Different frameworks that help you define what should be in your MVP

Different frameworks that help you define what should be in your MVP

If you're an aspiring entrepreneur looking to create a software product, but not sure where to start — creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the key. An MVP is the most fundamental version of your product that allows you to test its profitability and collect feedback from users. Various frameworks can help with this, such as Lean Startup, Design Thinking, and Agile development.

What is an MVP?

In an MVP, the most important characteristic is that it includes only functions that are required for the product to function and solve a real need. Some functionality that can be desirable or necessary in later versions is excluded initially. As a result of this approach, the entrepreneur’s risk is limited by validating the product before investing too much time and money, while simultaneously providing enough value to attract early adopters.

When creating an MVP, you must identify what users really need, not what you think they need based on assumptions or personal preferences. Test your MVP with real users to gain valuable insight into how users interact with it and how you can improve it in the future. As a result of getting feedback from users along the way, startups are more likely to learn and grow if they focus only on delivering the essential functions first. You may learn that the need is slightly different than you anticipated once the product is being tested, and must adjust course.


The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup framework has seen a considerable increase in popularity over the past few years. Adopting lean manufacturing principles, it allows for the creation of adaptable products that can be easily changed based on customer input. A key feature is the MVP — where only the essential functions required to deliver value to users are included, cutting out any superfluous content.

Another important aspect of the framework is experimentation; allowing entrepreneurs to validate their ideas through data-driven experiments with real users. This encourages data-oriented decision-making rather than relying solely on market research and intuition, so an MVP can be launched quickly and efficiently.

By embracing the Lean Startup framework, entrepreneurs can reap the rewards of quick iterations, flexibility and customer interaction.

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to problem solving which revolves around empathy, creativity and experimentation.

  1. The first step in Design Thinking is to deeply understand customers by grasping their pain points, motivations and behaviors through direct interviews, surveys, or observation.

  2. The next step is to identify the problem. To synthesize the collected data and identify meaningful patterns in order to guide ideation.

  3. Ideation is the third step: coming up with as many ideas as possible without judgment. The goal is quantity over quality since the most innovative solution comes from combining multiple ideas.

  4. After ideation comes prototyping, where low-fidelity versions of potential solutions are created for testing purposes that can be done through various formats such as sketches or digital mockups.

By conducting tests on these prototypes with real users and receiving feedback, entrepreneurs are able to improve their solution before investing significantly in its development, thus culminating in a product that truly meets user's needs.

Agile Development

Agile development is another popular framework to build software due to its ability to adapt to change quickly, delivering value incrementally and continuously improving the process. One of the key principles is a collaboration between engineering teams and users, as well as planning, implementation and feedback loops that allow for changes to be made based on what has been learned during each iteration.

Teams typically work in short sprints of two weeks or less; this allows for a small set of functions or improvements to be tested and validated by users before moving forward into the next cycle. Agile promotes transparency throughout the product development lifecycle, such that all stakeholders have access to information regarding progress, problems, risks and opportunities at any time. This encourages cross-team collaboration which facilitates innovation.

Moreover, regular retrospectives are held to reflect upon the team’s performance during a previous sprint and identify areas of improvement in future ones. All in all, agile development can help startups build an MVP quicker while simultaneously minimizing risk by focusing on delivering value step-by-step rather than attempting it all at once.

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How do you choose the right framework for your MVP?

Choosing the right framework for your MVP could make or break the success of your product. To ensure you make the best decision, first deeply understand what product you're building and who your target users are, what the market conditions are, and what need your product solves.

The Lean Startup approach can work very well if you aim toward the B2C-market, with a simple solution that requires minimal functionality to test user demand. For a business product, however, a more comprehensive approach like Agile Development might be needed. Secondly, consider the expertise of your team and the resources available; design thinking could be beneficial in helping to identify and try out different hypotheses for user needs.

Time and budget restrictions must also be taken into account as strategies vary significantly in terms of implementation timeframes and costs. Ultimately, selecting the right framework depends on how well you understand your specific product goals as well as evaluate important factors such as resource availability and budget restraints.


Choosing the right MVP can be a difficult task, and it is essential to keep in mind that each framework has its own advantages and disadvantages. The Lean Startup emphasizes experimentation and feedback from users, while Design Thinking focuses on understanding your customers’ needs and problem-solving. Agile Development prioritizes adaptability and teamwork.

Your choice should depend on your specific objective, resources, and team dynamics. Additionally, these frameworks are not mutually exclusive — a combination of different approaches might be the most suitable for your product.

If you are looking for expert assistance to build your MVP, please visit our roadmapping page for more information and contact us to book an initial consultation.

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