Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

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!

Subscribe for Email Updates:

Categories:

Tags:

Kanban Basics
Agile Release Management
Daily Scrum
Atlassian
Pomodoro Technique
Sprint Planning
Agile and DevOps Journey
SPC
Continuous Planning
Rapid RTC
Continuous Integration
Artificial Intelligence
Lean Startup
Frameworks
Agile Marketing
Agile Project Management
SAFe DevOps
Jira admin
Managing Projects
Lean Agile
Agile Testing Practices
Operational Value Stream
ARTs
LPM
GanttBan
PI Planning
Test Driven Development
ScrumMaster Tales
Agile in the Enterprise
Planning
ALM Tools
Development Value Streams
Elastic Leadership
The Kanban Method
Manage Budget Creation
Process Improvement
Introduction to Test Driven Development
Quality Assurance
Kanban Game
Lean-Agile Software Development
Value Streams
Software Development
POPM
LeSS
Limiting Work in Progress
Certification
Agile Program
Lean Agile Leadership
BDD
System Team
Agile Product Ownership
Agile
Lean Agile Basics
Agile Games and Exercises
Nexus Integration Team
NIT
Agile Risk Management
Agile Games
Portfolio for Jira
Applying Agile Methodology
Scrum With Kanban
Professional Scrum Master
Continuous Deployment
Kanban
Agility
Risk Management in Kanban
Agile Release Planning
Large Scale Scrum
Code
Scrum
Scrum.org
Release Train Engineer
Scrum and XP
SAFe
Product Management
Tools
Principles of Lean-Agile Leadership
ROI
Lean and Agile Principles and Practices
ART Success
Managing Risk on Agile Projects
Agile Contracts Best Practices
Tips
Continuous Improvement
ATDD
Games and Exercises
A Kanban System for Software Engineering
Agile Techniques
Agile India
Lean-Agile Budgeting
Systems Thinking
TDD
Implementation of Lean and Agile
Risk Management on Agile Projects
EOS®
Agile for Embedded Systems
lean agile change management
IT Operations
Legacy Code
Coaching Agile Teams
Agile Assembly Architecture
Introduction to ATDD
Built-In Quality
Scrum Master
agileisrael
Agile Israel
Covid19
Agile Community
Spotify
AI
Amdocs
Kaizen Workshop
RTE
LAB
PI Objectives
Presentation
speed @ scale
Risk-aware Product Development
Agile Exercises
Nexus vs SAFe
Atlaassian
Software Development Estimation
Scrum Master Role
Entrepreneurial Operating System®
Nexus and Kanban
RSA
DevOps
Kaizen
Video
Legacy Enterprise
Hybrid Work
Sprint Iteration
predictability
Scrum Primer
Scrum Guide
Agile Product Development
Slides
Webinar
System Archetypes
Sprint Retrospectives
AI Artificial Intelligence
Business Agility
Agile Basics
Effective Agile Retrospectives
Lean Software Development
Program Increment
Change Management
Reading List
Accelerate Value Delivery At Scale
WIP
Lean Agile Management
QA
Releases Using Lean
Story Slicing
Self-organization
Agile Outsourcing
Agile Delivery
Product Ownership
Jira Cloud
Lean Budgeting
Jira
An Appreciative Retrospective
Enterprise DevOps
Nexus and SAFe
AgileSparks
Implementing SAFe
Advanced Roadmaps
Agile Israel Events
Professional Scrum with Kanban
Lean and Agile Techniques
speed at scale
Scrum Values
Engineering Practices
Kanban 101
Agile Mindset
Agile Development
Agile Project
Lean Agile Organization
Scaled Agile Framework
ATDD vs. BDD
Iterative Incremental Development
SAFe Release Planning
Professional Scrum Product Owner
Certified SAFe
Lean Risk Management
Kanban Kickstart Example
System Integration Environments
Nexus
The Agile Coach
Jira Plans
What Is Kanban
Achieve Business Agility
RTE Role
Perfection Game
SA
Acceptance Test-Driven Development
AgileSparks
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general

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