One of the best things I get to do is work with the NC State Computer Science – Senior Design Center on a project each semester. For the last 6 semesters we have been working with a team of CS students, design students ( sometimes ), and our company people to help them solve a bank related issue. Our approach is different from others in that we setup a problem that needs to be solved and ask them to help us figure out how. There are a few limitations ( browsers supported by the bank as an example ) and for the most part the students figure everything out with our guidance.
My main goal is to get a working MVP that does the 3 things that I think that semesters product should do. Getting everyone to focus on the goal of the product, the 3 things that it needs to do to meet that goal, and to have it installed at our location multiple times is the recipe that has emerged. While not pushing agile practices, but collaborating with the students and focusing on the agile values is a great way to work. It’s a tight window to get something usable in 16 weeks as the students do have other classes and projects and certain things they have to do for this class. All of the semesters have been very good experiences, the last 2 have produced something we are actually trying to use.
The focus on the MVP was enhanced this week while reading posts about not shipping crap, making something work before you add the fancy UI to it, and the final delivery of this semesters project.
- As a PO, I will prioritize refining the MVP and how it does the 3 things that I want it to over new features.
- The MVP will look and feel great. Design, UX, and quality are all part of that.
- Repeated deployment and frequent feedback are critical.
- Let the team learn what works and doesn’t work. Discovery and idea generation.
- Quick decisions are critical, both design, function, and what’s next.
- Demo or showing a working MVP is incredibly powerful and easy to do.
- It’s your product, you have to be happy enough to release it. Don’t wait for it to be perfect though, it will never be.
It’s a great feeling to be able to launch something that works and see what’s next. Getting positive ( or negative ) responses will help determine what else can you do or if you need to do something else completely.
How have your MVP’s come along?
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