A Starting Guide for Ambitious Mobile App Strategists
Things seem to be simple: you hire a developer or even a team of developers, wait until they provide you with a required mobile application, and… Success? Not really. Sure, it’s still possible, but software development is something more than blind sticking to the requirements. Requirements are essential, but the strategy is extremely important too.
Everyone knows what the word “strategy” means. It’s a right sequence of actions which leads you and your project to the success. In the world of software development this word has virtually the same meaning, just with some extra features and benefits. And we are here to tell you more about strategic mobile app development.
A Short To-do List Before Outlining A Smart Strategy
1. Think positive.
Before making serious decisions, start with positive thinking. Developing a strategy is a process you can deal with. You may face certain difficulties, but this challenge is still manageable. Ocean’s Eleven developed an amazing plan and pulled off a legendary robbery, and that was a much more complicated task. That’s only a movie, but still… So no worries, you can create a strategy for your mobile application.
2. Say “no” to uncertainty.
Your strategy must be clear, so get rid of all vague points. For instance, how are you going to validate your idea and align it with the market? Planning to do it prior or after the MVP release affects your resource allocation and the project roadmap, so this point must be absolutely clear.
3. Put the team together.
Obviously, mobile app development is on developers, but creating a strategy requires more professionals to be involved in the process. You won’t get a really effective strategy without collaboration, so don’t forget to invite these people to join the team:
- A business strategist will help to make sure that your future mobile application won’t be contrary to your overall business goals;
- An operations lead will do the same in terms of operations goals;
- An IT mobile development lead will provide the essential development context: technology purchasing, security, and so on;
- Any mobile app needs marketing, so it is extremely important to have a marketing expert on your team. Besides, this person will also help to incorporate the latest marketing initiatives.
This is not the end of the list, but these professionals can really augment your team. Remember, it’s difficult for one person to change the world, but a team of experts can do this.
4. Think about your budget and deadlines.
Budget and deadlines are among the most important things to consider when developing a strategy. So, do you have any limits? What are you going to include in the MVP (Minimum Viable Product)? Will you have to sacrifice any features of your app in order to release its working version as soon as possible? Don’t forget to answer these questions, otherwise, your strategy will be as useful as, for instance, a shopping list.
There are several more things to keep in mind. First of all, the first version of your app can fail. The second can fail too. And so on. If done smart, failing won’t hit your budget noticeably, but will provide crucial feedback for further product enhancement. Then, think about the project management. Do you need it? If yes, you will have to add an extra line to your budget. Finally, the pace of development highly depends on the team size, so this is really great if you have a flexible outsourced team.
5. Conduct a research.
Find out what mobile apps your competitors develop. What promises do they make? Are their users satisfied with these apps? The results of your research will help you to identify your competitive advantages and to know your competitors better.
But what to do in case you have no direct competitors? Well, create the list of keywords and conduct the keyword research. In this way, you will understand if users look for something like your app. Then, start with something small - create a landing page. It will help you to attract users even before you release the app. Clearly, this will work only in case your landing page is really cool.
6. Consider the team capabilities.
Here is another important question - how will you deal with the actual development of your application? To answer it, think about the capabilities of your team. For instance, do they have enough experience and skills or is it better to cooperate with outside partners? If you skip this point, you may face a lot of delays and problems.
It is also important to decide what tools to use. For example, what would you prefer in case you are developing an Android app? Java? Kotlin? Or will you simply go for React Native? This decision will influence the planning process and the project roadmap.
Top 3 Things That Make a Perfect Strategy
Okay, now you are more or less ready to create a mobile app development strategy. That’s great, but there are several more things to keep in mind.
User experience design is an important part of any mobile app, and we recommend you to think it through before launching the development process. Besides, make sure that your designer will also conduct a research — it will help to develop a really great and special concept. Having these steps in your strategy is a guarantee of an eye-catching design.
2. Agile methodologies.
Agile is a very popular thing nowadays, but most teams don’t even suspect that they use it in a wrong way. As a result, they are “awarded” with missed deadlines and failed strategies. Remember, Agile is not only about sprints and retrospective meetings — it also involves team communication, good team structure, paying attention to users’ feedback, and other important things. Think about them in advance. It is much easier than trying to fix everything right on the fly.
3. Measuring the success.
Sorry, but you can’t really exhale after your app is released — you will also have to measure its success. And you will have to do this continuously, otherwise, it will be impossible to develop your further steps. Think about how you will measure the success of your app. There are a lot of potential problems: the loading speed, unclear handling, simple glitches… Fortunately, we have already written a post about platforms which can help you to monitor the problems - go ahead and use them!
A Bit of Numbers and a Short Conclusion
We know, developing a strategy for your mobile application may seem to be a pretty complicated challenge. It requires a special vision of the market and at least a bit of experience. But please, pay due attention to the strategy development and think of all the details. A well-developed strategy is a key to success, so that you will do everything on time and use your resources wisely. And this is very important because the competition in the world of mobile apps is severe.
Statista, a famous statistics portal, says that at the end of 2017 5,959 new Android apps were released every day. That’s why strategic mobile app development benefits so much - it can help your app to stand out from the crowd and succeed. And now you know where to start.