Thanks for your answer Ashlea!
Indeed, we're a small company and our boss asked each one of us to decide on conducting a side project (it should be fun for us but also bring value to the company). Therefore, as you say, she wants to know how to allocate resources (i.e., avoid that all her employees work on their side projects at the same time while leaving our clients frustrated).
There hasn't been much discussion on the process yet. But you are right, I should go and sit with them to discuss about it.
But because she'll still want an idea of how much time and effort we're going to need, I think that I'll estimate the plan in iteration units.
1 iteration =
Time to understand, define, diverge & decide on what to investigate
+ time to prototype
+ time to run the test
+ time to evaluate & learn
(Photo taken from Smashingmagazine: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/01/12/hold-a-kickoff-meeting-before-diving-into-the-design/ )
I think this can also serve as a good basis for education/clarification as well.
But for this to happen, I think that I should already come up with a proto "value proposition" (i.e., meant to change) that could give her an idea of what the MVP might look like by the end of the year.