One of the most common misconceptions in project management is that customers are always right and sticking to their game plan at all costs is imperative. Here’s the thing, though: While customers have their ideas and assumptions regarding how a project should be executed, they aren’t aware of everything that goes into app development.
That’s where you come in.
A good project manager will be able to anticipate the issues that may arise during the development process and manage the client’s expectations.
In this article, you’ll learn how to be proactive in project management by setting clear objectives and communicating clearly with your team members, among other things. And best of all – you’ll get some expert tips on how to cut down the costs of app development along the way!
So, keep on reading to discover our top 10 Project Management tips for mobile app development.
1. Set the Key Details
Before you start developing a mobile app, you have to define the goals you want to achieve. With key details set in place, you can move on to fleshing out the details of your projects.
This includes figuring out things like:
- The project timeline
- Task assignment and team responsibilities
- Risk factors
- App components, features, and visuals
2. Make Sure to Follow Platform Guidelines
Different mobile platforms have different system guidelines. These guidelines are the rules app developers have to follow if they want their app accepted to the app store. Get informed before entering the development stage, as noncompliance can lead to unnecessary and unexpected expenses down the line.
3. Understand Customer Expectations
To ensure that all your team members are working towards the same objective, you’ll need to prioritize project clarity. This means communicating with clients and inquiring about their requirements regarding app development.
For example, you could ask your client for their QA test cases to ensure that your quality tests are up to their standards. In the end, the best way to avoid future mishaps and reduce frequent changes is to have a written document in place, where all customer requirements are clearly defined and listed.
4. Communicate with Your Team
There’s a reason why people say that good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity. In fact, the way you communicate with your team can make or break your product. That’s why our next tip is to invest in good communication software. Project management tools like Trello, Teamly, Asana and Workast can help you organize and track multiple-project tasks, as well as offer a clear overview of your workflow.
Apart from that, you should take your time when deciding about role and responsibility assignments. This will, arguably, be the most important decision-making you’ll do within a project – and taking your time will allow you to get input from your employees and figure out which tasks they’re perfect candidates for.
More importantly, be open to hearing your team’s ideas regarding the app development and the project as a whole. This will not only boost their work morale but help you be proactive about the potential project risks.
5. Consider Outsourcing to Cut Down Costs
Offshore developers tend to have lower hourly rates, so if you’re facing budget constraints, outsourcing the project may be an option worth looking into. On the other hand, expect to face more challenges in communication and to put extra hours into project management tasks.
You can avoid the drawbacks of outsourcing by putting together a couple of requests for proposals (RFP) and collecting offers from different outsourcing vendors.
6. Overlook the Development Process
If you want to ensure that you’re meeting all of your strategic goals, performance tracking is crucial in project management. It is also a great way to track the professional development of your team members, so you can recognize and reward them accordingly. Just be mindful of micromanagement, as it may lead to your team’s burnout, breach of trust, and a loss of sight of the big picture.
7. Inform End Customers about the Latest System Updates
Mobile operating systems are updated frequently, with major updates being conducted up to 3 times a year and minor updates being even more frequent. These updates are meant to improve the user experience and the app security and to increase the efficiency of your app with the introduction of new features. That’s why it’s important that you make your product compatible with the latest updates and inform your end customers about the importance of using the latest software development kits.
8. Ensure the Same User Experience across Different Mobile Operating Systems
To increase the usability of your app, make sure that it runs correctly on both the Android and the iPhone execution environment. After you’re done with the app development, you should conduct mobile device compatibility testing to ensure that all of your customers are having the same user experience.
Just be wary of the costs associated with building two app versions instead of one. Communicate with your team to figure out how to include globally configurable elements into your app, all while making it feel native to both iOS and Android.
Tip: Communicating with your UI team before entering the development stage can help you get the feel of how the app will work and look. It will also allow you to figure out a responsive design that will save you money down the line.
9. Evaluate the Project Results
After following all of the steps above, you should review all the challenges and accomplishments throughout the project. This way, you’ll be able to identify opportunities for improvement and avoid making the same mistakes in future projects.
Sit down with your team and discuss the reasons for not meeting certain milestones or deadlines, listen to their feedback, and be open to learning from it. Then, go on to figure out the best way to address the issues that have risen before deploying the app on the market.
10. Maintain Your App
Your work doesn’t end with the app being deployed to one or more of the available app stores. As users go on to explore the functionalities of your app, they’re bound to leave reviews on things they believe could be improved. And you should listen to them! Releasing new, improved versions of the app will keep it relevant on the market and help increase your ROI.
Tip: To keep your maintenance costs down, consider resorting to simpler codes during your app development phase.
If you want to keep your team focused on delivering real value to the end customer, all while staying within your budget, you need to introduce the process of project management to your project.
Now that you know which steps to take and the key details to consider, you’ll be able to anticipate and mitigate the risks associated with the mobile app development and ensure that you’re meeting all those project milestones you’ve set.
With that said, I’ll end this article with one of my favorite project management quotes by Denis Waitley: “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.”