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PMP Q #46- Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Q46. Your teams analysis of MVP released last month shows that 5 out of 7 hypotheses are invalid. What do you advise to do next?

A. Recommend backlog refinement with new learning.
B. Recommend further analysis in retrospective.
C. Recommend stopping the project
D. Stop the current iteration and do replanning.

The team released a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in this question. MVP is the smallest collection of product features to consider the product as functional to test the hypothesis or assumptions. You hoped the customer would behave in a particular way and use the product in a specific way, which can serve customers’ needs. But based on the observation and the uses pattern, you realise that only some users used the product in that particular way. And many of the possible target customer segments are not even looking at the MVP. Now, this is learning where the team need to change direction. Else, it might result in stopping the project. The team must recreate the hypothesis with the new learnings and check if the modified approach works. That is the one possibility, or the team may change the whole direction of the product offering or a customer segment called the pivot. So it’s a turning point. The team need to do something about it.

Option A looks promising in this situation, which recommends backlog refinement with new learnings so that the team has a new way of looking at the customer needs. Backlog refinement may result –

  • Deletion of some features,  
  • Adding some new features 
  • Retargeting customer base differently with the help of a new set of features or 
  • Changing some of the foundational assumptions which team were using to write or think about the previous requirements

Let’s see why other options are not suitable for the solution –

Option B – “Recommend further analysis in retrospective.” –  Retrospectives are more associated with the learnings coming from the team. In this learning process, you also need external stakeholders. You might do a special retrospective meeting for it, but you have already done the analysis and now need to act on it. Further analysis may produce some refined learnings. The question is saying do something about it, better act on it. 

Option C- “Recommend stopping the project” – It could be possible, but we do not see an evident judgement in the question that this is something hopeless or you’re investing in the wrong place. 

Option D – “Stop the current iteration and do replanning. “ – It is possible, but what should you do before doing that? First, it would help if you had a refind Product Backlog before that, so you probably focus on option A first. 

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