6 Steps to Prepare For App Development Project

So you’re thinking of having a mobile application built for your company. That’s great, mobile is hot and everyone expects a company to have an app. It’s also true, Smartphones are changing the way a business interacts with customers and employees.

The better prepared you are before starting a mobile app development project, the more successful it will be.

Here’s what you should expect and a few steps to prepare you for a successful development process with your developer or development firm.

1 - Getting an Estimate



No doubt you know what your ideal mobile app should do. However, unless you have a clear requirements or detailed feature list, it’s too early to get a mobile app development estimate.

Here’s why. If you take your idea to 3 app development firms, have them sign an NDA, then discuss your app, you will come away with three different quotes and three different levels of understanding what the app goals are.

The more detailed your requirements the more likely you will get quotes that are apples-to-apples.

2 - Be Prepared



What should a bare bones requirements document look like? At the very least it should list all the features you would like in the app in priority order. A User-story or two describing how a typical user would use a key feature of the app is also great.

A good app development firm can help you create a quick and simple requirements doc with User-stories. Payment can be arranged without a contract and does not require you to go with that development firm for the development of the app.

Lastly, ask the firm to “Restate Your Goals”. You will be surprised how many get it wrong, even after talking to you at length about your project.

3 - Consider MVP



The biggest mistake we see is a client that wants everything but the kitchen sink in version 1.0 of the app. A Minimum Viable Product is a superb approach to app development. That’s not to say other features should be left out. They should just be targeted after release or at least after the MVP milestone has been reached.

A typical mobile app development process goes something like this: (Info graphic needed) Milestone 1, 2, 3 – MVP – Release.

However, it could also proceed like this: Milestone 1, 2, 3 – MVP reached, Milestone 4, 5 – Release.

4 - Control of Source Code



Ask for access to the source code early. In the case of Groove Development, we use private GitHub repos and we add the client as a collaborator at the start of the project. This means the client can at anytime save a copy of their source code. This brings up another important point. Make sure the development contract spells out who owns the source code. Hopefully, this will never be an issue for you, but it’s best to have it spelled out, just in case.

5 - Set Milestones, but get Status Reports as well



Milestones are an essential part of the mobile app development process. If done right, you should be able to see the app progressing along and be able to signoff on agreed upon progress stages. Status reports allow you to predict how well the next milestone step is coming along.

6 - Check references



Before signing a contract to develop an app, call a few references. You should know that most references will be good, otherwise the developer or development firm would not have offered them up. But you can get a lot of useful information other than the standard replies.
  • Was the developer helpful in creating the requirements document, wireframes, etc.?
  • Did the developer make useful suggestions to make the app better? Where all milestones met on time?
  • Was the developer easy to reach throughout the entire process?
  • Does the developer maintain the app and cloud-based app server?
I hope these mobile app development tips are useful.

Good luck with you development process.

-- Groove Development, LLC