paying fees to specialists on a monthly basis, allowing the company to allocate the budgets properly.

Thus, the main disadvantages of the time and material model are:

  • It’s hard to estimate the deadline and total budget for the project launch due to flexibility in changing project requirements.
  • The time and material model involves full control on the client’s side to keep pace with all changes made during the development process.

Fixed Price Model

The fixed-price model indicates that the client and the vendor reached an agreement on the time frame and the budget of the project before the development is started. This approach may seem clear and convenient: the vendor takes full control over the development process with minimum supervision and risks from client’s side, however, there is one, but very significant disadvantage — as it’s quite hard to make a precise estimate of project scope, time frame and budget, the development team may face with unpredictable issues during the working process, causing potential risks to miss the deadline and require extra costs.

Here are the cons of the fixed price models:

  • The fixed price approach allows less flexibility than other cooperation models. As the project scope is negotiated beforehand, you can’t change it much. Otherwise, you may face missed deadlines and extra costs.
  • A software development company can overestimate the total cost of the project development in order to cover all potential risks our team may face during the work. As a result, the client might pay more for the project with less actual cost.
  • As the development team must meet the agreed deadline under any circumstances, the end result of the project might сome out of poor quality: when the team is striving to operate on a tight schedule, they often have no time to address the emerging issues properly.

How to Build an Effective Dedicated Team

The process of building a proper dedicated development team can be divided into following steps:

Step 1. Set requirements

Before hiring a dedicated team, you should focus on:

  • Before hiring a dedicated team, you should focus on:
  • Making a project description with main sections and their key functions
  • Choosing service provider
  • Setting a time frame and the budget for product release

Step 2. Create a team

After the draft project plan is prepared, we can move on to team recruitment. The software development manager picks the potential candidates to be approved by the client according to the below requirements:

  • Tech skill
  • Development experience
  • Soft skills
  • General background

Again, the crucial factor here is to find the specialists to fit the client’s project perfectly.

Step 3. Integrate the team into the project

When the team and the roles of specialists are defined, it’s time to integrate them into the project. The key point here is management. You may think that managing remote team work is not as easy as in-house team, but it’s not true — the digital world has no borders, thus you may reach your employees via calls or video conferences on a regular basis, keeping the working processes under close review.

Mistakes you Should Avoid

Having a dedicated software development team at hand may bring huge profit to your software solution and the company in general, although there are still some issues and challenges you should keep in mind if you decide to choose this model of cooperation.

Choose the company without proper research

When you hire a team to develop a massive and complex project, you should be 100% certain that it meets your business demands and objectives. Study the market, make a comparative analysis of software service providers, read user feedback, visit social media pages of the vendors — close examination of the subject will help you to choose the best variant for you.

Limit the search to geographical boundaries

Again, talents are everywhere. Today you don’t have to hire a software specialist just because he/she lives in the same city as you, it would be much better if you expand your search worldwide to find the right person who will perfectly fit to your project. If you are concerned about communication across the team, you should organize calls or video conferences on a regular basis (ones or twice a week) to keep everything under control and create a «being there» effect.

Place price above quality

You should remember one thing: experienced and skilled development specialists cost money, but as a result you will return more than you actually spend. Unfortunately, many companies who search for a development team, frequently look for lower prices. It is not surprising that the outcomes of the developed solution become miserable due to poor performance of the specialists, who often disregard project requirements. Of course, every budget is limited, but remember the purpose you spend the money on — to develop a quality product and gain profit from it.

Lack of motivation

In the light of the above, working with the dedicated software development team is almost the same as having in-house specialists. However, the second type of collaboration allows constant personal communication, so it is no surprise that the remote team may feel abandoned, which leads to lack of motivation. To avoid demotivation in the team, it is crucial to establish contact between the client and the development specialists, paying attention to every employee, remembering names, and making individual plans for development.

Wrapping Up: Key Points

To sum it up, we would like to highlight the following main points of the offshore software dedicated development team model:

  • Offshore dedicated development team has become a great alternative to in-house specialists due to cost-effectiveness and instant access to talents across the world.
  • This approach allows flexibility to project requirements and time frame, but the budget is unlikely to be surprising: the customer pays a monthly fee, formed from salaries of employees and administrative support given by a service provider.
  • The dedicated development team spends all time and efforts on your project, working under supervision of the customer.
  • With no geographical limits, the business owner is able to find the perfect candidates to form the team, bearing in mind the needed skills, years of experience and background.

Appservice: 2020 in review.

2020 brought many challenges this year, urging the world to use more technical solutions than ever before. Our team adapted to all the changes in the new normal and is happy to be a part of a community that provides such solutions.

Facing the pros and cons of remote work, we deepened the expertise in this area to guide our clients through unknown territory. We also welcomed new opportunities to help businesses build the platforms necessary to survive the lockdown.

Throughout, our team continued to grow, as did the business of our clients. While the year was quite tough, there were many bright highlights that we can not miss. Here is a brief snapshot of what kept us inspired and excited for 2021 to come:

Our team has grown

Though this year has cut out some office activities, we’ve managed not only to save the core team but also level up in quantity and expertise. By the end of 2020, our family has grown 2 times. Mobile and QA departments can manage more tasks, thanks to the individual manager’s approach and determining task fulfillment. To deliver cutting-edge products with the highest ROI, we created a small innovation lab where we learn, build, and make technical breakthroughs. Internal project management, agile methodology, and DevOps courses help our team to analyze their work in retrospective, improve the processes, and coordinate future strategy. One of the primary 2021 goals is to have more dedicated people around, so be ready to join our team. We also plan to create educational platform for internal courses to broaden the expertise of our employees.

Company’s expertise expanded

By bringing the best expertise at work, we successfully released 30 international projects. Now the geography of our contracts bounds 7 countries and three continents, including the USA, Asia, and Europe. Our internal processes are fully automated and correspond to Scrum methodology standards. Appservice CEO Valery Semiletau shared his expertise in agile implementation at the IT Home Conference as the guest speaker. We’ve encouraged businesses to adapt to the new reality and go digital. Thus during the lockdown, we’ve helped the local network of healthy food to successfully implement the delivery system within a week. Next year we are planning to produce more turnkey products and broaden our MVP development direction.

Internal CRM system was updated

Developing a customized product is an essential part of company evolution. We released our own CRM system last year. In 2020, during the testing and improvement, we can easily manage contracts, documents, and teams, create marketplaces of service categories, and manage invoices. The product is supported by both mobile platforms and has full functionality as the web version. Next year we are planning to translate the system into English to enter new markets.

New Partnerships were entered

We’ve broadened the partnerships with our American clients, working together on different projects. We also continued to look for new collaborations and opened an office in Russia cooperating with investment company BKS, and released the interstellar Heliosphere website. For this year, we are ready to explore the markets of Europe and open legal entities in the USA.

While 2020 was far from the year any of us expected, in many respects it proved to be a period of growth, learning, and gratitude for what we have. Coming out of it, we appreciate our team, our clients, and the impact of technology more than ever and we can’t wait to carry that spirit through to great effect in 2021. 

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See you next year!