To be or not to be…an mvp

May 28, 2024

We described it in our previous blog: as a team, we work towards completion. Completion invariably consists of three different elements: stabilisation, testing and making it launch-ready. The latter means that we also put the preconditions in place. For our marketing department, this is when things often really come to life. As developers, we experience this as the most boring phase of the whole process. You can think of it as laying the skirting boards: it makes the difference between nicely finished and not finished. But the work preceding it – turning a concrete floor into a beautiful laminate floor – is a lot more satisfying and spectacular. Our ‘skirtings’ consist of a few parts:

Configuration manual

This is where we describe everything that can be configured. We already write this one during development. That way we can be sure we don’t forget anything.

Documentation

This can be found at docs.rulecube.com. Most of it is generated automatically. The moment we put the release live, this documentation is automatically brought to a 2.2 version. This then includes the new functionality of Rulecube Forms and the adjustments for the rest of the Rulecube platform. Fortunately, this requires little work on our part. We also create the installation manuals for the packages in which we deliver our software to those organisations that do not work with our cloud version.

User manual

We always write these second-to-last. That way we can be sure that details are correct.

Release notes

This is created in rough form already during development, but is refined as the very last one with details, images and screenshots and, where necessary, references to parts of the configuration manual, user manual and documentation environment.

The MVP versus the roadmap.

In the case of Rulecube Forms, going live is also the first release of functionality to the market. Never before have we involved our customers – and through this blog basically everyone – in development at such an early stage. Normally, it is only now that we start customer communication, setting pricing, terms and contracts. This is where we experience a big difference between reverse designing and the classic approach. We have already tested our proposition to potential customers. During development, a lot of refinement of brochures and webpage texts has already taken place. Those parts are actually done. Even on pricing, we have already had conversations and discussions with potential clients. Because we know what our customers specifically want to use Rulecube Forms for, we can more easily tailor our contracts and conditions to that. Even better: there is already a very concrete roadmap in addition to the MVP.

One step at a time

We often say it: we love speed. The faster the better. Yet we are holding back for now. With the planned 2.2 release of the Rulecube Platform, we are only unlocking the Rulecube Forms functionality to a few exclusive pilot customers. By keeping it small, we actually keep the speed high. With a small group of customers, we can more easily and quickly coordinate on the enhancements and improvements we have included in our roadmap. This is how we hyper agile lift our MVP to the level of a full product that makes optimal use of the other components of the Rulecube platform. With smart business rules, workflows and data processing.

We realise that after launch, there is no longer any difference between the traditional process and the reverse designing process. Yet it feels different. We enter this MVP pilot phase with so much more knowledge of our customers’ processes than we would have had in a traditional process. The certainty we have that our roadmap matches customer requirements is much greater. This also gives a sense of urgency, but we also realise that we developed this MVP in an extremely short time. We created the urgency ourselves. And how nice it is to see that with Rulecube Forms we are solving a concrete problem for our customers: a form to be replaced, an application or assessment process that is currently a document-driven process with various human actions becomes an automated process where people only do the work where they add value. We look forward to successfully completing the challenges of our pilot customers. And – because that’s how we are wired – to the launch of the second version of Rulecube Forms. We still have so many great things in store….

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