Creating a minimum viable course

When working with clients to create a course, we start with the Minimum Viable Product (mvp), or in this case, a Minimum Viable Course.

Good old Wikipedia tells me
“A minimum viable product is a version of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development. “

I often see people building courses starting with the sprinkles. They spend lots of time on pretty pdfs, or worrying about which is the “right” platform, or what they should look like in their video.

They are worried about the bits that go on top, but not the functional, solid bit that sits underneath.

So instead of starting with the sprinkles, think:

“What is the minimum I need to do to deliver the course outcome?”

When I say it this way, people often think this sounds like a bad thing, but it’s actually a good thing.

Remember that word back in our quote from good old Wiki… satisfy.

This isn’t about creating something crappy, or that doesn’t serve it’s purpose, instead it’s about satisfying the needs of our audience in the most efficient way possible.

Building a minimum viable course is great because:

1. It makes the course easy to consume.

No one really wants to watch 100 videos, if you could have taught them the same thing in 10.
Your students don’t actually want the videos at all – they just want the outcome.

So when we are building a course as a minimum viable product, we have to to think about making our content as usual as possible, so that they can get the best learning outcomes in the least amount of reading and watching.

2. It makes it easier for you to build

If you focus on delivering the outcome in the least amount of steps, then you have less to build.

Now, instead of worrying about finding the time to make dozens of PDF’s or hundreds off videos, you can focus on producing just a few pieces, that really do what they need to do.

I’m not saying don’t add icing and sprinkles. You can definitely add them at the end, or to the 2nd round…

But when you are building a course you can’t do them first… it doesn’t work that way.

Focus on building the essentials of your course and getting it running, then add sprinkles.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.