The Month Size Project

How much time should you budget for getting your first MVP together? I think a weekend is a bit absurd, but on the other end of the spectrum you don’t want to take a year.  In the spirit of release early and often, I propose that you fit it into a month.

The Month Size Project doesn’t need to be all that intimidating. What it is intended for is to get you and your team to force your dream into a month size box. The art is in the limitations and in this case they are self imposed.

Building up to that month, it is totally OK to be thinking and laying out the groundwork. In fact it is encourages just to build some excitement; Talk to people, draw screens, research your audience. All of these help to get it going.  Then when the month arrives you and your team should already know what they are suppose to be doing and what the tools are they are using.

Before the month checklist

  • Figure out who is on your team.
  • Name your product and buy it’s website if you need one.
  • Figure out your technology stack.
  • Do some tutorials with the technology you haven’t used before.
  • Buy any services and set up accounts.
  • Map out the architecture and calls using sequence diagrams.
  • Draw your screens and get your art assets figured out.
  • Plan out times and places to meet.

During the month.

  • Set week long sprints and deploy something every week.
  • Stop doing all that other stuff you do so this gets done.
  • Block out time to work together and independently.
  • Track how much time everyone uses so you can apply it to the first BS3 slice for ownership.

Questions

Does it have to be a whole month?

No, this is a way of time boxing it together. If you can build something that you can learn something from in a smaller amount of time then do it. This is more of a tool for getting focused when you have too many ideas and tangental things going on; kids, job, etc.

Where does this fit into the BS3 rules?

This is the first development slice.

What if you need more time?

Then you didn’t trim your scope down enough or put enough time into it. Do a retrospective with your team and ask what you could have not built. Remember it is a learning experience.