The Lean MVP model

The Lean MVP model helps broadening agile and lean practices within the organization. The model is built from the viewpoint of different organizational forces, such as the business units, the project management office, the IT department, and the legal & finance departments. The model is composed by four cornerstones and a central kernel. The four cornerstones of the model are Lean Inception[1], Lean PMO, Lean DevOps, and Lean Contracts and Finance. The central kernel is the MVP canvas[2].


The Lean Inception[1] is a highly collaborative workshop (typically a one week workshop) with many activities to align and define goals, strategies and scope of the product. The product evolution is defined as sequence of MVP –Minimum Viable Products—with its features. The workshop’s main goal is to define the scope of what is going to be created. In the end, the team should have a clear view of the path to follow: the MVP Canvas[2].


The Lean PMO organizes and tracks demands and MVPs. The Lean PMO looks at the whole picture, in such way that it does not get lost in the details of agile projects implementations, such as XP, Kanban, Scrum, or whatever practices, methodologies or buzzwords terms are being used within the software development teams working on the product. For following up with the creation and the evolution of lean products, the Lean PMO assists in the governance of continuous delivery of highly valuable features as per the order defined at the MVP canvas.


DevOps has been identified as an important aspect for the ongoing implementation of Lean and Agile in the organizations. However, little has been presented to describe and formalize what is DevOps from the perspective of Lean MVP. The Lean DevOps connects the DevOps practices to the Lean MVP model. It describes the practices followed by the team creating the product. It includes: working with features and user stories, building the pipeline for continuous delivery, tailoring Scrum and Kanban for MVP delivery, and  working with feature flags and MVP flags.


Lean contracts and finance aligns the contract definition and the payment method in a structured way to reduce and mitigate risks related to the custom software creation process. The contract is defined to contemplate the Lean Inception, and the Lean DevOps. The payments are made upon receiving the expected deliverables, which are defined as per the MVP canvas, and followed by the Lean PMO.


The MVP Canvas[2] helps organizing and visualizing the MVPs and its features. The canvas organizes and plans the product releases for the first MVP, and the following MVPs, incrementing and augmenting the product. Typically, teams using the MVP canvas will dazzle the product evolution via a clear understanding on the features contained by each MVP, and the MVPs release order.


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[1] ToThePoint eBook

[2] The MVP Canvas