What Project Should Managers Know About Minimum Viable Bureaucracy (MVB)?


Agile project management helps in delivering quality project outcome without overexerting the project. It is a highly versatile and flexible approach that can be applied to project management in almost any enterprise. With agile project management, project managers can effectively manage the time, employees, and financial resources so that the benefits that are truly desired are delivered.

The fact is that the field of agile management is constantly evolving. One latest and little understood agile project management methodology is minimum viable bureaucracy (MVB). Here we will explain the concept and its importance in project task management.

Minimum Viable Bureaucracy — What is It?

Minimum viable bureaucracy, or MVB, is an effective method for maintaining consistency and efficiency without compromising on creativity when managing a project. With MVB, employees will be encouraged to take initiatives that can help in efficient project management. The technique helps in balancing governance and agility.

The focus of the project managers with MVB is on task management with minimum disruptions. Implementing the agile management technique entails optimizing the following bureaucracy equation:

Bureaucracy = Effort / Benefits

MVB entails comparing the effort exerted in managing the employees with the benefits. The efforts include the number of people who supervise the employees, frequency of the supervision, and the time spend on supervising.

The lower the number of supervisors, the better will be the impact on the workflow. Also, less frequent supervision is generally better as it gives greater flexibility and freedom to the employees in performing the work. Lastly, the time spent on supervision should be minimized to avoid wastages. The three factors collectively comprise minimum value bureaucracy.

Why is MVB Important?

MVB reduces the pressures on the employees. This, in turn, improves the productivity of the employees. Implementing MVB ensures minimum supervision of employees that translates into efficient work outcome.

Limiting the bureaucracy entails minimizing the bureaucratic policies that can help push the product faster to the market. The technique ensures that there are minimum obstacles for the employees that results in a smooth operation.

Project managers need to exert bare minimum control over the employees. Minimum supervision will allow the employees to more effectively tackle the tasks. The end result will be the timely completion of the project while remaining within budget and not just meeting, but exceeding customer requirements.


Scaling the business up requires that the bureaucracy is scaled back. Generally, companies tend to scale up both the bureaucracy and the operations. This is done in order to maintain control over the growing team. However, scaling up the bureaucratic process does not offer any benefits and rather act as an obstacle to project success.

MVB helps in creating the balance between control and efficiency. The agile management technique ensures effective supervision of the team that maximizes the productivity and creativity of the project team.