Estimating a MVP

How to scope out an MVP mobile app

mvp for mobile applications

Building a mobile app or web application can be a daunting task. Your clients can spend thousands of dollars on an app for their business, only to find that it doesn’t meet their needs. We have seen this happen. That is why we often recommend clients start off with projects as an MVP. However, estimating a MVP has its own unique challenges.

What is an MVP?

ITH_MVP stages

An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the smallest product you can build that can be used by customers. After it is tested and your client receives feedback from customers, features can be added to the product to enhance its usefulness.

When do you recommend an MVP to your client?

If your client comes with a new and unique business idea, an MVP could be very useful for them. Clients need to know how best to reach their target customers. Save them the time and cost of building an app that may have functions that are unnecessary. Start estimating an MVP for them by asking the right questions.

What questions do I ask the clients to begin an MVP estimate?

  • What is your overall goal with this product?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your projected budget?
  • What are the minimum amount of features you could use for your product?

Scoping Out an MVP

In order to define an MVP and estimate it, you need to understand the following:

ITH_Overall Goal

  • Overall Goal: Understand your client’s business objective. Get the big picture.
    • Your client is developing the technology as a solution to a business objective. Find out what their objective is, and this may give you an understanding of the project scope and price. It may even help you define a timeline for the MVP delivery, and the minimum-required features based upon the timeline.


ITH_Target Audience

  • Target Audience
    • This is really important. Based on your understanding of the target audience, you can work with the client to define the minimum functionality needed for the project.


ITH_Get Specifics

  • Get Specifics
    • Break down the high-level modules/tasks based on the high-level business objective. Get into specifics of what your client is looking for in this project. This will help you understand the various aspects of your client’s vision of what they want developed.


ITH_Client’s Budget

  • Client’s Budget
    • Does your client have the money to invest in this aspect of the business or are there investors providing the money? Be sure of your client’s budget before moving forward with any project.


ITH_Required Features

  • Minimum-Required Features
    • An MVP should be a working solution with the least amount of functionality. The purpose here is to provide the necessary and basic information to the users and see how they respond.


Estimating the MVP

Once you understand the business idea and asked all the relevant questions, you will know what can be developed within the defined timeframe. As a next step, grab your team and help define the milestones for the MVP. These might include some of the following

  • Initial Mockups and Wireframing
    • The graphic designer plays a crucial role in defining the scope for the MVP. The designers can design the mockups or wireframes based upon the minimum requirements list.
  • Functionality Estimate
    • Based on the mockups/wireframes and the minimum-required features, software developers can define the efforts and the functionality for the MVP.

MVPs provide a time-saving, money-wise solution for a client with creative ideas and uncertain scope for a project. They can build a functioning solution to add onto as their customers provide feedback.

Interested in learning more about estimating an MVP? Contact us at

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