Mobile app development projects and processes involving mobile technologies are based on general principles of management in the field of information technology. Very often most of the classical methodologies and approaches cannot be used on such projects. They have their own characteristics both in management and in doing business in this field. Below, we will describe the main stages of implementing a mobile app development project.
Stages of Mobile App Development Process
In order to create a top-notch application, you need to do a lot of preparatory work first. In most cases, the process begins with drawing up a mobile app development project plan which starts with a discussion and analysis of the client’s idea. Since the behavior of a modern user of Internet technologies has changed dramatically over the past few years, it is necessary to check the value and relevance of the idea. Answer the following questions:
- Does the market need another application of this kind?
- How is it going to differ from other similar apps?
- How to carve your niche in the app markets?
- Who is your target audience?
- How to make a product relevant to users?
Mobile app development project management is a huge responsibility. Researching app markets and the needs of your target audience will help you start its implementation smoothly.
Check out similar applications, rate, and use them. Read user comments, take into account their wishes. Select popular analogs and analyze them, survey the users. These are simple steps to building a quality mobile app that will help you define the features and characteristics that will differentiate your application, and make it successful.
Defining Target Audience
You need to clearly define who the client is. Typically, marketers at this stage create a descriptive portrait of the target audience or the so-called “customer avatar”. There may be several such portraits if you have several client groups that differ in their characteristics. Usually, experts use the following criteria to detail the description:
- What hobbies do they have?
- What fears and concerns does your client have before they buy your product or service?
- What consequences of buying the product are they afraid of?
- What is the ideal result of the purchase of a product or service they want?
- How will this improve their lives and make them happier?
This knowledge about a potential client will help come up with arguments that will make him/her press the download button without a shadow of a doubt.
Choosing a Platform
Nowadays, different device models and operating systems are constantly being improved and changed. It is necessary to define the functions that will be incorporated into an app, taking into account the available mobile platforms and their capabilities. In any case, it is the client’s task to decide which platform to choose for mobile app development, but it is the company’s job to explain the advantages and disadvantages of mobile operating systems to the client.
Analysis of Requirements
Analysis of requirements is a very variable part of the work and requires much engagement from the development team. Even if you have an idea of an app, you may not realize what you may get using mobile app development services in terms of advanced features and security. This specifically relates to startups that sometimes lack experience to assess their needs.
Thus, it is the member of the mobile developers’ team who assumes responsibility to increase the understanding of the needs and opportunities. This is a vital aspect to envision in the mobile app development project plan. Managers need to use various techniques to help clients see the purpose of work at the earliest possible stages of cooperation.
The mobile application development process involves the creation of graphic elements for the entire application – screens, background images of tabs, an image for the main screen, headers for individual pages. After the design concept is approved, internal buttons and icons are drawn, as well as all other graphic elements. As a rule, drawing the design of a mobile application involves usability research in order to make sure that the developed design concept is simple and convenient and will help users to solve the assigned tasks as quickly as possible.
Mobile apps are a great fit for prototyping. There are many online web services and desktop tools for this. In conditions when you have no clear expectations, prototyping minimizes a large number of problems, as it will help you understand the requirements and make adjustments and additions to the technical task. An important point about prototyping is that it can be done by a qualified project manager, not a developer. In the future, this saves the developer’s time to understand the task and speeds up the work.
One of the important steps in the mobile app development plan is calculating all future expenditures. The increase in scope of development of mobile solutions drives the cost of bringing the app to the market. Thus, be sure to explain your needs and constraints rights to accurately manage mobile app development costs. To avoid excessive expenses on desirable, yet not core features, consider developing the MVP first.
Creation of MVP
The minimum viable product (MVP) is the first version of the application with the most important features. It is developed to a specific budget and development time. Why develop MVP? In order to get a high-quality working solution, you test it on the target audience, determine what needs to be improved and what functions to introduce next. These vital MVP advantages help you match the market need and get better return on investment.
Development and Testing
The next step in carrying out mobile app development projects is development itself and testing. At this phase, bugs and shortcomings are identified and fixed and the product is stabilized: everything is brought into perfect working condition for release. Mobile app testing usually takes about a month, so it can be time-consuming for mobile app development mini projects.
Mobile applications are mainly distributed through specialized online stores. The verification is required in both Apple Store and Play Market, either for enterprise mobile apps developed for internal use, or customer-facing e-commerce applications. For the later, online stores have opportunities for advertising and promotion, along with various schemes for monetizing applications. Knowledge of the rules and principles of the shops’ operation is very important: it gives the opportunity to increase the chances for a successful market entry.
Support and Maintenance
Your job doesn’t end with the release of the product. It’s further support and maintenance is an important stage in the application’s life cycle management. Due to the fact that the mobile application market is developing very dynamically, device OS updates occur quite often, which require fixes and additional features to the application. It is also necessary to determine an effective system for collecting statistics and data on user behavior in the application, tracking bugs, and improving the product based on this information.
How to Get Mobile App Development Projects Done: Tips for Project Managers
The project manager guides the process of mobile app creation, but this is far not the only obligation lying on their shoulders. A good professional should know how to organize simultaneous teamwork on the application which requires a clear vision of what each of the team members should do, and how to combine their work with the work of another specialist. Each of the company’s employees must be able to easily switch between completely different tasks and complete them on time.
Besides full team involvement, the key to perfect results lies in the use of the right project management tools. Constant communication with the client and coordination of tasks at each stage allows you to shorten the development time and create a high-quality application.
Another vital aspect is to choose the right project management model. Mobile app development is not a linear process. Often, you have to return to the previous stages of work, to finish and redo certain points. This is why Agile methodology is a perfect fit for most mobile app development projects. This methodology provides flexibility in workflow and communication. The necessary changes in the course of the mobile app development are made easily and painlessly, and the customer gets direct access to each team member.
The mobile app development project management is a multifaceted and interesting job that requires not only knowledge and application of accepted principles of software development, but also has its own characteristics. Its successful implementation requires an experienced mobile app development project manager.
The mobile app development project plan template can help carry out even the most complicated task. And you find yourself in the need of a professional team to help you at each stage of the development, SwagSoft is at your service. We are a mobile app development company based in Singapore that provides a full range of services – app and game development, VR and AR creation, and iBeacon technology. Reach out to discuss your project.