A CEO’s Guide to Developing a Mobile Application

3 min read
Jan 31, 2020

Developing a mobile application can be a gruelling task. From idea to launch, many steps could be points of failure. And, the journey to develop a mobile app doesn’t end upon launch. To successfully develop and launch a mobile application while simultaneously running your business can be a challenge. Keeping the project under control from start to finish will require a well thought out plan and a structured methodology of implementation.

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Fortunately, some steps can be taken to mitigate the chaos that seeps into uncontrolled projects. This is where a mobile application development process comes in. Following five clearly defined project management steps to develop an app can help you successfully design and launch your application. 

1. The Why and the What: Conception & Initiation

Initiating your app development project should be done systematically. Writing out the business case documentation that answers why you need the app and what it does ensures a unified vision for the project. This documentation justifies the need for the mobile app, and it lists the potential value that the app will generate. Essentially, this acts as the foundation of the entire process of how to develop a mobile app. If you can invest in a feasibility study as well, this can help you avoid finding out the project is not possible halfway through. 

2. The How of Developing a Mobile App: Project Planning 

Once you have defined your applications feature scope, you should begin creating the documentation that segments the development of the app into individual deliverables. In the mobile applications development process, this serves as the initial requirements for the plan that takes those deliverables and identifies the MVP (minimum viable product) that is developed first. The project plan, in its entirety, will give the development and management teams a clear direction for how to develop the mobile application so that it meets functional, quality, and budgetary expectations. 

3. The Action: Project Execution 

Once the groundwork is done, it is time to get to the fun part of the mobile application development process. In the project execution stage, the development team will handle the design. This is the step of developing an app where the deliverables are built and verified. 

Frequently in a software development project, at this point, the process is managed using agile methodologies. This includes multiple sprints in which a usable feature is delivered each time. 

The execution phase is incredibly dependent on the previous two steps in order to develop an app that’s reliable and user-friendly. Rushing into execution without the project scope fully imagined and documented is a recipe for disaster. That said, it is also important to enter this stage with a willingness to be flexible and incorporate new information as you encounter it. That is why steps 3 and 4 are tied so closely together.

4. The Management: Monitoring & Controlling How to Develop a Mobile App

Monitoring and controlling are tied together with the project execution and will coincide. As your team is working to develop the mobile app, you will discover opportunities and limitations that can drastically alter the project scope. Making sure these changes and their time and budgetary impacts are managed effectively will be the difference between a successful project and one that either fails or exceeds approved constraints. Ensuring a rigid change approval and control process is implemented and enforced will allow you to achieve a balance between flexibility and control in the mobile application development process. 

5. The End of the Beginning: Final Steps to Develop an App

Once you have completed the development of your mobile application and have launched it to the relative app stores, there is some critical follow-up work that should be completed before you can walk away. The work isn’t over yet in the process of how to develop a mobile application. Collecting the documentation that lists the variations in the expected budget, time, and scope expected versus the actual results is incredibly important for improving future projects. 

This step is vital in the project management life cycle because it will allow you to analyze the source of unexpected challenges and account for the next time. This documentation can be used as a guide for any time in the future that you develop a mobile app and will save you time on the initial stages of that project. 

Understanding How to Develop a Mobile Application is a Team Effort

All leaders know that putting the right people in place and guiding them toward achieving the company’s mission is a full-time job. Partnering with app developers that know how to develop mobile apps for business can be an incredible resource that saves both time and money. The goal of every project is to bring value to the business and to the customers. The right partner can make all the difference in ensuring that goal is achieved.

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