Deliver the Minimum Viable Functionality for New Features

F-22 stealth features.
Image via Wikipedia

The idea of a minimum viable product for startups has made the rounds over the past few years. One area that needs more attention is around delivering the minimum viable new features in existing products. Just because the product is now successful doesn’t mean that the innovation around new functionality needs to slow down and revert to a must-get-it-perfect-the-first-time mentality.

Here are some ideas when considering the minimum viable functionality for new features:

  • Lock the functionality down to only employees and key customers to test features while it is being developed
  • Push code to production (if it is isolated) while it’s being developed so that people can start giving feedback
  • Identify a new feature that can be built in one to two weeks — if it takes longer than that it is probably too broad or you’re using antiquated technologies
  • Remember that feature usage is oxygen for a product and that things shouldn’t be developed in a vacuum

Developing the minimum viable new feature functionality is the same mentality as building a minimum viable product and should be employed by agile startups. There’s a tendency to slow down once things become more established and it’s important to fight it.

What else? What other thoughts do you have on delivering the minimum viable functionality for new features?

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