The Power of the Minimum Viable Team

Friday, October 27, 2023

We all know by now that the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a crucial concept in the world of startups and entrepreneurship. But what about the Minimum Viable Team (MVT)?

An MVT revolves around the notion of the smallest possible team that can turn your business ideas into reality. Just like an orchestra, where each player contributes to creating a beautiful symphony, an MVT comprises different individuals playing multiple roles to achieve a common business goal.

Having a small, flexible team can be a huge advantage for startups and small businesses. It allows for more efficient resource utilization, improved coordination, and increased productivity. In this blog post, we will explore the power of the MVT and how it can help you turn your business ideas into reality.

The Smallest Team is a One-Man-Show

The concept of MVT asserts that the smallest viable team can be just a single individual. Indeed, in many startups and small businesses, a solitary entrepreneur often kickstarts the venture single-handedly. This 'one-man show' is possible if the individual possesses the necessary skill sets or is ready to learn and adapt to new roles as needed.

It is certain that he may not be able to do everything by himself. However, he can outsource certain tasks to freelancers or other professionals. For example, a software developer may hire a content writer to create content for his website. This way, he can focus on his core competency while still getting the job done.

The Many Hats of Team Members

An efficient MVT does not necessarily mean each team member is restricted to a single role. Rather, it emphasizes the potential for members to juggle multiple roles. For example, a software developer might also take up the role of a tester, while a content writer may occasionally delve into marketing. This flexibility is a key characteristic of a strong MVT, as it allows for more efficient resource utilization, improved coordination, and increased productivity.

This do not mean that each team member should be burned out by taking up multiple roles. Rather, it is about having the flexibility to adapt to different roles as needed. For example, a software developer may take up the role of a tester for a few days to help the team meet a deadline.

After all the core premise of the MVP is to have a product that is good enough to be released to the market. It is not about having a perfect product. Similarly, an MVT is not about having the best team members. Rather, it is about having a team that can adapt to different roles and work together harmoniously.

Bracing for the Fire

In any venture, hiccups and challenges are inevitable. An MVT must anticipate these obstacles and prepare to tackle them efficiently. Just as a fire drill prepares a team for potential fires, foresight, preparation, and adaptability can enable an MVT to navigate through these challenging times successfully.

These fires will be inevitable. It is not a matter of if, but when. Therefore, an MVT must be prepared to tackle these challenges head-on. This is where the flexibility of an MVT comes into play. Each team member must be ready to adapt to different roles and work together harmoniously to overcome these obstacles.

The Dangers of Rapid Expansion

Sometimes a small team may be too small. In such cases, the MVT may consider expanding the team. However, this expansion must be done carefully.

While expanding the team may seem like an obvious solution to increase productivity, it may inadvertently lead to increased communication overheads. Each new team member means additional communication lines, potentially leading to miscommunication or conflict. Hence, the mantra for an MVT should be to grow slow and steady, focusing on cohesion and effective communication.

Dividing Work into Units

As a business scales, there will inevitably be a more diverse range of tasks. Here, the MVT can consider dividing work into smaller units, ensuring that each task is managed and executed effectively. This division of labor is crucial for maintaining productivity and ensuring a smooth workflow.

For example the core engineering team may be spend time at support tickets. As the customer base grows, it may be more efficient to have a dedicated support team. This way, the core engineering team can focus on their core competency, while the support team can focus on customer satisfaction.

The new work unit should be able to work independently and efficiently. I always suggest that the new unit should be complimentary to the core team. The core team should be able to focus on the features that will bring the most value to the product. The new units should be able to handle the rest.

Cohesion Over Expertise

While having the best developers or the most skilled professionals on your team may seem desirable, the MVT philosophy emphasizes the importance of a team that can work together harmoniously. After all, a team of average performers who can communicate effectively and work in sync will always outperform a team of excellent individuals who cannot work together.

At the same time it is important to have a team of generalists. A team of specialists may be able to solve a specific problem, but they may not be able to solve other problems. A team of generalists will be able to solve a wide range of problems.

In conclusion, the concept of a Minimum Viable Team underscores the importance of having a small but efficient team that can navigate challenges, adapt to roles, and work harmoniously together to turn an idea into a successful business venture. Embracing this philosophy can result in a stronger, more cohesive, and ultimately more successful team.

If you need help to build your own MVT or you want to learn more about the concept, feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

This article was generated with the assistance of AI and refined using proofing tools. While AI technologies were used, the content and ideas expressed in this article are the result of human curation and authorship.

Read more about this topic at: Importance is All You Need