The subject question bothers both startups and long-standing companies as nobody wants to fail. The only difference between these two groups is that startups are far more vulnerable and sensitive to ill success of their expectations – i.e. failure of an application believed to be a bestseller. Long-standing companies will survive such a failure with a significantly lower negative effect thanks to their cash piles.
Working in the software development niche for almost 10 years, DIGIS has worked out a rough sequence of steps and actions to be accounted for and followed in order to at least not to fall down to the ground too painful. This guide is intended for those entities or individuals who want to develop or order development of a mobile application they think will make a breakthrough in the market.
Avoid any hurries
We strongly recommend not to hurry with launching the development project – haste makes waste. Even if you think your app idea is absolutely disruptive, innovative, and worth spending your resources and efforts, think twice and perform a thorough analysis of the competitive apps if there are such.
Be scrupulous and write down the application requirements to the smallest details
Before vetting the application project, make sure you have considered everything related to the application. Depending on the approach you choose for building your app – in-house development or outsourced development – make sure the detailed specification requirements document will be prepared. This document is a critical part of the development project and describes both visible and hidden sides of the app: architecture, structure, functionality, security etc.
Prepare a realistic project plan
Prior to the Yes-to-Go phase, sit with your team and plan everything you anticipate to happen and even not happen during the future project. Allow tolerances to the schedule, deliverables, and even your app functions – you never know how the things may go in a real situation.
But you need to also account for the following:
It means that the reality may be completely different from what you have planned on. However, having a nicely prepared plan will let you know where you were wrong and what could be improved.
Choose the development approach – In-house or Outsourcing
That’s a very-very-very important thing and requires the most serious attention and assessment. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages which we have previously addressed in our blog publications ( Outsourcing: What is It and How to Deal with It ). Your choice depends on your answers to the following questions:
- Do you have enough IT professionals in your team?
- Are they qualified enough to build exactly your app?
- Do you want to get your app ready in a shortest possible time?
If you answer “no” or “not sure” to 2 of these 3 questions, we recommend you to go outsourcing. Outsourcing is a great option to save money and time and also to shuffle off the burden of non-core activities on properly educated and qualified specialists.
Pick up a reliable and loyal outsourcing partner
Another top priority requirement we strongly recommend to follow. Do not be swayed by low prices and short timelines! Do not take for granted promises of potential service providers! Make a research!
There are so many outsourcing development companies now that you may easily be lost choosing who of them is reliable enough to take up your app project. But there are dedicated Internet platforms specializing in providing authentic and reliable information about software development service providers. We believe that the best of such resources is Clutch.co and Crunchbase.com. These platforms care about their reputation and collect only verified companies and reviews about the companies. There are nice sorting and filtering tools which can help you find suitable services providers specializing in needed areas and located in needed places.
Sign detailed contract and non-disclosure agreement
When you found a suitable and sufficiently qualified outsourcing partner to develop you mobile app, demand them to sign properly detailed service contract and non-disclosure agreement. This will help you protect your business-critical information and know-hows from unauthorized dissemination, and will also help your partners get payment for their efforts.
Be sure to participate in the development team setup
If you want to keep track of the activity on your app development project, don’t be afraid and shy of taking an active part in assembling the project team. Ask all CVs and past projects examples from your partner specialists. That’s how you will be able to approximate your involvement in the project performance. And that will also show your partners that your care about their staff and show them attention they deserve.
Don’t try to understand every technical detail on the project
If you don’t have months of spare time, do not attempt to force your outsourcing partner staff to explain every technical nuance to you – everyone should do what he or she is good at. You won’t be able to track everything. Spend this time on what really matters for your business.
Be sure to provide the project designers with your vision of the app
People now love things with eyes, so the more attractive and appropriate design your app has, the more attention and, respectively, the better feedback it gets. Ask the designers to follow the style guides developed for building applications for the platform of your choice. Specifications provided in the SRD and wireframes are okay, but they cannot account for everything.
Establish and participate in regular calls or meetings with the project team
Regular meetings with the project team are a must for making sure everyone is on the same page as regarding the project and its progress. Do not try to copy unsuitable methodologies to manage the project team – Agile/Scrum/etc. won’t work if it is enforced. But make sure that proper reporting procedure is established and followed, and demand strict adherence to the deliverables provision schedule from the project team. You need to know what is what and who is who.
Make sure that proper QA techniques are used
Quality means everything, so keep hand on the pulse of how your app quality assurance procedures are fulfilled. If you know scenarios of your app use, let your partner’s QA people know them to properly test your app for the compliance. Don’t forget about usability testing – your app shouldn’t overcrowded with functions which are used once a year or alike. If you doubt whether any function of the app is needed, discuss it with developers – most likely it is not needed and just wastes application resources.
Visit your outsourcing partner office at least at the project acceptance date
It may happen that your outsourced service provider is located not in your country or region. Despite of this, find some time to visit their office and meet them in person – it significantly improves understanding between partners and promotes strengthening of your relations. Most important is to come to them when the project is completed and it’s time for you to accept it.
Test your app first on your friends or family
Do not publish your mobile app on any app store without testing how it works and how it is received by users. A week or so of closed testing will reveal all bugs and shortcomings of your app, and you will avoid exhaustive post-release bug fixing procedures and save a lot of your nerves.
Throughout the whole path from the app idea creation and up to the app release to production remain positive about the plan and the approaching outcome. If your idea is good, you will have no other way but to achieve success.
If you follow the above procedure when bringing your idea to reality, you will certainly save a lot of resources such as time, labor, and money and avoid a lot of pitfalls occurring here and there on your app development project. If you think you are not that expert in forecasting or planning this process properly, DIGIS is here to serve: we can perform preliminary viability audit of your potential app and analyze your requirements to the app. Our software analysts will dig deep and even deeper to shed light on everything that can be hidden from you from your prospective. We would be happy to help you compile a preliminary plan of your software development and break it down to those milestones and periods which are suitable for you.
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