Rapid MVP Process

Overview

At ClearSummit, we specialize in taking products from conception to execution. This page outlines the process we use, the goals and the risks associated with each step.

There are 3 steps: Discovery, design and engineering.

The transition between each step is not entirely binary, but they are 3 distinct steps. This process is called waterfall development. At ClearSummit, we typically do agile development; however, we do steal elements of waterfall development during the MVP planning to help our clients control costs since they are typically operating with a fixed set of funds.

Step One: Discovery

You can read a detailed overview of our discovery process.

Goals:

  • To align on your product's north star and derisk your concept from the perspectives of engineering and product development. This is typically comprised of a team of designers, product managers and engineers sitting with you to align on the best product given your constraints of time and budget.

Risks:

  • Scope creep - The largest risk in this step of the process is scope creep. Coming into discovery we have a concept of your product based on your budget, but if too many features are added it can cause the product to be outside your budget.

Artifacts:

  • Since this page is specifically for building an MVP, the typical feature set is high level wireframes, user personas, weighted feature set, and a budget, and depending on the project we will also run user interviews to determine how your users will respond ot the product

Step Two: Design

We are putting pen to paper, so to speak. During this phase we will iterate and propose designs. This process will happen over a series of meetings, and feedback loops. We build in time to allow your team time to digest the designs and give structured feedback so we can build the best product.

Goals:

  • Full designs for the entire application, and continued derisking from engineering to fit inside your budget.

Risks:

  • Similar to discovery - Scope creep - Coming into design we have a concept of your product from the disovery process, but if features are added this can increase the budget and delivery time.
  • Unexpressed assumptions - during this phase it is important that if you have an assumption about how something should work - for example: that the app should also work offline - it is expressed. We may flag it as scope creep, but it is better to flag it here than in engineering. To borrow an old adage - the goal here is to measure seven times and cut once.

Artifacts:

You can read a detailed overview of our design process.

Step Three: Engineering

This is where building starts.

Goals:

  • To build the project as designed and documented from the previous phases

Risks:

  • Similar to discovery & design - Scope creep - Once the product is in your hands, it is easy to think about how features can be enhanced, at this point we suggest adding them to the backlog.
  • Third parties - If engineering is dependant on third parties, such as API providers or subject matter experts, delays caused by these third parties can have ripple effects.

Artifacts:

  • Weekly Scorecards - Detailing progress and updates
  • Gantt chart
  • Builds - most sprints will produce a build that you will be able to use

At the end of the process we have version 1.0 of your product 🎉.

You can read a detailed overview of our engineering process

Step Four: After Launch

Building an MVP, at a high level, is a 3 step process; but after, there is still the backlog, maintenance (for new operating systems, api updates, security and library updates ), and getting feedback about how users are using the application.


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