The Fine Balance of a Minimum Viable Product

One of the most difficult task for a product manager, let alone a company to do is finding that Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Whether you are trying to launch your first product, or updating an existing one, you’ll need to make those hard decisions to cut features and functions. If you’re going to try to get Widget A to have all 100 key features from its initial conception, don’t hold your breath. By the time you launch your product, you might already be chasing your competitors. YMMV.

But MVP doesn’t necessarily mean that your product won’t have any features. It may mean that you have just enough to get your customers off and running for the time being. With a SaaS product, you do have the freedom to go back and forth with your customers to fine tune your product. Missed the boat with a feature? Get those major items identified early on in your research.

I do like to make sure you give your customers the functionality they need to be able to get their job done. Just enough. Put the must-haves and nice-to-haves in separate buckets and move them from one side to the other based on your research. An important aspect of this to not forget to return back to your MVP and find out if the nice-to-haves still need to be implemented. You might find out it’s not needed after all.

It is a fine balance between what’s needed and what’s enough.