In our rapidly-changing world you can never be sure how your business is going to behave tomorrow. This is especially critical in case of new ventures, no matter if it’s a small startup or a new initiative in a large company. Business plans no longer work, and 8 of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg.
You might already know that most startups are now using something called the lean approach. The basic formula behind it is validated learning plus short development cycles. The startups get oriented on building the simplest product possible to release it to the market and see if it has demand. If yes, the product gets improved, and new features are again tested on the market. If not, the product is redesigned according to the market feedback.
Here in RubyGarage we create online products and services for startups taking the maximum advantage from the lean approach in web development. It is not only an opportunity for a startup to survive and achieve success nowadays, but also a great way for us to communicate with the client and optimize the whole product creation process. And here is what it looks like.
The first thing in the lean approach is to define hypotheses instead of writing the business plan. To put it in simple words, this means understanding of how a company is going to create and bring value for itself and the customers.
Then a lean start-up needs to test its hypotheses, which requires creating a minimum viable product. You can read about the MVP in our dedicated blog post. In online business that usually means creating a product that is ready to be released to the market. When it goes public, the info is collected to understand if the hypothesis are true.
The main idea here is speed. Speed means less work, less mistakes and thus less resources spent on checking the hypothesis that might turn out to be wrong.
Once the hypothesis are checked, the whole thing starts from the beginning: new hypothesis are offered, the product is modified accordingly and then released to check them. This process has no end: even if the product gets extremely successful, you still need to think what you can do to improve it and save or even grow that success.
This lean approach in web development is represented in the model called agile methodology. It advocates the iterative and incremental development of the product, and here at RubyGarage we stick to it from the very beginning.
The Client's Role in Lean Approach
So the whole process is split into the so-called sprints. Each sprint includes discovering the ideas and making assumptions to check. This process is fully agreed with the client. Then we design the MVP in wireframes and define the scope definition for visual designers, developers and QA specialists. You can also read about wireframing and scope definition in our blog. Finally, the product is developed by our team and tested before the release. After the release the collected feedback is used to start the sprint from the very beginning and to make new assumptions to check.
Agile development requires both our team and the client to take part in shaping the product, defining its features and aspects in each iteration. In the end, it’s all about collecting, measuring and processing customer response, which in no way can’t be forecasted. And this is what makes the product creation process so unpredictable, but exciting.
No wonder that using the lean approach, in the end the product can become something successful yet completely different from what you have expected in the beginning, but this is how modern business is done and how we at RubyGarage bring our clients’ products to success.