On average, you can count on roughly 2 to 3,000 hours of work to deliver a hearty and moderately featured MVP. That includes time for design and strategy, QA/testing and front-and back-end development. With three or four people working full time on your project, that should yield working software within four months.
Now, don't let those numbers scare you. Yes, three or four full-time employees sounds like a big expense if you're bringing those people in-house. But many companies choose fractional resources
instead, to get the expertise they need and save themselves the time and trouble of hiring good tech talent on their own
After those four months, you should have an MVP, but you should not have run out of budget. There's a lot more work to be done, and that work is perhaps the most important of the entire development process.
This is when you find out if your ideas match up with your market's wants and needs, when you learn what features would constitute a better investment, when you begin to understand how the product you put out into the world will compare to your carefully laid plans.
That takes time, and money. Post-MVP launch, companies should plan on another 1,000 to 1,500 hours of work focused on iterating — improving the product based on the feedback of actual users
. Is the user onboarding process overly complicated and unintuitive? Is your MVP experiencing show-stopping workflow issues? Are you spending time and money building out the right features, or is there another direction you should be heading?