Start with the MVP & follow Build-Measure-Learn approach

There are many different approaches to creating something new or solving a problem

The "Traditional way" of doing things was:

  1. Doing a lot of research

  2. Trying to predict aaaall the potential challenges in advance

  3. Trying to figure out all solutions to all challenges in advance

  4. Reviewing and rethinking to ensure that you haven't missed anything 

  5. Finally start building it



There are 2 key problems with this approach. 

  1. It takes an awful lot of time in planning stages (1-4) and the reality might be very different when you start building. This is especially true in fast-paced environments like our team. 

  2. The first time you get real feedback, from the people that will be using what you are creating (the customers) is after you have completed step 5. This only works if your predictions on steps 1-4 were simply amazing - something that doesn't happen very often.

What usually happens is you create something that has flaws that you didn't think of, not because you are stupid, but because the world is quite complex. These flaws weren't easy to spot at all at the research and design phase but are obvious when the Customers first uses the product. 

 



As a team we follow the Lean Methodology with the Build-Measure-Learn approach.

What that means is that we start by trying to understand the end users/customers need and then:

  1. Build the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which is the most basic version of the product that satisfies part of the customer's needs

  2. Give it to the end user/customer and see how it goes (the Measure stage)

  3. Learn from the Feedback we get and build the next iteration (version) of the product.

The Minimum Viable Product is something that is often misunderstood so we`ll try to define it more clearly.

The MVP must be a Minimum Lovable Product

Yes the MVP is the most basic version of a Product. That means that it's a product with a very narrow scope, but the solution provided by the product must be a damn good one - a lovable one. 

The MVP must be a Minimum Testable Product

The key goal of the MVP is to build something as fast as possible, and give it to the customer to use. That's the only way we can get feedback and learn from it

Start by building a Scooter

The image below is perhaps the best explanation of the differences of the traditional approach , and the lean/agile approach our team follows.



Please read this article - it does a great job in explaining what an MVP is . This is necessary to understand a lot of the key ideas that our team culture is being built around. And of course The Lean Startup book is one of the recommended readings for our team - please add it to your list

Build-Measure-Learn can be used on a wide range of topics

We try to follow this on all topics even if they have nothing to do with Product. For example, we use this approach for simple or Complex topics like:

  • Deciding what types of Office equipment to buy. We buy 1 of each, test it out, and then decide what we want.

  • When Creating new Processes or Best Practices. We test it a light process, in a small circle, and only expand it after we get feedback

  • Anything else that we do day to day.