Building a MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

By Abhishek Jain on January 30, 2012

While the Global Sales team at Winshuttle is busy setting new records in sales, the Engineering R&D team in Chandigarh, India is very excited to be engaged in a lot of interesting activities.

Recently, the Engineering team was introduced to Eric Ries’ concept of “The Lean Start-up”. The idea of building products faster and in a much more agile manner is the foundation for which we will base all of our efforts in for 2012. Presented with a plan to rollout as many as “six” MVPs to the market and stay on schedule with our flagship products made us trembled a little. However, we are always up for a challenge, so it was time to change the way we work. pm small1

In Q4 2011, a pilot MVP candidate was identified and a team was put in place. The process of rapid prototyping began and the team started delivering a working prototype to Product Management every week. The development happened in iteration, incorporating the feedback from previous weeks’ demo. Issues were reported and fixed on the fly while adding more features every week.

The development and quality teams have been running full throttle – every morning a task list was shared with them and by the end of the day, the task completion status was discussed. Every 4 days, a code freeze would happen and then the entire team would test and report issues. After a day of issue fixing, a working prototype was delivered.

Instead of feeling exhausted, the team was feeling more engaged and motivated because they had a say in everything. They were proposing new designs, new architectures and building them very quickly in iteration. Experimenting made for a bumpy ride, but we kept fixing our mistakes until we had a product that everyone was impressed with.

After only 7 weeks, the product was showcased during the company quarterly meeting. Everyone has agreed that this product development was unbelievably fast. We let go of every process that we had put into place over the years and stayed very disciplined during the entire development cycle.

Well, as they say, “It’s not over till it’s over”. The R&D team is still busy maturing the MVP to make it fit for a full-fledged product launch. Stay tuned…


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