Application of Minimalism to MVP

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Apr 02, 2023
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Application of Minimalism to MVP

We live in an agile space. The pandemic has taught us even more about it. Now that we have passed through that phase, we are back to acting as if nothing has happened. As if everything is permanent. :)

Minimalist, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Minimalism, Light Weight Travel? What is the common thread among all these? Well, the topic of minimalism has been there on my mind for long, so has been the related work topic, MVP. Let's delve into seeing how we can apply the concepts from minimalism into MVP.

Minimalism is a lifestyle and a trending term for several years now. Minimalism has many definitions for different people. So what is minimalism?

It is the process of identifying the most essential things in life and eliminating the rest. It could be about choosing experiences over things. It could be intentionally choosing what you need over what you want. It is about higher order things. It comes in many shades. Let's look at its key characteristics.

THINGS OF VALUE

  • Keep only the things that are most important
  • Be conscious of what you buy and what you consume
  • Redesign with simplicity

ELIMINATE CLUTTER

  • Remove the physical clutter
  • Remove the mental clutter too?
  • It is subtraction, not for the sake of subtraction, but for the sake of focus

CREATIVE SPACE

  • It is creating more space and freedom when it comes to leading your life the way you want
  • It is about feeling more in control by instinctively and creatively knowing "what is your next best step"
  • It is about visualizing a way to stay calm in chaos

The concept of minimalism keeps evolving. Now let's tie this discussion to business analysis work; MVP in particular.

MVP is the version of the product that contains minimum essential features that can be launched for early customer feedback. It is the a set of features that are the most important and valuable to the customer. Drawing back analogy from minimalism, it is:

THINGS OF VALUE

  • Bring it in action. Build actual working product of the greatest value
  • Early customer feedback, faster learning of the feasibility and market trends
  • Be conscious of what features you keep, and where you are spending the efforts and money on

ELIMINATE CLUTTER

  • Remove or do not take on all requests, features that all users want
  • Remove fancy, time taking or irrelevant features that are not needed 'right now'
  • Eliminate the desire to focus on everything and on scattered features- meaning more focus on what to build iteratively and how

CREATIVE SPACE

  • Thrive on the creative space for quickly turning around the customer feedback into a working solution
  • UX and usability is of the highest importance
  • Creatively optimize the space arising from constraints around resources/time/budget

Let's see a few more commonalities between Minimalism and MVP.

Both are lean, light and flexible in approach. Both are not perfect from the beginning and are iterative in nature. Both aim at cutting on the specs, when the need arises. Both concepts believe in starting simple and elimination of waste. There are trials and errors, there are prototypes. Both evolve through prototyping, explorations and finding unique solutions to the customers' problems. We can even extend MVP to releases in a non-product environment and draw the same analogy.

Concluding with an interesting quote I came across "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

Thoughts?


Author: Swati Pitre, CBAP®

Swati Pitre, CBAP®, is Sr. Business Analyst, Consultant and Trainer with 20+ years of industry experience across various domains and geographies. Her specialties include Process Improvement, BPM, Predictive Analytics, Product Development, Quality, and Governance. She undertakes various training courses such as CBAP®/CCBA®/ECBA® Prep Courses, Comprehensive BA Job oriented Course, Agile BA Course, and several other customized courses. She is also a public speaker and has completed Level 4 of Effective Coaching Pathway at Toastmasters International.

Posted in: Agile Methods
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Featured
Apr 02, 2023
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