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What is a MVP in terms of software product development ?

A lot of have people have not heard of the term called MVP. The full form of MVP is called Minimum Viable Product, and represents the set of features that is believed to be essential for the release of a product. The use of MVP is a strategy that decides the number of features that should be built into the product, just those set of features and no more. I will describe with an example as to how the MVP was used to drive the discussions about the list of features that should be part of the product version, given the compromises that need to be made with regard to the availability of resources, the time available, and the need to have features for the release.
Consider a case where a new version of the product needs to be released, and there is the familiar discussion about the feature list that needs to be approved for the product version. The product management team could come up with a large number of features, but that is just the starting point. The features need to be arranged in a prioritized set of features, associating them in terms of the most important, the ones that are somewhat less critical, and the ones that are good to have. This activity can take a fair amount of time, since the product management team has to balance the need for a feature in terms of meeting competitive pressures, in terms of getting good reviews (the initial set of reviews generated by professional reviewers in tech blogs and magazines), and being useful to customers, since that generates the overall positive buzz among customers in various tech / software related forums.
Once this priority has been set for the features, these features, especially the most important features, need to be set in terms of the MVP for the release. Getting such a list of features without which the product will not ship helps guide the discussion beyond this point. Thus, once the Product Management has set out a list of features that need to be done for the product to ship, and have convinced the stakeholders including management and the engineering team about this, then the rest of the discussion is about how to meet the MVP.
If the timeframe or the number of resources are not enough to get the feature set as defined in the MVP done, then the discussion moves towards debating the timeframe, as well as the number of resources available to the engineering team. In our current case, the number of features in the MVP were not being met, and the release was critical, hence the team got authorization for an increase in the number of engineers so that the feature set could be met. This was not possible until the must have feature set was defined, these forming the MVP.

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