Be careful with SAFe’s use of the MVP

Eric Ries defined MVPs as “that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

If you are an established company, you already have a customer base, know a considerable amount about your product and you have competitors you are trying to either keep ahead of or catch up to.

You probably spend more enhancing existing products than creating new ones with an unknown market.

Product development in established companies usually starts with initiatives and then seeing “what is of the most value that we can deliver sooner.” This is where the concept of the Minimum Business Increment is useful. MBIs are the smallest part of an initiative that will realize the most value when delivered. It also includes any steps needed for release and support. This is a far cry from the MVP where we start small and extend.

Both MVPs and MBIs are conceptually about value sooner. But confusing their different intentions and implementation approach causes problems if you don’t attend to that they are different.

 

See more at Minimum Business Increments in my book on FLEX.

 

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