Our lives are made up of processes. The best and smoothest ones are the ones we don’t even notice.
From how we get food on the table, to how we connect with friends and colleagues, to the countless procedures we depend on to keep our businesses running – we’d fail without them.
The ability to quickly and effectively build a viable process is one of the most liberating (and lucrative) abilities out there.
Building these processes, however, can be incredibly frustrating…
- False starts lead to a lack of continuity.
- Poor planning gives us incomplete and overcomplicated results.
- Inefficient and ineffective foundations stymie our future growth.
These snags are all too common. Yet, if we employ the right methods, easily fixed.
Want to learn one of my most powerful techniques? It’s the process I use to build other viable processes – and it’s been one of my most valuable tools ever.
Whether you’re starting from scratch, rebuilding, or just adding on top of an already rock solid foundation, let’s enter the Goldilocks realm of just right: Just as complicated as necessary to get the job done.
Behold, The Minimum Viable Process (MVP).
Whether this process is something for someone else to use as you delegate responsibilities, or if it’s a reference point for yourself at a later date, the benefits of knowing your MVP really can’t be overstated.
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Know your outcome.
This should probably go without saying, but we can’t build a process leading to a desired result if we don’t even know what that result is!
Stephen Covey is the author of one of my absolute favorite books – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s a powerful book that focuses on timeless principles and habits we can implement to increase our effectiveness both at work and in our personal lives.
(I seriously can’t recommend this book enough so check it out if you haven’t already!)
The second habit that Covey explores is how critical it is to “begin with the end in mind.” He maintains that all things are created twice, the first is the mental vision and the second is the physical manifestation of that mental vision.
So before getting lost in the weeds, take a step back and truly reflect on what you’re trying to accomplish with your MVP. At the end of it, what should be created?
Once you think you have your outcome, take a few more minutes and see if there’s any way it could be simplified. What components of the outcome really are essential and which (if any) are not?
Antoine de Saint-Exupery said it best when he said, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Step 2: Outline the process for creating that outcome.
Once you’ve nailed down your desired outcome, the next step is to work backwards. What steps are required to make that outcome a reality?
Make a detailed checklist. (Yes, I know I talk about checklists all the time, but they’re such a powerful tool! There’s a reason airline pilots go through extensive checklists before ever leaving the ground – they get the job done and hold you responsible to your process.)
Step 3: Use it!
As soon as possible, implement your MVP. Go through the steps and see if you get the outcome you detailed in Step 1.
It’s really in this implementation stage where you’re going to see if your process truly does include everything necessary to produce your outcome. Actually using it will show you anything you might have missed during your planning process, so you should make any necessary changes at this time.
If you’ve followed along to this point, you now have your Minimum Viable Process. Congratulations!
We’ve previously explored the concept of Gall’s Law on my YouTube channel, Building Businesses with Leo Manzione. You can check out that video here.
Simply put, Gall’s Law states, “All complex systems that work evolved from simpler systems that worked. If you want to build a complex system that works, build a simpler system first, and then improve it over time.”
Building a complex system from scratch is very difficult and often leads to more frustration than actual success. So start simple.
By creating your MVP, you have your starting point. Iterate from here.
If you want to learn more or need help developing your MVP, apply for a complimentary coaching session with me at https://leomanzione.com/complimentary-session. I’m here to help!