I strongly believe that we should be repositioning MVP from “Minimum Viable Product” to “Minimum Valuable Product”. Here's why...

Wikipedia.org’s entry for Minimum Viable Product starts with the following definition:

“In product development, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the product with the highest return on investment versus risk.”

MVP is a powerful concept with the promise of real value with minimal financial risk. But often the concept is diluted to the following description found a bit further down the same Wikipedia page:

“A Minimum Viable Product has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more.”

The result is a skewed attention on features rather than value and a focus on technological capabilities rather than user needs. And without a focus on what users actually need, how can the MVP deliver any value?

UsabilityNet.org hits the nail on the head in their article defining Usability:

“Usability should not be confused with 'functionality', however, as this is purely concerned with the functions and features of the product and has no bearing on whether users are able to use them or not. Increased functionality does not mean improved usability.”

The risk of focusing too heavily on features is a pilot solution that isn’t relevant to the users. Not only is it a waste of effort, it returns little valuable insight to inform the next iteration of the product.

Considering MVP as “Minimum VALUABLE Product” rather than “Minimum VIABLE Product” it refocuses on on the original aspiration of producing product with the highest return on investment versus risk.

Let’s make sure MVPs are valuable products as originally intended.

  • Valuable to the User
  • Valuable to the Project
  • Valuable to the Business

Visit our Strategic Projects to find out how the Salesforce Experience Design team can help shape a valuable MVP for your company, your customers and your employees.