• Career: Tathagat started career in 1991 as a Computer Scien6st with
Defense (DRDO, India) and has worked with Siemens Telecom, Philips,
Huawei, McAfee, NetScout, Yahoo! and 7 Innova6on Labs in senior
leadership and technical roles. He has developed products across
Telecom, Datacom, Healthcare, Networking and Consumer Internet. In
Oct 2014, he started “Thought Leadership” which oﬀers high-end
consul6ng and coaching for large organiza6onal transforma6ons.
• Experience: 24+ years of soZware product development; 17+ years with
Incremental and Itera6ve Development, Agile and Lean
• Companies trained: can’t disclose due to client NDAs, but mostly
• Prior Roles: SoZware Architect, Project Manager, Engineering Manager,
General Manager, VP, Agile Coach
• Educa:on: MS Computer Science, Exec MBA in HR
• Cer:ﬁca:ons: SPC, CSP, CSPO, CSM, M3.0, PMP, PRINCE2
• Author: Agile Product Development (2015)
Let’s do the checklist…
• Cool idea ✔
• Prototype ✔
• Funding...yay! ✔
• (aBer many quarters and several $$$s later)
• Product 1.0...yay! ✔
• Launch...we will all be rich very soon! ✔
• where are my customers...are the servers up?
Business Model Canvas on Day 1?
? ? ?
So, how to validate, especially the key
Minimum Feature Set
• Steve Blank:
– The reality is that minimum feature set is
• a tac[c to reduce wasted engineering hours
(code leB on the ﬂoor) and
• to get the product in the hands of early
visionary customers as soon as possible.
– You’re selling the vision and delivering the
minimum feature set to visionaries not
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
• Eric Ries in The Lean Startup:
– An MVP helps entrepreneurs start the process of learning as
quickly as possible.
– It is not necessarily the smallest product imaginable, though; it
is simply the fastest way to get through the Build-Measure-
Learn loop with the minimum amount of eﬀort
– Contrary to tradi[onal product development, which usually
involves a long, thoughmul incuba[on period and strives for
product perfec[on, the goal of the MVP is to begin the process
of learning, not end it.
– Unlike a prototype or concept test, an MVP is designed not just
to answer product design or technical ques[ons. Its goal is to
test fundamental business hypotheses.
Coﬀee Shop MVP
• Good MVP: You have a menu with only a few selec[on of coﬀee,
but all of them taste great. Your shop is clean and [dy with white
painted walls and decent looking coﬀee tables with comfortable
seats. Your cashier is polite and you take Visa and Mastercard. No
American Express though (we're cool with that).
• Bad MVP: You have a menu with a few selec[on of coﬀee, but most
of them taste horrible. Your shop is below par and your seats are
uncomfortable. Also, your store only takes cash and your cashiers
are ﬂir[ng with each other.
• Horrible MVP: You have 40 items on your menu - Coﬀee,
frappuccino, espresso, cakes, croissants, biscuits, tea, fried rise,
chicken nuggets, etc (you get the idea). You gold plate your store
front and your store interior is pimped out with the most expensive
furniture and coﬀee mugs. You put Samsung LCD TVs at every table
and the chairs are massage chairs. You take Visa, Mastercard,
American Express, and Home Depot giB cards.
Selling to Earlyvangelists…
• Minimum feature set (“minimum viable
product”) is a Customer Development tac[c to
reduce engineering waste and to get product
in the hands of Earlyvangelists soonest.
• Earlyvangelists require a 18 – 36 month
product vision past the minimum feature set.
• You’re selling the vision and delivering the
minimum feature set.
So, just one MVP, right?
MMP, MVP, MMF and Stories
MMP: Minimum Marketable Product
MVP: Minimum Viable Product
MMF: Minimum Marketable Features
Release Planning in Scrum
• A tradi[onal one-direc[onal product
backlog might not help build a “ver[cal
product slice” that (eventually) leads to a
• It might not help uncover the key risks
regarding integrity of the product
• It might not help demonstrate the en[re
tech stack un[l it is perhaps too late
What is (SoBware) Architecture?
• The soBware architecture of a program or compu[ng
system is a depic[on of the system that aids in the
understanding of how the system will behave.
• SoBware architecture serves as the blueprint for both the
system and the project developing it, deﬁning the work
assignments that must be carried out by design and
• The architecture is the primary carrier of system quali[es
such as performance, modiﬁability, and security, none of
which can be achieved without a unifying architectural
• Architecture is an ar[fact for early analysis to make sure
that a design approach will yield an acceptable system.
• By building eﬀec[ve architecture, you can iden[fy design
risks and mi[gate them early in the development process.
Goals of Architecture
• Expose the structure of the system but
hide the implementa[on details.
• Realize all of the use cases and scenarios.
• Try to address the requirements of
• Handle both func[onal and quality
Architectural Levels of Scope
Spectrums of Design
Waterfall and Architecture
Principles of Agile Architecture (SAFe)
• Design emerges. Architecture is a collabora[on.
• The bigger the system, the longer the runway.
• Build the simplest architecture that can possible
• When in doubt, code or model it out.
• They build it, they test it.
• There is no monopoly on innova[on.
• Implement architectural ﬂow.
Inten[onal Architecture &
Architectural Runways in SAFe
Minimum Viable Architecture (MVA)
Minimum Viable Architecture?
• Addresses the “inten[onal architecture” to
help validate the MVP
• Solves the “here and now”
• “Just enough”
• Supports fast development of high-quality
• Modular and open to changes
• Adequate instrumenta[on to help answer A/
• Always deploy-ready
Solving “unknown-unknown” problems requires addressing mul[ple
hypotheses at technology, product and business levels
You could test by building-out the en[re solu[on but it entails signiﬁcant
risks, apart from long lead-[me and huge upfront costs
Or, build a Minimum Viable Product that allows to incrementally validate
the key hypotheses around product vision
Building an MVP is a mindset that requires Minimum Viable Architecture
to validate major interac[on points of the system with its environment
MVA addresses “here and now” by incorpora[ng emergent design into
high-quality deploy-ready code
• An Introduc[on to Minimum Viable Architecture,
• Towards an Agile SoBware Architecture,
• The Minimum Viable Product and the Minimal Marketable Product,
• Good Enough is Good Enough,
• Crea[ng a highly available minimum viable architecture on AWS,
• In Search of Agile Architecture,
• Minimum Viable Architecture, hSp://www.kavistechnology.com/blog/minimal-viable-architecture/
• A Proven Methodology to Maximize Return on Risk,