Facehuggers & MVPs

The original sketch of the facehugger from Alien is a great reminder that your MVP does not have to be perfect to fully convey your vision - but if stakeholders confuse it for the final result, they'll laugh/cry/have an anxiety attack.

MVPs need expectations management. I've had so many discussions with stakeholders (whether while freelancing or working in more corporate environments) on why an MVP is the right way to go. Someone unfamiliar with iterative delivery will still view the MVP with reluctance/resistance.

That's where I'll typically break out the 3-week deliverable example: You are working on a project that can be delivered in 3 weeks; but you, being the Agile-wizard you are, realize you can break it into 3 logical areas that will each take 1 week to produce.

You can either work on the whole project in a chaotic flurry of creativity and deliver the results in 3 weeks. Or you can work on the first chunk in 1 week, release it to solicit feedback while working on chunk 2, then release chunk 2 at week 1, and finally work on chunk 3.

Both situations take 3 weeks, but scenario 2 offers the opportunity to incorporate your learnings from chunk 1 into 2, and chunks 1&2 into 3. It lets you adapt and adjust if you had a bad assumption. It receives feedback sooner. In some cases, it starts earning you money sooner.

Even after this breakdown, your stakeholder will still look at you with reluctant skepticism. That's when you hit them with a confident: "Trust me. It's the Agile way."

Credit to Stephanie King on Twitter
Source: Alien Explorations: Alien: Giger's Early Facehugger Concepts

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