Thinking of building your own mobile app? Businesses are now outsourcing design, content, and development needs, a cheaper and more efficient method. In 2016, 72% of businesses worldwide outsourced their IT-related requirements, a number that continues to grow.
Outsourcing cuts down costs significantly, reduce risk, and produce exceptional results. But managing your mobile app development halfway across the globe can be a tall order. To manage the process effectively and maximize the outcome, here are 8 tips:
• Knowing Your Requirements
• Find Relevant Experience
• Ask Questions
• Lay Out Clear Expectations
• Request a Project Plan
• Collaborate with Your Partner
• Communication is Key
1. Setting Requirements
First and foremost, you need to be clear of the value and outcome you want to extract out of the app and thereafter, communicate your requirements clearly to your developer. Hazy expectations can result in a product that doesn’t match up with dissatisfactory performance. Furthermore, the more revisions it demands, the more precious time and money are wasted.
Here are some questions to consider in the initial phase:
• Who is your target audience?
• What’s the purpose of your app?
• What’s the differentiating factor of your app?
• What is the key/other features?
• Is the app free or paid?
• What is the profit strategy?
• Do you want a native or a hybrid app?
2. Pick the Right Development Option
There is no one size fit all for business or app – all is dependent on your requirements and, of course, your budget.
Agencies and specialized firms can guarantee an expert team that delivers with both efficient results and a strategy-focused approach. However, this option tends to be on the costly end, which will not be practical for small businesses running on a tight budget.
Independent/freelance developers are cheaper, but the market research and strategy aspect of the development process are often sacrificed, and are hence better for a less complex app, to execute decent customization and technically sound product.
Other options include offshore developers or firms and using drag-and-drop mobile app builders. While offshore developers offer an attractive rate that is much
The experience and portfolio are the first things we look out for in a developer. However, beyond general experience, looking out for experience relevant to your project will help to determine an even better match.
Such as creating similar apps in the past, experience in working in the same industry, or involved in designing similar solutions in different markets.
4. Remember: Communication is Key
Never underestimate the role of communication, especially when it comes to outsourcing app development. Excellent communication skills and responsiveness are key characteristics to look out for in the decision-making process of choosing the right developer.
A smooth development is maintained by a mutual willingness to ask questions, clear up any confusions, and timely responses to each other.
This leads to fewer mistakes, revisions, costs, and conflicts.
Establish the channels of communication right at the start. Should the developer ask questions through email or chat? Where should they send you the deliverables?
Another common issue clients and developers face is the lack of proactive communication. Anticipate potential points of confusion and attempt to address them before they arise.
Listen to what your partner has to say instead of just dictating them. The communication should be a two-way conversation, with a teammate instead of a mere subordinate.
5. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially for offshore app development relationships. Ask the developer anything and everything that makes you feel comfortable enough to work with them. Ask them to tell you about their experience, if you can see their portfolio and testimonials from previous clients, and even about their work process.
Remember, you need to hire a partner that is responsive and open to communication. If a developer can’t answer your questions properly, it’s a red flag.
6. Set Clear Expectation
Clear expectations ensure that you both know what, why, and when you’re doing it. Unclear expectations will lead to conflicts in the middle of your project, like confusion over payment terms, requirements, revisions, and more that spends both time and money. Some of these have to be determined before even embarking on the project, such as payment terms, deliverables, and the time frame of the project.
7. Request a Project Plan
Ask your developer for a project plan if you’re not crafting one. A timeline helps streamline the development process and break down the project into smaller pieces. Following a series of tasks helps to minimize errors and missed steps, ensuring a smoother completion.
A project plan can be requested from the developers before the commencement of the development, so you can tweak the timeline according to your requirements and send it back. Setting milestones throughout the length of the project might also be helpful to divide workload and payment into manageable chunks.
8. Collaborate with Your Partner
You have to trust in the skills and expertise of your hire – outsourcing is not a one-sided project that promises a magically perfect product.
Let your development partner pitch in their own thoughts, opinions, and suggestions on your strategy and requirements. After all, they likely have more technical expertise than you. They can even help you get rid of irrelevant or unnecessary features that may waste money.
The more you trust the developer with doing the right thing, the more they will feel involved. And that will make them more likely to treat your app as their own and deliver better results.
Each business will come with its unique set of challenges and requirements, and you need to figure out the solutions that work best for you.