MMF (Minimum Marketable Feature)?

mmf - minimum marketable feature
mmf - minimum marketable feature

The term MVP appears more and more in Agile projects whereas the real term to use is MMF (Minimum Marketable Feature). What is MMF? An article will allow everyone to better understand and situate the use of these two terms MVP and MMF.

What’s the MVP?

I did a full article on the MVP, I suggest you go read it directly.

Article : What’s the MVP (Minimum Viable Product)?

Now that the meaning of MVP is understood, you will understand that companies work in MMP and not MVP.

For information, the MMP means Minimum Marketable Product. It’s the minimum that can be delivered in production for it to be presentable and usable. This is the gathering of the whole MMF concept that we will see right now.

What’s the MMF (Minimum Marketable Feature)?

The Minimum Marketable Feature is a term that first appeared in the book « software by number » by Mark Denne and Jane ClelandHuang that you can find on sites like Amazon.

Here is the definition that is given by this book:

« MMF are units of software value creation. They represent components of intrinsic marketable value. Typically an MMF creates market value in one or more of the following ways :

  • Competitive differentiation
  • Revenue generation
  • Cost saving
  • Brand projection
  • Enhanced user loyalty »

You will easily understand that the MMF is a definition of each of the minimum functionalities expected by the end user. This can be represented by a lot of user-stories (and Epic) minimum to deliver on a specific feature for those working in agile universes.

Is the MMF agile?

Basically, it’s true that the idea is only moderately agile because we define a minimum to deliver a feature from the beginning of the project which makes the incremental aspect limited on the product aspect.

Nothing prevents regularly adding improvements but that would logically be outside the scope of the MMF. However, we must not be rigid and agree to have a Minimum Marketable Feature that can increment improvement or suppression when we realize that things are not exactly as we imagined.

The product will not be delivered in production until the feature MMFs are not completed; this appearance may also give the impression of being un-agile. However you would be to deliver a beta version to get first feedback from key users of the application.

Basically, the MMF is not an agile concept, but if you accept that it can have its scope move with all feedbacks from users then it would be a totally agile notion.

MVP versus MMF (minimum marketable feature)

So what is the difference between an MVP and a MMF? Indeed, the difference is quite huge in reality.

The MVP is the minimum we will deliver to prove that a concept works. For example, we could have a beginning of application, a simple video to obtain inscriptions or a notebook and sheets … The MVP does not imply the implementation of an application even if it may also be possible.

Moreover, the evolution of a need on a product may require recreating new MVPs to meet new needs.

The Minimum Marketable Feature is totally focused on the application part because we will define the minimum of each functionality of application wanted to achieve our goal.

It is quite rare to combine these two concepts because the way of working (and changing the product) changes a lot depending on whether you decide to work with MVP or MMF. However, nothing prevents it either.

A simple example to understand

I want to sell a revolutionary product to clean that I created. What would be the MVP or the MMF for this new need that I have?

MVP

If I follow the idea of ​​an MVP, I will register on the marketplace of Amazon. This will allow me to sell my product and therefore test the market. All logistics will be done with a simple notebook and pencils. I have decided to invest the minimum and make it as simple as possible to test the market.

if my product is selling, I could not manage everything alone anymore. I will need to consider redoing a new MVP adapted to the current context. The latter would use a management application that would be grafted to Amazon to help me throughout the logistics and purchasing.

MMF (minimum marketable feature)

If I follow the idea of ​​a Minimum Marketable Feature, I would start creating an ecommerce website to sell my product. However, I could use a tool like Prestashop. I would set the minimum (MMF) of each mandatory feature to be able to put my site into production.

The way to bring things is totally different although the basic idea remains the same: to sell my revolutionary product.

Like the MVP, it is totally possible to have multiple MMFs during a delivery or successively. We could define a second MMF afterwards to meet new needs.

The MMF after the MVP

Making MMF features after testing the market with one or more successive MVPs is totally possible. We could also mix the two previous examples in a scenario that follows.

And if the market was to change, we could have the obligation to remake a new MVP (because we consider that the last MVP is not appropriate to answer to the minimum expected).

Conclusion MMF (minimum marketable feature)

I hope this article has allowed you to see more clearly what the MMF is and what differentiates the MMF from the MVP. If the notion of Minimum Marketable Feature is not agile at the base, you can use it in agile context.

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About Judicaël Paquet 190 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My activities in France and Switzerland: - agile transformation architect - customized agile training - sensitization and manager coaching - agile maturity audits and situations - agile coaching (teams, orga, product owner, scrum master, agile coach) Specialties: scrum, kanban, management 3.0, scalability, lean startup, agile method.

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