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Topics: Agile, Scrum, Teams
How do you decide on an MVP?
How should a team come to a decision on what a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) should look like, and what duration it should take to arrive at said MVP?
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For you to understand what your MVP should look like you need to understand your market. What are the key attributes your solution should have to satisfy their appetite? But be careful about taking shortcuts. Almost every requirement has some assumed requirements associated with it, which if left out of the MVP can have detrimental effects.

How long should it take to arrive at the MVP as in define or deliver? Defining a MVP takes as long as it takes but delivering it will depend on the attributes of the team and the framework used e.g. how long are the sprints, what is the velocity, etc. But for both defining and delivering an MVP the biggest driver will be the market. Where are you in relation to the competition? Can you wait for a 'better' MVP or will you lose opportunities? So I do not believe there is a one size fit all or even most answer.
Jonathan -

First thing is to know what an MVP is. It is a scientific experiment constructed to challenge a hypothesis about the viability of a new product or service. If you don't formulate the hypothesis well, the experiment will fail even before you start.

An MVP could be a throwaway afterwards since the primary objective is validated learning.

Duration or cost are driven by the nature and complexity of the product or service but you do want to maximize learning for the minimum investment point.

Sometimes business is not clear what they want, it can be done by elicitation and some mock ups and sometimes by MVP. MVP is of course not having all needs of the business but its give them an idea how it will look like and perform. MVP cannot be done without stakeholder(s) approval. Duration varies because every business has different needs and complexity. For straight forward requirements it will take less amount of time and for complex projects it will require more time than normal.
Once business gets clarity and decided to move on, MVP is no longer in picture mean discarded.
The answer is highly dependent upon whatever internal definition of MVP is used. If MVP is viewed as part of a value discovery approach, then it can be surprisingly small. If MVP is viewed in the context of a nation-wide or global roll out, it will need to be significantly larger.
Understanding the market and key attributes for the solution, as Anton says, will undoubtedly help one understand what the MVP should look like.

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