Explaining MVPs, MVFs, MMFs via the Lean/Agile Requirements Dinosaur

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
WhatsApp

Comment: We’re reposting here a classic article from the archives of Yuval’s personal blog

What do Agile backlog items have to do with Dinosaurs?

I’ve been using a visualization that people find useful for understanding the relationship between the various Lean/Agile requirement containers. Some people call the full model a dinosaur. Others are reminded of the snake who ate an elephant from “The Little Prince”. (I’m sure there is a good connection to elephant carpaccio somewhere in here …)

Identifying a Unique Value Proposition

IMG_0449

 

The first step is to understand that for a new product there is a unique value proposition hypothesis. This is the area where your product/service will be unique.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
IMG_0450

The next step is creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to test your hypothesis. This is focused on your unique value proposition but typically also provides a little bit of “Table stakes” features just to make sure it is “Viable” as a product.

Evaluating your MVP Hypothesis

IMG_0451

Your MVP is also a hypothesis. It might be good enough to find Product-Market Fit or not. The case where each potential customer you engage tells you “This is great but in order for me to use it I need X” and X is different for each customer/user is shown below. This shows you are not in a Product Market Fit yet.

Pivot?

IMG_0452

If on the other hand, you are seeing more and more answers pointing to the SAME X then it makes sense to revise your Customer/Problem/Solution Hypothesis.

IMG_0453

You essentially are executing a Pivot. You are building MVP2 focused on the new hypothesis based on recent Customer Development learning generated by the previous MVP.

IMG_0454

Growth Stage

Let’s say MVP2 is successful and you are seeing real traction of early adopters. You want to increase growth and are looking for deeper penetration of your early adopters as well as bringing on new clients some of them beyond the early adopter’s crowd. Based on feedback you’ve been collecting and your product management research you have a couple of areas that can potentially bring this growth. Some of them, by the way, extend your unique value proposition and some of them make your current product more robust.

Steady Growth with Minimally Marketable Features

IMG_0455

In the case of areas with a strong indication of value, you might go straight for Minimally Marketable Features (MMF). Finding the minimum piece that can start bringing in growth. The aim of the MMF is to bring in value. It assumes high certainty that there is value in this area and that we know what the product needs to be to provide this value. The reason to break a big feature into smaller MMFs is mainly time to market and the ability to bring in value in many areas, always keeping your option to move to another area and provide value in it rather than focusing for too long on a single direction. An indication that you are working on MMFs is that when one is being shipped you feel comfortable working on the next MMF in that area. If on the other hand, you want to wait and see if your first MMF sticks…

Experiment using MVFs

IMG_0456

…then you are back in hypothesis land. But now your hypothesis is centered on a feature rather than your product. You have an area with high potential but also high uncertainty. The way to deal with it is to build a “pioneering” feature – the Minimum Viable Feature. The minimum feature that can still be viable for real use and learning from real customers.

IMG_0457

If you learn that the MVF has hit gold you can develop more MMFs in that area to take advantage (if that makes sense). If not, you can pivot to another approach towards that feature area, or at some point look for an alternative growth path. Essentially the MVF is a mini-me version of the MVP.

Voila – The Requirements Dinosaur!

IMG_0458

There you have it. The full model. Essentially my point is that you grow a product in uncertain markets by attempting various MVPs. Then once you achieve Product-Market Fit you mix MMFs and MVFs depending on the level of Business/Requirements uncertainty in the areas you are focusing on.

While MVPs/MMFs/MVPs are atomic from a business perspective (you cannot deploy and learn from something smaller) they might be quite big from an implementation perspective.

The dinosaur carpaccio now comes in as slicing each of those pieces here into smaller slices aimed at reducing execution/technology risk. (typically these are called User Stories) Those smaller slices might have tangible business value but on the other hand, some might not. It is more important for them to provide early implementation decision feedback along the way.

Feel free to use this model. Let me know what you think about it and how I can improve it!

Categories:

Tags:

Lean Agile Management
Hybrid Work
Introduction to Test Driven Development
Lean Agile
speed @ scale
Development Value Streams
Continuous Improvement
RSA
Nexus and SAFe
Portfolio for Jira
System Archetypes
PI Planning
ATDD vs. BDD
Lean and Agile Techniques
Lean Agile Basics
Slides
NIT
Implementing SAFe
ALM Tools
POPM
Games and Exercises
Agile in the Enterprise
Product Ownership
Change Management
Scrum and XP
Legacy Enterprise
Agile Program
Risk Management on Agile Projects
Amdocs
Professional Scrum Product Owner
Kanban Game
Agile Contracts Best Practices
Kanban Kickstart Example
Lean and Agile Principles and Practices
ScrumMaster Tales
SAFe DevOps
Agility
Nexus and Kanban
BDD
Story Slicing
ARTs
LeSS
Lean-Agile Budgeting
Agile Exercises
Built-In Quality
Lean Agile Organization
Limiting Work in Progress
Agile Mindset
Software Development Estimation
Jira Plans
Introduction to ATDD
Scrum.org
Continuous Integration
Agile Outsourcing
LPM
Agile and DevOps Journey
Agile Marketing
Scrum With Kanban
Value Streams
Jira
Lean-Agile Software Development
Agile Techniques
Continuous Delivery
Releases Using Lean
Agile Israel Events
Large Scale Scrum
SPC
Systems Thinking
Scrum Values
Legacy Code
Spotify
Certification
Test Driven Development
Agile Games
Presentation
Lean Agile Leadership
Planning
Agile Project Management
Sprint Retrospectives
Reading List
A Kanban System for Software Engineering
lean agile change management
Pomodoro Technique
Agile Product Development
Entrepreneurial Operating System®
Tips
Lean Startup
What Is Kanban
AgileSparks
Acceptance Test-Driven Development
Operational Value Stream
ROI
Iterative Incremental Development
System Team
Kaizen
Software Development
IT Operations
SAFe Release Planning
Lean Software Development
Agile Testing Practices
Artificial Intelligence
Scrum Master
Quality Assurance
Coaching Agile Teams
Agile Community
LAB
Continuous Deployment
Risk-aware Product Development
Agile Development
Scrum Guide
Self-organization
GanttBan
Process Improvement
Nexus vs SAFe
Agile Delivery
Lean Budgeting
Sprint Planning
Applying Agile Methodology
Covid19
Business Agility
Sprint Iteration
Agile Project
Professional Scrum with Kanban
Agile Assembly Architecture
Daily Scrum
Achieve Business Agility
TDD
Accelerate Value Delivery At Scale
Scaled Agile Framework
Continuous Planning
System Integration Environments
Agile
Agile Release Management
Elastic Leadership
RTE Role
The Kanban Method
Kanban Basics
Principles of Lean-Agile Leadership
Code
Implementation of Lean and Agile
Atlaassian
Managing Risk on Agile Projects
Certified SAFe
ATDD
Product Management
Rapid RTC
Risk Management in Kanban
Program Increment
Kanban
Nexus Integration Team
Enterprise DevOps
Webinar
Frameworks
Video
Jira Cloud
Kaizen Workshop
Nexus
Agile for Embedded Systems
Release Train Engineer
An Appreciative Retrospective
The Agile Coach
AI Artificial Intelligence
Agile Basics
Professional Scrum Master
Agile Product Ownership
Agile Risk Management
Agile Games and Exercises
DevOps
Managing Projects
PI Objectives
Effective Agile Retrospectives
Engineering Practices
Lean Risk Management
QA
Manage Budget Creation
speed at scale
Agile India
Scrum Master Role
Scrum Primer
SAFe
Advanced Roadmaps
Agile Release Planning
WIP
ART Success
RTE
Scrum
Perfection Game
EOS®
SA
AgileSparks
Logo

Contact Us

Request for additional information and prices

AgileSparks Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter, and stay updated on the latest Agile news and events

This website uses Cookies to provide a better experience
Shopping cart