10 Things to Plan for Before Developing Your Mobile Application

july 2021

Developing an app is difficult, there’s no denying that.

Many new developers and development companies will jump right into development without the right plan in place. We’ve seen it all too often.

However, this is a huge mistake. Building an app takes time, and without a plan, you may struggle to get your project off the ground.

So, we’ve got you covered. Here are ten things you need to plan for before developing your mobile application.

1. Establish Your Goals

Developing an app before knowing your specific goals is futile. At best, you will delay the process of developing your dream app. The more work you can do by planning out your goals and how your vision for your app can help your business, the smoother the rest of the development stages will be.

It may seem more expensive to add a planning phase, but know that you are simply front-loading costs and saving money overall throughout development.

2. Understand Your Clients/Customers

Your customers and clients will ultimately be using your app, so their input matters greatly, especially when planning out the app. Know pertinent information about your customers and clients like their preferred choice of platform, application features, payment methods, and more. Knowing these things will help you deliver a well-reviewed and well-used app

3. Hire Experts in-House or Outsource

There is no shame in outsourcing to a third-party mobile app development company. Many businesses, both big and small, do it, and so should you. Outsourcing is great if you have tasks to complete but no in-house experts to get the job done.

Non-experts require time to get up to speed. With outsourcing, you remove these learning curves, saving you time and money when developing your apps.

4. Opt for Incremental Changes

While the agile method of software development may be popular, it may not work for you. Instead, consider opting for an incremental methodology like the Spiral method.

Adding changes and reacting to issues with software is expected. Your development methodology needs to reflect that.

5. Gather Your Team

Make sure your project team is well-equipped to complete the required tasks. If you outsource, make sure your team and the outsourced team have clear lines of communication open before starting development.

Nothing is more worrying than implementing change control when your outsource team is in another time zone, and you have to deal with cultural, social, and linguistic barriers while under a deadline. Outsourcing is great, as long as you know how to utilize it effectively.

6. Plan Your MVP

Plan what your minimum viable solution will look like and do before starting development. When will you release your app? Which features are essential, and which can you add later? Are you restricted to a specific time frame?

These and other questions need answering before development, or the release date will keep getting pushed into the future.

7. Consider Your Project Manager’s Abilities and Experience

While your project manager does not need to be able to code at the level of your mobile app developers, they do need to understand development processes. They are leading your team, and this requires a different skill set than simple development. Managers need to manage time and expectations, understand how to motivate the team continually, and reach out to remote or outsourced team members to keep them on track.

And whether you’re a startup where you may be the project manager, product manager, and CEO, or not—make sure your project manager is a good fit for your project goals. For example, a manager that uses Agile methodologies may be suitable for quick and fast projects, but not more extended and more structured projects.

8. Look at the Competition

The chances are that your app will not be unique, even if you are developing for a unique circumstance or platform like Android app development or iOS app development. Look at what your competition is doing. Are there specific features their apps implement? Are they solving a similar issue?

Non-experts require time to get up to speed. With outsourcing, you remove these learning curves, saving you time and money when developing your apps.

9. Consider Your Total Budget & Marketing Costs

The project may not end when you successfully deliver your MVP. If you need to consider ongoing support and maintenance of your app, what equipment, staffing, and money will that require? How will you allocate for these needs in your overall project budget? Is your budget final, or can you add more money to the budget over time?

You also need to consider how much it will cost to market your solution. Early on, you will need to develop content to build brand awareness since potential customers won’t even know you exist yet. Building a website and the supporting marketing pages needed to build brand awareness requires significant time and resources.

10. Understand You Can Always Re-Plan

Sometimes, plans fail. This is normal. However, it is not the end of the world. You can always revisit the planning stage, depending on the issue that occurs. If anything, revisiting the planning stage will make your project more robust and more likely to succeed. Not all variables are known when a project starts. It is OK to tweak a project to meet deadlines and goals, even if your initial and final versions of your app are slightly different.

We can help you plan your next software, web, or mobile project successfully. Reach out to us for a consultation, and start creating your dream app today.