Minimum marketable features and incremental funding are used to partition the functionality of a computer system into units that are capable of delivering business value independently. By organizing a development project around MMFs and their internal dependencies, it is possible to have partially self-funding projects: As an MMF is completed, the business value that is saved or generated as it goes into production is used to fund the development of subsequent MMFs. Hence, we lower the up-front investment of our projects, and we reduce the development risks by continuously deploying functionality into production.
In short, we may say that using MMFs provide a financial model for lean thinking in software development projects. (For more info on this, refer to the excellent introduction given in “Software By Numbers” by Mark Denne and Jane Cleland-Huang, Prentice Hall, 2003).