To build and test new functionality for your customers you can create a POC (Proof Of Concept) or develop a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). But creating a MVP from scratch is often not simple, since quality aspects such as security and privacy can rise severe realisation challenges.
There is no general accepted definition of what exactly a POC or MVP is. Definitions are a bit context dependent, depending on your specific project, product and organisation. But in general sense it is good to clearly separate a POC from a MVP.
- A MVP is a product that is usable for customers in production and is maintained. So a MVP is implemented in your business processes and IT landscape and can be used for real production usages.
- A POC is a way to examine a solution or an aspect of a solution to gather information. E.g collect evidence if the idea is viable to create. Most of the time you perform a POC to minimize risks before creating a MVP. Developing a POC is the quickest way to validate or invalidate assumptions about a concept or idea.
|Examine viability of an idea or concept.||Create a product that delivers value in the simplest way possible. It just needs to work.|
|Used to determine development and implementation time and cost.||Used to learn how customers will use and respond to a new product.|
|Needs a clear focus and goal.||Goal is clear. A working product in production.|
|No need to be tested in a production environment.||Involves more time than a POC since basic quality criteria (security/privacy/reliability etc) must be met.|
|Minimal investment||Enables learning by collecting data when your MVP is implemented in production.|
|Gives better understanding of problem or solution||Can be used to evolve towards an even more valuable product in future.|
|Can be real simple.||Create a product that has value as simple as possible.|
The outcome of a POC can be used to speed up creation of a MVP. But improving a software prototype until it is ready for production, so evolving a POC towards a MVP, is not recommended. But reusing the generating knowledge of a POC to create a MVP simplifies the creation of a MVP.