The Impact of Software Prototyping on Project Cost and Timeline

Software prototyping has become an integral part of the software development process, revolutionizing the way projects are executed. In this article, we will explore the impact of software prototyping on project cost and timeline. Prototyping allows developers to create a working model of a software product before its final implementation. By simulating user interactions and testing functionalities, it provides valuable insights into potential issues and improvements early in the development cycle. This iterative approach not only reduces rework but also helps identify and address design flaws or functionality gaps at an early stage, ultimately leading to cost savings by minimizing expensive changes during later stages of development.

Moreover, software prototyping significantly impacts project timelines by streamlining the overall development process. It enables stakeholders to visualize and validate requirements early on, ensuring that everyone is aligned with the expected outcome. Additionally, through continuous feedback loops facilitated by prototypes, developers can quickly incorporate changes and enhancements based on user input or evolving business needs without disrupting ongoing development activities.

In conclusion, incorporating software prototyping into project workflows offers numerous advantages such as reducing costs associated with late-stage modifications while expediting project timelines through improved collaboration and early issue identification. The following sections will delve deeper into these aspects and provide practical tips for maximizing the benefits of software prototyping in your projects

Understanding Software Prototyping

Prototyping is an essential process in the development lifecycle that helps to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a software project. By creating a simplified version of the final product, developers can gather valuable feedback from stakeholders and end-users.

Here are some key points to understand about software prototyping:

  1. Definition: Software prototyping involves building an initial working model or prototype of the software application before developing the complete solution.
  2. Purpose: The primary purpose of software prototyping is to validate requirements, user interfaces, functionality, and overall design early in the development cycle.
  3. Types: There are different types of prototypes used in software development:
    • Low-fidelity prototypes: These are simple sketches or wireframes that provide a basic visual representation without any interactive features.
    • High-fidelity prototypes: These are more advanced designs with interactive elements that closely resemble the final product’s look and feel.
  4. Benefits:
    • Early feedback: Prototypes allow stakeholders and end-users to visualize and interact with the system early on, providing valuable insights for improvement.
    • Risk reduction: Identifying potential issues or flaws at an early stage helps prevent costly rework during later stages of development.
    • Effective communication: Prototypes serve as a tangible reference point for discussions between developers, designers, clients, and other stakeholders.
  5. Limitations:
    • Time-consuming: Developing prototypes requires additional time upfront; however, it can lead to time savings by avoiding major revisions later on.
    • Scope creep risk: If not properly managed, continuous changes during prototyping may result in scope creep and delay project timelines.
  6. Best Practices:
    • Define clear objectives for each prototype iteration
    • Involve key stakeholders throughout the prototyping process
    • Use realistic data inputs and simulate real-world scenarios
    • Gather feedback and iterate on the prototype to improve its quality

In conclusion, software prototyping plays a vital role in understanding project requirements, reducing risks, enhancing communication among stakeholders, and improving overall project outcomes. By leveraging the benefits of software prototyping effectively while considering its limitations, organizations can optimize their development process and achieve successful projects within the desired timeline and budget.

Benefits of Software Prototyping

Software prototyping offers several advantages that can positively impact project cost and timeline:

  1. Early identification of requirements: By creating a prototype, stakeholders can visualize the software’s functionality early in the development process. This allows for better understanding and clarification of requirements, reducing the risk of misunderstandings or missed features later on.
  2. Enhanced collaboration: Prototypes facilitate effective communication among team members, clients, and end-users. Instead of relying solely on written specifications, everyone involved can interact with a tangible representation of the software. This fosters collaboration, encourages feedback, and ensures that all parties have a shared vision for the final product.
  3. Reduced development time: With prototypes serving as visual blueprints, developers gain valuable insights into how different components should work together before diving into full-scale coding efforts. This helps streamline development by eliminating unnecessary rework and minimizing errors during implementation.
  4. Decreased costs: Identifying potential design flaws or usability issues early on avoids costly fixes during later stages of development or even after deployment to users. By catching these issues beforehand through prototyping iterations, projects save both time and money in addressing them proactively rather than reactively.
  5. Improved user experience (UX): Prototypes enable designers to gather user feedback at an early stage when changes are still relatively easy to make without major disruptions to the project timeline or budget constraints. Users’ input aids in refining usability aspects such as navigation flow, interface layout, and feature prioritization – ultimately leading to a more intuitive and satisfying user experience.
  6. Risk mitigation: Through iterative prototyping cycles involving continuous feedback loops from stakeholders and end-users alike, risks associated with meeting functional requirements or achieving customer satisfaction can be mitigated earlier in the process – increasing overall project success rates while minimizing potential setbacks.

In summary, software prototyping provides numerous benefits that contribute towards efficient project management by enhancing requirement understanding, reducing development time and costs, improving collaboration, enhancing user experience, and mitigating risks.

Types of Software Prototyping

There are several types of software prototyping methods that can be used to develop a prototype for a project. Each type has its own strengths and is suitable for different situations. Here are some commonly used types of software prototyping:

  1. Low-Fidelity Prototypes: These prototypes provide a basic representation of the user interface and functionality using simple sketches or wireframes. They are quick and inexpensive to create, allowing stakeholders to visualize the concept early in the development process.
  2. High-Fidelity Prototypes: These prototypes simulate the final product’s look, feel, and interaction as closely as possible. They use advanced design tools and technologies to create realistic interfaces that closely resemble the final product’s user experience.
  3. Interactive Prototypes: Interactive prototypes allow users to interact with the prototype by clicking on buttons, entering data, or performing actions similar to how they would in the actual software application. This type of prototyping helps validate usability and gather feedback from users at an early stage.
  4. Throwaway Prototypes: Throwaway prototypes are created quickly and serve as proof-of-concept models rather than being built with long-term use in mind. They help identify potential issues or limitations before investing significant time and resources into full-scale development.
  5. Evolutionary Prototypes: Evolutionary prototypes focus on iterative development where each version builds upon previous versions based on user feedback and requirements refinement over time.
  6. Incremental Prototypes: Incremental prototypes involve breaking down a project into smaller modules or features that can be developed independently while continuously integrating them into a working system incrementally.
  7. Simulative Prototype: Simulative prototypes aim at simulating real-world scenarios by incorporating complex algorithms or mathematical models within their functionality.

These various types of software prototyping offer flexibility in terms of approach depending on factors such as project complexity, stakeholder involvement, available resources, timeline constraints, and the specific goals of the prototyping phase. By choosing the appropriate type of prototype, project teams can effectively reduce development risks, improve communication with stakeholders, and ensure that final software products meet user expectations while minimizing cost and timeline impact.

Choosing the Right Prototype Methodology

When it comes to software prototyping, choosing the right methodology is crucial for ensuring project success and minimizing cost and timeline issues. Here are some key considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Waterfall Model: This traditional approach involves a sequential development process where each phase must be completed before moving on to the next. It works well when requirements are stable and clearly defined from the start.
  2. Incremental Model: With this methodology, software is developed in small increments or iterations, allowing for feedback and adjustments along the way. It suits projects with evolving requirements or complex functionalities.
  3. Spiral Model: This iterative approach blends elements of both waterfall and incremental models by emphasizing risk analysis throughout the development cycle. It works best when there is high uncertainty or potential risks involved.
  4. Agile Methodologies (e.g., Scrum): Agile methodologies prioritize flexibility, collaboration, and delivering functional software quickly through short sprints or iterations. They are ideal for fast-paced projects with rapidly changing requirements.
  5. Prototype Selection Criteria: Consider factors such as project complexity, time constraints, budget limitations, user involvement, technical feasibility, and overall project goals when selecting a prototype methodology.
  6. Proof of Concept (POC) Prototypes: POC prototypes focus on validating specific ideas or concepts early in the development process to determine their feasibility before investing further resources.
  7. Horizontal Prototypes: These prototypes provide a broad overview of system functionality across different modules but typically lack detailed implementation features.
  8. Vertical Prototypes: In contrast to horizontal prototypes, vertical prototypes simulate complete portions of the final system’s functionality with more attention given to specific features within those sections.
  9. Throwaway Prototypes vs Evolutionary Prototypes: Throwaway prototypes serve as quick mock-ups used solely for gathering feedback without any intention for reuse in production systems while evolutionary prototypes are continuously refined and built upon throughout the development process.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to software prototyping. The choice of methodology should align with your project requirements, objectives, timeline constraints, and available resources. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select the most suitable prototype methodology that maximizes efficiency while minimizing costs and delays.

Implementing a Successful Prototype Phase

In order to implement a successful prototype phase for your software project, it is important to follow certain guidelines. Here are some key steps to consider:

  1. Define clear objectives: Clearly define the goals and objectives of the prototype phase. This will help you stay focused and ensure that the final product meets the desired outcomes.
  2. Gather requirements: Gather all necessary requirements from stakeholders and users. Understand their needs, expectations, and pain points to create a prototype that addresses these effectively.
  3. Choose the right prototyping method: Select an appropriate prototyping method based on your project’s specific requirements such as low-fidelity or high-fidelity prototypes. Each method has its own advantages and limitations, so choose wisely.
  4. Iterate frequently: Embrace an iterative approach during the prototype phase by creating multiple iterations of the design based on user feedback and testing results. Iterate often to refine features, enhance usability, and eliminate potential issues early on.
  5. Involve end-users in testing: Involve end-users throughout the prototype phase by conducting user tests at various stages of development. Their feedback can provide valuable insights into any improvements or changes needed before moving forward with development.
  6. Ensure cross-functional collaboration: Foster collaboration between designers, developers, testers, project managers, and other stakeholders involved in the process for better communication and coordination throughout each stage of prototyping.
  7. Manage scope carefully: Be mindful of scope creep during this phase; keep track of new feature requests or modifications that may arise but evaluate whether they align with initial goals before incorporating them into future iterations.
  8. Document findings: Document all findings from user tests as well as changes made throughout each iteration; this documentation will serve as valuable reference material for future phases of development.

By following these guidelines when implementing your software prototype phase successfully, you can help reduce costs, detect issues early, and ultimately deliver a high-quality final product within the defined timeline.

Managing Costs and Timeline during Prototyping

During the software prototyping phase, it is crucial to effectively manage costs and timeline to ensure a successful project outcome. Here are some key strategies to consider:

  1. Define clear objectives: Clearly define the goals and objectives of the prototype before starting development. This will help in focusing efforts on essential features and functionalities, minimizing unnecessary time and cost expenditure.
  2. Prioritize requirements: Prioritize requirements based on their criticality to the overall project success. Identify high-priority features that must be included in the prototype, while less critical functionalities can be deferred for later stages or eliminated altogether.
  3. Adopt an iterative approach: Break down the development process into small iterations or sprints. By developing and testing smaller portions of functionality at a time, you can identify any issues early on, reducing rework efforts and saving both time and money.
  4. Collaborate closely with stakeholders: Regularly involve stakeholders throughout the prototyping process to gather feedback, validate assumptions, and make necessary adjustments promptly. This collaborative approach helps avoid costly changes late in development cycles.
  5. Manage scope creep: Keep a close eye on scope creep by clearly defining boundaries for each iteration or sprint. Avoid introducing additional features or functionalities mid-way through unless they are absolutely critical for achieving desired outcomes within budgeted constraints.
  6. Leverage reusable components: Utilize existing libraries, frameworks, or open-source solutions whenever possible instead of reinventing the wheel from scratch during prototyping phases. This not only saves development time but also reduces costs associated with custom-built components.
  7. Monitor progress diligently: Regularly track progress against predefined milestones using project management tools such as Gantt charts or Kanban boards . Identifying potential delays early allows you to take corrective actions promptly without impacting overall timelines significantly.

By implementing these strategies , you can effectively manage costs and timeline during software prototyping phases, ensuring a successful outcome for your project.

What is Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP)

Have you thought, “How can I make a secure product with not much money?”

Well, you are in luck!

Learn all about Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP). It is a great way to make and use products that are secure and dependable. Find out how MVSP can help you evade expensive security issues and create a secure product quickly.

Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) Meaning

Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) is a software development concept aimed at ensuring that software is as secure as possible in today’s digital world. Instead of writing new applications for each security or tech threat, an MVSP minimizes them upfront and stays reliable.

MVSP uses security best-practices to protect software from malicious threats, like hacking and data breaches. This way, organizations using an MVSP can quickly adapt their applications, no matter the size and complexity of their businesses.

At its core, an MVSP creates a balance between innovation and safety. Investing in one early on means your application will stand strong against bad scenarios while giving you a comprehensive system that meets all your business needs.

Benefits of MVSP

Creating a secure product with the most cost-effective solution is essential. MVSP can help you achieve this! It provides knowledge, tools, and best practices for secure systems.

MVSP starts by setting security requirements that balance cost and efficiency. It maximizes security and minimizes cost. It saves time by avoiding pitfalls in later stages. Network-level damage is also minimized through proactive measures.

MVSP focuses on early security investments, cost-efficient methods, and services. It meets stringent market regulations and helps organizations reach their desired outcomes.

Challenges of MVSP

Developing a Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) can be tricky. Many aspects must be considered, such as:

  • Assessing data sources
  • Recognizing threats
  • Setting security rules
  • Examining security tech
  • Designing authentication and authorization systems
  • Testing vulnerabilities

Security experts need to possess an abundance of knowledge and expertise to ensure the MVSP is effective.

The development team must include all stakeholders. This can involve internal users, developers and external regulators or customers. To keep everyone informed, proper communication channels must be established.

There isn’t one blanket solution when it comes to security. Each company has its own requirements and challenges. Experienced personnel should review current systems to identify any possible problems that could disrupt the successful deployment of an MVSP.

Security Components of MVSP

A Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) is a security engineering approach that proactively integrates security controls into the development process. An effective MVSP requires understanding the security components to be included in the platform; typically broken down into authentication, authorization, and encryption.

Authentication verifies the identity of legitimate users to access sensitive data and information on an app or cloud service. Usernames, passwords, fingerprint scans, and facial recognition technologies are used for validation.

Authorization assigns privileges and rights based on user roles, so users can access certain data and perform certain activities in-app. It also helps reduce privileged access risks and malicious activities.

Encryption protects communications over public networks and prevents unauthorized data access when stored. It transforms plaintext into ciphertext, unreadable without a private key. If encryption is enabled on all endpoints on a network, organizations can significantly reduce risks of data leakage and financial losses. Strong cryptographic algorithms like AES-256 and ChaCha20/Poly1305 ciphersets are implemented in modern web browsers.

Cyber Security Risks of MVSP

Organizations have immense pressure to move quickly when creating new products and services. Thus, security can be forgotten. MVSP can help with this issue. It ensures that security considerations are part of the MVP process.

To design a secure product, organizations need to evaluate relevant cyber security threats before releasing. This includes external threats such as malicious actors, hackers, and other organizations. Internal risks should also be considered, such as data loss or misuse of confidential information. Compliance requirements must also be taken into account. Measures to mitigate threats can be encryption technologies, firewalls, malware detection software, etc..

MVSP is making sure that an organization’s product is secure and compliant. If organizations want to develop a successful product in a reasonable time, they must embrace the concept of MVSP. This way, effective cyber security strategies can be implemented before the product or service is released or sold.

Best Practices for Implementing MVSP

Secure product development is a key for successful businesses. Security should be priority number one during design, dev, and implementation. An MVSP is a security framework to help meet security requirements. But, what makes an MVSP secure? Knowing the fundamentals and following best practices.

Here are some best practices for implementing an MVSP:

  • Analyze threats. Identify potential threats before developing. Check for new threats regularly.
  • Conduct security analysis. Test products for vulnerabilities, malicious code, and threats. Do this before customer delivery.
  • Knowledge is power. Employee security understanding is important.
  • Monitor and test constantly. Monitor products to detect malicious code or viruses. Perform penetration tests to identify weak areas.

Security Testing for MVSP

Security testing is an essential part of making a Minimum Viable Secure Product. It’s a kind of quality assurance that makes sure the product has all of the right security controls.

Types of security testing include:

  • Penetration Testing – to check for system vulnerabilities.
  • Risk Analysis/Assessment – to make sure the architecture meets industry standards.
  • Security Audits – to check that access controls are done correctly.
  • Network Scanning – to search for malware or malicious code.
  • Data Leak Prevention – to make sure confidential information is kept safe.

Security testing gives a lot of info about a product’s security architecture. It should be done through the whole project cycle, from early design to when the product is out in the world. Any project using the MVSP model should include security testing at all important points.

Summary of MVSP

A Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) is a concept designed to help organizations protect their products while keeping cost and risk low. This model focuses on developing the most basic security needed to provide an acceptable level of protection. An MVSP should start with assessing risks associated with an application or service. Then address those risks with basic security features. After these protections are in place, add more features if needed.

This process is iterative. It begins with assessing risks, then validating these risks have been addressed by implementing basic security features. If extra prevention measures are needed, these can be tackled in future iterations. Plus ongoing protection measures must be put in place to prevent potential threats from arising. The aim of this process is to make sure products stay up-to-date and secure without much effort or cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP)?

A1. Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) is a cybersecurity and software engineering methodology that focuses on the rapid and secure development of products. It enables teams to reduce risk and increase quality by creating the right balance between security and speed.

Q2. What are the benefits of MVSP?

A2. The main benefit of MVSP is that it enables teams to quickly launch secure products without sacrificing quality. It also helps to reduce risks and improve security by focusing on secure development practices, such as threat modeling and security testing.

Q3. How can I use MVSP in my organization?

A3. MVSP can be used in any organization to help increase the speed and security of product development. It is important to set up a secure development process that incorporates MVSP along with other security best practices. Additionally, it is important to ensure that your team is properly trained and equipped to use the methodology.

How to start own mobile app startup with MVP?

If you’re like most people, you probably have a great app idea. But turning that idea into a reality? That’s where things can get tricky.

Luckily, we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to start a mobile app startup with MVP Solution. This will help you validate your idea and get it off the ground quickly and affordably.

So let’s get started!

Define your app’s purpose and target audience

Starting a mobile app startup is an exciting process, but it’s also one that requires a lot of careful planning and thought. Perhaps the most important part of starting a successful mobile app startup is to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Your MVP is the version of your app that you’ll launch with, and it should be designed to get feedback from your target audience. This feedback will be essential in helping you improve and iterate on your app.

To create a successful MVP, you’ll need to start by defining your app’s purpose and target audience. These are two of the most important aspects of any successful app, and they’ll help you determine what features to include in your MVP.

Once you’ve defined your purpose and target audience, you can begin brainstorming features for your MVP. Remember to keep your MVP as simple as possible – the goal is to get feedback, not to create a fully-featured app.

With a clear purpose and target audience in mind, along with a list of potential features, you’re ready to start building your MVP!

Research the market and your competition

Starting your own mobile app startup can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider, from your idea and niche, to building your product and marketing it to the right audience. It’s important to do your research before you dive in and start building your MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

One of the most important things you need to research is the market and your competition. This will help you understand what is already out there and what needs are not being met by existing products. It will also help you identify any potential threats and how to position your product in the market.

Once you have a good understanding of the market, you can start to validate your MVP concept. This can be done through market research, surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Testing your MVP with real users will help you refine your product and make sure it is ready for launch.

Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) App

An MVP app is a bare-bones version of your product that allows you to test your hypotheses with potential customers with the least amount of effort. It is not about making something that looks pretty; it’s about making something that works.

The mvp app cost can vary greatly, depending on various factors such as the size of the project, the complexity of the project, and how much time is allotted for development. The MVP development cost ranges from $15,000 to $150,000 or more.

The goal of an MVP is to validate your assumptions and get feedback from potential customers as early as possible. This feedback will help you validate (or invalidate) your assumptions, save you time and money, and help you build a better product.

Creating an MVP does not have to be complicated or expensive. You can create an MVP by:
– Identifying the core features of your product
– Creating a prototype of these features
– Testing the prototype with potential customers

Once you have created your MVP, you can begin collecting feedback from potential customers. This feedback will help you validate (or invalidate) your hypotheses, save you time and money, and help you build a better product.

Develop your app and test it thoroughly

You have a great app idea and you’re ready to take it to the market. But before you do, it’s important to make sure your app is fully developed and test it thoroughly. No one wants to use an app that is full of bugs or crashes constantly.

To get started, you need to create a prototype or MVP (minimum viable product). This is a version of your app that has all the essential features but is not fully developed. Once you have your MVP, you can start testing it with real users. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement before you launch your app.

When developing your MVP, keep these things in mind:

  • Make sure your app is intuitive and easy to use
  • Ensure all the essential features are included
  • Make sure your app is stable and doesn’t crash
  • Test your app thoroughly with real users

Once you’ve created a strong MVP, you can then start working on developing the full version of your app.

Launch your app and market it effectively

The first step is to come up with a great idea. Once you have an idea, you need to validate it. After validation, the next step is to build a minimum viable product (MVP). Once you have an MVP, you need to launch your app and market it effectively.

If you can do all of these things, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful mobile app startup. Let’s take a more detailed look at each of these steps.

1. Come up with a great idea
2. Validate your idea
3. Build a minimum viable product (MVP)
4. Launch your app and market it effectively

Analyse your app’s performance and user feedback

Make sure you track your app’s analytics and user feedback from the very beginning. This will help you to assess which features are being used the most, what users like and don’t like about your app, and what areas need improvement. All this information will be valuable when you start working on your MVP.

Update and improve your app regularly

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to update and improve your app continuously. This means adding new features, fixing bugs, and improving performance on a regular basis.

One way to ensure that your app is always improving is to release regular updates. This gives you an opportunity to fix any bugs that have been discovered since the last release, and to add new features that your users will love.

Another way to keep your app up-to-date is to listen to feedback from your users. If they are constantly asking for new features or improvements, then it’s likely that these changes would be beneficial for your app. By regularly updates your app, you can make sure that it is always offering the best possible experience for your users.

Plan for long-term success

You can’t just develop an MVP, launch it, and expect people to flock to your app. Marketing your app is essential to its success. But how do you market an MVP?

Planning for long-term success starts with your MVP. It’s not enough to simply create a minimal product and launch it—you need to have a plan for how you’re going to get people using and engaging with your app on an ongoing basis.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you develop your MVP marketing strategy:

1. Focus on utility: When you’re marketing an MVP, it’s important to focus on how your product is actually useful to users. What problem does it solve? How does it make their lives easier?
2. Keep it simple: Don’t try to oversell your product—keep your messaging concise and focused on the core value proposition of your MVP.
3. Appeal to early adopters: When launching an MVP, it’s important to focus on appealing to early adopters—those who are more likely to be receptive to new products and ideas. This could mean targeting specific demographics or using certain marketing channels (such as social media or online forums) that tend to be frequented by early adopters.
4. Generate buzz: Getting people talking about your app is essential for driving awareness and adoption. There are a number of ways to generate buzz for your MVP, such as holding a contest, partnering with influencers, or leveraging PR or social media marketing.
5. Focus on retention: Once you have people using your MVP, it’s important to focus on retention—ensuring that users stick around and continue using your app over time. This could involve implementing features or updates that keep users engaged, providing excellent customer support, or offering incentives (such as rewards or discounts) for continued use.

How often do you need to update the MVP roadmap?

A Product Roadmap is a valuable artifact that outlines a company’s direction, product vision, priorities, and product development progress. A roadmap is a blueprint for how a team will achieve short and long-term product development goals. In this article, we will consider why creating an MVP product roadmap is important for a project and how often it’s reasonable to update the roadmap. 

Why does a product need a separate roadmap and what is its purpose?

The product is the absolute result of the work of the entire team. In an ideal world, this is the final destination of all the efforts and resources of the company. The product is the moment of truth because only the product has a perceived value in the eyes of the buyer that he will pay for.

Best of all, when this value far exceeds the resources spent. In this case, the business will continue to grow, and the team will understand that all the efforts made earlier were correct.

How can you use a product roadmap?

To apply the roadmap for practical purposes, it is especially important to pay attention to two stages:

  • research/development of the map and finding a good way (the process of creating the road map itself);
  • direct use of the road map as a guideline when moving towards the goal.

The effect of both stages will bring many benefits to the team and the company, regardless of the field of activity.

Developing a roadmap and determining the right path to a goal is a special art. You need to understand what will be displayed on the roadmap and what will not, and determine the level of detail (scale of the roadmap, planning period, etc.)

Typically, at different stages, your roadmap:

  • allows you to describe how the team is going to achieve its goal;
  • explains what a goal is;
  • can be a conditional document that allows taking into account the interests of all stakeholders;
  • can be used as an answer to the client’s question: “When will you do this?”.

How to define the goal of a good product roadmap?

Goals need to be set precisely, which is quite difficult. There are many stories when poorly formulated goals could lead to the death of a business. 

Why is it difficult to set goals? The problem of precise causality, prioritization, and choice makes this process difficult. Compromise language harms good goals. They are confusing and the team interprets them differently. All this leads to the fact that the goals are not met.

As an example, consider the most typical goal for a young team: “launch a new product.”

It is unlikely that the ultimate goal of the team is the product itself. They want it to be needed and used by people. To achieve this goal, you need to “launch the product”. Thus, the “product” has become a tool to achieve the goal, but what is the true goal?

The point is that launching a product is a very abstract goal. It is often impossible to understand how this is related to the commercial result. The business result is the result of well-defined factors such as good sales revenue and cost levels. And if we want to articulate the goal precisely, we need to specify the commercial outcome factors that will be affected by the launch of the product. 

What exactly will lead to commercial success?

Let’s look at the factors that have a direct impact on the commercial success of a product and can easily be reformulated into a precise goal:

  1. The ability of the product to solve user problems
  2. Growth in the number of users who are aware of the product’s capabilities
  3. High user activity when using the product (for example, activity in the application)

Based on this logic, we can argue that the goal is to increase user activity in the application. Such a goal sounds more specific and it looks like it can affect commercial success.

How to evaluate the quality of a roadmap?

To understand how often you need to make changes to the roadmap, you should figure out how to evaluate the quality of the roadmap.

1. Define goals and milestones along the way:

To start creating a product roadmap, formulate your vision for the product and describe the actual commercial situation (you can use SWOT and a KANO diagram for this).

A good product roadmap is usually developed over several quarters or months. It is almost pointless to develop a roadmap for a year, as the world is changing too quickly.

2. Define the problems to be solved

The difference between the desired state and the current state can be determined based on problems. Identify the issues and the solution of which will have the greatest impact on the product’s business goals.

3. Discussing and testing goals against stakeholder expectations

The product must solve the client’s problems, be interesting for investment, and have a clear and understandable development strategy. Roadmap approval should be a regular and ongoing event. It should start from the early days of roadmapping and strategic planning.

4. Formalize objectives: define indicators of success and values for all goals and activities

The language of numbers is the universal language of business. By following a good roadmap, the team will know exactly if everything is going according to plan and if the goals have been achieved. This requires KPIs – clear and precise criteria for success. KPIs answer the question: was the goal achieved / were your actions successful?

When do you need to update the MVP roadmap?

The roadmap is usually updated every few weeks or quarterly. It is worth updating the roadmap when there is a change in goals or the team reaches important milestones in the creation of the product, and not when it is necessary to make minor adjustments to daily work.

Final thoughts

Developing a good product roadmap is not easy. It should be clear from the very beginning of trying to define the main goal. If you need help developing an MVP, it’s best to contact professionals, such as Gearheart. The company has vast experience in planning and creating MVPs for different companies before launching to the market.

Napkin Idea To MVP: Studiotime

One evening in March 2015, Mike Williams set himself a simple rule. The time spent building a fully functional prototype of his marketplace idea should not exceed one evening. “I’m going to cancel dinner plans and instead build the Airbnb for music studios,” he decided.

For a while before, Mike Williams had been paying attention to how his friends in the music industry tried to find, compare, and book music studios. They relied heavily on their networks and sent text messages to find out about available studios, equipment, rates, and so on. He knew there had to be a better way to do it and set out to build it.

Mike did some initial industry research, which revealed that to his surprise, he couldn’t find anyone trying to solve the same problem. That’s when he came up with an ambitious concept: “Studiotime, an Airbnb for music studios.”

As the founder of a few fast-growing marketplace startups, Mike had lots of other obligations and knew that Studiotime would need to be a passion project.

“That’s why I decided I could only spend one evening building it. Even though I had no idea if setting up a fully functional marketplace in one evening would even be possible.”

After deciding to skip the dinner that evening, Mike found Sharetribe. Amazingly, he was able to achieve exactly what he had wanted: his site was up and running the same evening.

On Sunday of the same week, Mike purchased the domain, and minutes later he launched his site by posting it to Product Hunt, an online community for discovering new products.

What happened afterward surprised him completely. It turned out that Product Hunt users loved Mike’s concept.

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