We often use the term minimum viable product or MVP but do we all agree on what it means? In the Scrum spirt of Definition of Done, I believe the Definition of MVP is worth stating explicitly within your tech team. A quick search revealed these three similar yet different definitions:
- A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users. Source: Techopedia
- In product development, the minimum viable product (MVP) is the product with the highest return on investment versus risk…A minimum viable product has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. Source: Wikipedia
- When Eric Ries used the term for the first time he described it as: A Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
I personally like a combination of these definitions. I would choose something along the lines of:
A minimum viable product (MVP) has sufficient features to solve a problem that exists for customers and provides the greatest return on investment reducing the risk of what we don’t know about our customers
Just like no two teams implement Agile the same way, we don’t all have to agree on the definition of MVP but all your team members should agree. Otherwise, what is an MVP to one person is a full featured product to another. Take a few minutes to discuss with your crossfunctional agile team and come to a decision on your Definition of MVP