How to Build a Killer MVP App: An Overview of Grio’s Steps for Success


Whether you’re a Bay Area startup or a Fortune 500 company, the prospect of creating a new app can be daunting. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating an app, nor is there a universal solution that will guarantee success. Even if you have a brilliant idea for the next big app, turning your conception into reality takes a large amount of time, money, and resources. 

At Grio, we are here to make sure that your investment isn’t in vain. After 15 years of web and mobile software development, we have learned a thing or two about creating apps, and we’ve discovered the best method for setting yourself up for long-term success: The MVP App. 

Not convinced? Let us tell you more about it. 

The Benefits of Using an MVP App

An MVP, or minimal viable product, is a bare-bones version of your app. Building an MVP will provide early, rapid, and critical insights into product-market adoption to:

  • Test the viability of your product: An MVP’s design is based on the solution to a particular user problem based on the results of research, testing, and intuition. When your MVP is released to the market, it will give you immediate feedback on whether it is a successful product-market fit. 
  • Save time and money on development: Because an MVP requires you to build only the most essential features, the upfront investment in time and resources is lower than the investment required for a fully realized app.
  • Go to market sooner: Highly developed applications require a lot of time to create. With an MVP, you can go to market sooner and test marketing campaigns and sales channels faster than if you built a “full-featured” product.
  • Engage investors and stakeholders: Investors and stakeholders need to see that you have a product that successfully meets user needs. Accordingly, building and launching a successful MVP can demonstrate demand for your product and engage stakeholders.

You can read more about the benefits of MVPs in How to Build a Killer MVP App: Introduction.

The Grio MVP Blueprint

Creating an MVP can be challenging, particularly if you haven’t done it before. To help you maximize the benefits of your MVP app, we offer a unique end-to-end design and delivery plan called the Grio MVP Blueprint.

Our MVP Blueprint includes:

Discovery and Design Thinking Workshops 

These four, two-hour sessions will help you define the key components of your MVP product, including:

  • The business problem you are solving
  • The target users and their specific needs
  • The app features that will fulfill your users’ needs
  • The prioritization of your app’s key features

Collaboration Tools

Collaboration tools will help your cross-functional teams communicate and collaborate effectively. We will help you select and launch your collaboration tools, including:

  • A product glossary, which defines key agreed-upon terms for the project
  • Records of workshops for future reference, context, and onboarding
  • A micro board to gather, save, and share ideas, concepts, and outcomes

Epics and User Stories

Epics and user stories ensure that your users and their needs remain the priority of your app. Well-crafted epics and user stories will help you:

  • Imagine features and functionality from the user’s perspective
  • See how well each feature of the app translates into user value
  • Visualize the user flow 

Features, Architecture, Tech, and Resources

Our team synthesizes the entirety of the user stories and epics generated to deliver the following:

  • Prioritized list of required features
  • Diagram and description of the recommended high-level architecture
  • Plan for the team and other resources required to execute

Conceptual Designs

The initial conceptual designs that our team provides will help you:

  • Visualize your app user interface and 
  • Inspire your teams, partners, and stakeholders

Timeline and Budget Proposals

The final important component of the MVP blueprint is the creation of the project’s initial timeline and budget:

  • A graphical timeline will be created to map out each step of the MVP process, from inception to launch. 
  • An initial budget will be created based on the required features, tech stack, design, and more

Whether you have unlimited resources or a tight timeline and budget, our MVP Blueprint helps you find a way to make your app a reality. 

The “How to Build a Killer MVP App” 10-Step Series

Want to learn more about the MVP Blueprint before you commit? In our blog series, “How to Build a Killer MVP App,” we have condensed our hard-earned wisdom into ten essential steps that will help you understand the MVP development process, from initial conception to long-term enhancements:

Step 1: Agile Development Methods and Divergent/Convergent Thinking

Establish an Agile development approach and strategically implement divergent and convergent thinking from the beginning of the process to help your team find and prioritize the best ideas for your MVP. You can learn more about these approaches here.

Step 2: User Discovery- Letting User Needs Inspire Epics

During User Discovery, you gather information about your users. Your user discovery should identify your users, identify their needs, and create epics for your app. You can find more information about setting up your User Discovery here

Step 3: Market Discovery Phase- Using Market Analysis to Gain Leverage Over the Competition

Conducting market analysis is essential for identifying your primary market and discovering what sets your app apart from the competition. We’ve broken down the Market Discovery Phase into four basic steps, which you can explore here.

Step 4: Planning Phase- Creating a Plan to Successfully Navigate Your Project Milestones

Your plan will help guide you through the trials and tribulations of product development and should include several components, including user stories, architecture, and conceptual designs. You can discover all of the components of a successful Plan here.

Step 5: Design Phase- Taking Your Product from Paper to Prototype.

The Design Phase includes several steps, including user flows, wireframes, and mockups, all of which build on each other and help to bring your product to life. You can discover all of the steps for taking your product from paper to prototype here.

Step 6: Development Phase- Embracing Less Engineering and More Testing

The Development Phase is arguably the most crucial phase of your MVP project, and also the most fraught with potential errors. You can avoid common Development Phase obstacles by using Grio’s key strategies for success, all of which can be discovered here.

Step 7: Stabilization Phase- “Breaking” Your App So Your Users Don’t

A test plan should be used to identify issues, fix bugs, and make improvements to the UI/UX. You can discover all of the essential components of a test plan, including the objectives, scope, and resources, as well as how to create the perfect plan here.

Step 8: Release Phase- Making Sure You Practice Before Your Public Performance

The Release Phase is typically broken into three smaller releases: alpha testing, beta testing, and the public release. You can learn more about each release and discover how to guarantee a successful public release here.

Step 9: Measure Phase- Determining Your MVP’s Success Using Key Performance Metrics

Measuring and analyzing key performance metrics will allow you to make informed decisions that guide the future development of your product. You can learn more about which metrics to use and how to use them here.

Step 10: Maintain and Enhance Phase- Valuing the Cycle of Continuous Improvement Throughout Your App’s Lifetime

The maintenance and enhancement of your app never ends. Whether fixing bugs, updating for new versions of the OS, supporting new devices, or reprioritizing those user stories that did not make the initial MVP cut list, maintenance and enhancement should be ongoing throughout the lifetime of your app. You can learn more about this cycle of continuous improvements here.

Create Your MVP App With Grio Today

If you have any questions, need guidance on anything you’ve read in this series, or want help with something else entirely, contact us or book a free MVP consultation with our MVP experts. 

Let’s build something exceptional together. 

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