MVP vs SLC projects

Most products and websites are still approached using the minimum viable product (MVP) development strategy to build something small and inexpensive. At the very beginning of a product development, determining what the needs are to create the product and how to plan for this is invaluable. MVP requires a lot of upfront work and in doing so, steady incremental improvements are based on the user feedback, which leads to the final product. However, under challenging time constraints, adjusting and refocusing priorities may be the most important use of time to deliver something that is functional for users from the very beginning.

The problem with MVP

The MVP strategy contains the minimum core features of a product to be effectively ready for deployment. What this means it that developers behind the product focus solely on functionality rather than other features such as aesthetics and usability. The aim of this is to try to have a product that works when launched and that they can use as a starting point. However in doing so creates more work as issues are more likely to occur since the product is rushed with this approach, furthermore, users don’t like seeing the basic skeleton of a product.

Without the building foundations behind any product, it is destined to fail. The most sensible approach to building a product that is productive is to not cut corners, and therefore user wants and needs should be prioritised.

Simple and not Minimum

With the intent to build a product that is minimum and get the final result to users as soon as possible, it may ultimately deter users as the product will be incomplete and not meet their expectations. In an age where users expect solutions quickly and will look for alternatives after making quick judgments, MVP can therefore be damaging for a new product or business.

It could be argued that a better alternative to building a product is by following the Simple, Lovable and Complete (SLC) approach.

  1. Simple: In order for a product to be delivered quickly, it must be simple. A product does not need to do everything, as long as the product never claimed to do more that it does. By following the SLC approach we can understand that constant development is not needed to reach its initial value. Product teams should adopt an ever-growing attitude towards their product; this way the outcomes and next steps are better.

  2. Viable vs Lovable: Viable synonyms are both workable and practical. However, you cannot build a product based upon functionality alone. When something has been cared for more, it becomes more valuable. Therefore, it is important to follow a simple structure leading up to a better overall product that has more meaning behind it.

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  1. Completed vs Complete: There is a staggering difference between a product being completed and complete; being completed entails there are no further additions, ultimately users have to accept the final product because they were not promised more than what was initially delivered. However, by understanding that a product is not yet completed, it can indulge a user’s curiosity as there could be additional features to enjoy at a later period in time.

By adopting the SLC approach efforts can be refocused to deliver not the most minimum results, but something that has better and more realistic outcomes. Further down the line existing users could be queried to help determine what the next version should contain, instead of having testers and users asking when something is going to be fixed.

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