Finding the perfect scope for a MVP - Case People Cloud
Many times, companies have a clear vision and an idea of what they would like to do but need some help with the execution. This was also the case with our dear friends at MoVal, who needed someone to guide them through the jungle of taking a new technology product from idea to market.
MoVal is a successful and growing business, supplying IT experts for some of the largest Finnish companies. Tapio Rossi, the founder, and CEO of MoVal, knew exactly how the industry worked and what its problems were.
The traditional way of doing things was unfavorable for both the talent and the client. The process usually forms a long chain of large players who use smaller companies to subcontract. Often the supply chains can be up to 3 - 4 companies long. Each link in the chain increases the amount the client ends up paying often by 15 - 20%. On top of that, the outsourcing projects took way too long and were often unsuccessful, as the people put forth by the vendors were not anywhere near the perfect match the companies were hoping to find and often didn’t even fulfill the original criteria mentioned in the role description.
"The whole process was so frustrating, time-consuming, and insanely expensive that I felt almost obliged to use my expertise to develop a better way to do things." - Tapio Rossi
The old way of finding and hiring skilled professionals was too complicated and expensive, and Tapio wanted to change that by leveraging technology and AI to automate MoVal's know-how in recruiting and build a platform to help clients find suitable candidates from vendors directly.
The idea was to build a portal that would match available resources with clients looking for people to work on their projects. However, the biggest challenge was the scope of the MVP and continuing with the original plan would have resulted in stretched timelines and a product that didn’t meet customer needs. That’s when we stepped in.
The root problem was that the MVP was way too big and incorrectly defined. We were building a small stripped down version of the visioned product, instead of thinking with a lean, startup-mindset. Continuing with this scope would've meant that we would never have been able to launch the product in time, without disappointing the customers.
"Without Marko's help, we would have ended up losing a ton of money and time. We needed his intervention as we didn't have enough understanding of what MVP was, and the project was in danger of going wrong." - Tapio Rossi
We radically de-scoped the MVP and launched the product with just a customer-facing interface. A lot of the magic was done in the back-end partly manually with a Concierge MVP. This way People Cloud was able to deliver a live product even if it still had some glitches.
"It was quite clear that with the original scope, the product would have never been ready on time." - Tapio Rossi
Remember, in the beginning, when I told you about the client, who said the process sometimes takes up to two months? Now, at its best People Cloud can squeeze the whole project into two weeks, with complete transparency of the delivery chain.
So after we were able to execute Tapio's vision into a well-functioning product, we also needed to improve how to capture the essence of the product and its product vision. Without this sales meetings will be a constant uphill battle. Using our blueprint for creating strategic narratives, we helped Tapio to crystalize his vision into a clear narrative, to make it easy for clients and other stakeholders to understand and buy the idea.
Even an excellent narrative is useless, unless it's used in sales. Together with Tapio, we helped People Cloud internalize the new narrative and built visual sales material to help the team pitch the new narrative for clients.
"With Marko's help, not only did we get the product released on time, but we were also able to introduce the product to customers with a professional and carefully thought-out sales presentation." - Tapio Rossi
While being hands-on creating the change we made sure that the client wouldn’t be dependent on our assistance. We helped the client build a healthy startup product management culture and the processes required for greenfield product development (customer discovery, product discovery, etc.). During the project, a lot of new skills and abilities were created in the organization.
Eventually, we helped MoVal develop the product and the culture and finally to successfully spin People Cloud out as a new venture. Today, clients can reach thousands of consultants and the top businesses from Nordic and Baltic Countries through People Cloud's network: Their clients include some of the biggest IT companies in the Nordics.
"Working with Marko was always such a pleasure. In addition to being a very nice guy, he is a true professional and one of the most talented people I've come across during my career." - Tapio Rossi
Want to hear more about MVP scoping? Let us know!