Citrus Suite is a Software Development Studio based in Liverpool; our work has been highlighted by Nicola Mendelsohn (Facebook’s Vice-President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa), Saul Klein (Lovefilm, Seedcamp) Rory Cellan-Jones (BBC’s technology correspondent) and others; we’ve been involved in Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Development for several years.
At Citrus we invent, design, develop and engineer new products, processes and software for start-ups with the core technology being created at our studio in Liverpool. This saves a lot of money for start-ups, allowing them to focus on the business proposition without having to recruit a software team.
The scope and variety of our projects are great but we routinely define the customer need, assess the market opportunity, specify the goals, design the user experience and build the solution.
The methodology behind a Minimum Viable Product is to design, build and launch quickly so you can evaluate business potential.
We’ll help you identify your success criteria. We’ll ask tough questions, the world’s greatest MVP won’t make any impact if you have no channels to market and no launch plans. What is the problem the product is solving? What will your revenue streams be on release?
Minimum viable product development warrants some questions. Is your product effective? How will you reach customers? Does your market proposition stack-up? To answer those questions; MVP is a really efficient way to take an idea and evaluate whether it could make a successful product, with just enough features to satisfy early users, and to provide feedback for future plans.
Initially the whole basis of MVP is to focus your idea, no matter how simple, to a product that has a basic set of features, but still offers value to customers from the offset. Once the product has been released feedback needs to be provided – knowing what users want to see in future updates helps inform design and development. If the product demonstrates enough future benefits you will retain early adopters while also gathering and enhancing the user base. Each added feature to the product should offer a better solution to a previous one, constantly issuing developments in stages, via iteration as it gains more user feedback and also showcases business potential.
It gets the product out quickly, everyone has an app idea that they believe could be the next Snapchat or Instagram, but you need to validate these ideas. However, by using the methodology of iterative design allows you to test new ideas to a small market, from the feedback gained you adapt and design the prototype to fit the users in the market. This is a constant cycle of iteration, you slowly build up your product based on what the user base specifically wants; it is also a very effective way to avoid failures and get products out quickly and successfully.
The team here at Citrus Suite built the LocumTap platform, which was deployed at NHS hospitals to provide a solution for managing temporary staffing requirements. Initially LocumTap was built as an MVP, with the trial taking place in Chelsea Westminster Hospital, limited to a few departments. The progression of the platform to other hospital departments and other NHS hospitals followed. LocumTap to help streamline the booming locum usage in the NHS using cloud, automation and analytics. The company has recently completed its latest fundraising round of £1.2 million, securing £1.4m to date.
Posted, September 2018
Guest blogpost by Kerri Chamberlain.
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