How to Build an MVP Without Development Resources
To survive in today’s cut-throat market, turning an idea into a product quickly is a prerequisite to success. But, because of the developer shortage, many companies can’t tap into the talent, skill sets, and resources required to launch a successful minimum viable product (MVP). MVP software development enables businesses to get their product in front of customers quickly, solicit user feedback, and iterate accordingly.
Development teams at enterprise companies can’t sacrifice work on the core product to pilot an MVP. Likewise, startup teams are often small to begin with and may be lacking developers–and the resources to hire them–entirely. As a result, those great product ideas might not come to light. The good news is companies can turn their concept into reality even without internal development resources.
Tips for Building an MVP Without Development Resources
By using a technology partner, companies can build an MVP without the time investment of hiring a developer the traditional way.
That said, working with (or without) a partner still requires key steps to successfully create and launch an MVP.
Define Resource & Support Needs for MVP Development
Throughout the MVP development process, you’ll need to leverage a variety of skills to bring the product vision to life. That is why it is important to determine where you need support in the process.
Your internal resources may be comfortable in one or two areas but lacking in the others. Additionally, the iterative nature of the process may be better suited to a development partner who can flexibly adjust the team makeup according to changes in the product needs.
A successful team should have support in the following areas of product development:
Idea generation is a formal strategy session to brainstorm concept ideas. This session is where the team meets to elaborate on the initial idea until it reaches viability as an effective solution. The outcome of these sessions is a fully validated concept that outlines the key features of the MVP. All stakeholders should be included in these sessions while qualified partners or third-party teams can help facilitate the discussion.
The definition phase further refines the concept. This stage tends to be business-focused. Product owners and other business leaders strategize on value proposition, KPIs to measure success, and marketing strategy.
In this stage, your team will produce high-fidelity prototypes, wireframes, and screen flows that demonstrate the user journey. Ultimately, the goal is to show how the system should operate, so that the backend development can support the product vision.
At this stage, the team begins work on a mockup based on the prototype. The team sources materials for the mockup and gets initial feedback from stakeholders. The outcome of the build phase is a product mockup.
It’s important to set up your team to make the right technology decisions in this stage. Guidance from experienced parties is highly recommended before getting into the weeds of development.
Build & Validation
This iterative step references the detailed design, developing and testing the product in phases. This is the most critical phase for high-quality development resources, including engineers writing code and testers writing test cases. Experienced executives who can guide your team through inevitable changes can make the difference between a smooth release and challenging delays.
If you cannot bring in outside resources for the entirety of the MVP project, consider investing in team enhancements for this phase at minimum. The execution must result in a working version of the MVP product, ready to hit the market.
Elect a Technical Lead
The initial phases of this process focus on the “what.” A technical leader is someone who focuses on the “how.” They direct the team on what technology to use and how best to leverage it. The technical leader makes decisions about the system architecture and the tech stack to realize the concept. They also mentor and guide the developers on best practices.
It is important to note that their expertise goes beyond technology. As the technical expert, they are expected to work with business leaders to:
- Help define the business value of the product
- Assist with building the business case
- Help define the target users and their flow through the product
The person in this role typically has significant experience in many areas of technology. Most have spent several years as a developer. Some also have experience in a technical project management role.
Identify the Skills Needed
The best concept in the world won’t survive without the right skills to bring it to life. Companies must determine what skills and resources they need to give their product the best chance for success. When building an MVP without development resources, it is important to evaluate team skill sets to identify gaps. Those gaps represent areas that need to be addressed before building an MVP.
The right partner can help companies figure out what skills you need based on the concept. It is necessary to get a clear understanding of the level of expertise required. Cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) requires a unique skill set that goes beyond traditional software development.
That’s why companies need to work with a partner that can help find individuals with that level of expertise. A partner can guide the company through the process and help avoid common pitfalls.
When evaluating partners, companies must examine the partner’s track record. What success have they had? What are some of the common challenges they’ve helped their clients overcome? These questions go a long way toward selecting the best partner to help build an MVP without development resources.
Build an MVP With Expert Guidance
With a full lineup of software engineering and technology consulting solutions we can help fill skill gaps to maximize your product development while minimizing your development timeline for your custom MVP.
At KMS, we don’t just build software, we build software companies. Schedule a consultation today and let us show you how we can help.