Developing a mobile app involves investing a significant amount of time and money.
However, investing these resources in/Project Management always takes the backseat regarding app development success. You need efficient and effective IT project advisory to keep your project on track and help ensure you have:
- A clear project scope
- A definite project timeframe
- Sufficient budget
- The necessary equipment, technology, and human resources
If you plan to develop an enterprise app for your company’s use or as software to sell as a service to other enterprises, follow these key steps.
Table of Contents
1. Identify a problem
There are problems everywhere you turn. The most successful entrepreneurs find novel solutions to everyday problems.
Find a problem that an app can solve. It can be a persistent inconvenience you encounter while working on mundane tasks. Once you have gathered enough ideas, review the list and see what solutions you can think of for each. You can then make a short list of problems you can solve with an app.
2. Verify the demand
Once you have decided on an app idea, confirm if there is a demand for your particular app. Use Google Keyword Planner and other similar tools to see if people are interested in what you are planning to build.
Browse through the app stores as well. Apple’s App Store alone has 1.6 million apps, while the Google Play Store has more than twice that number (source: Statista, Q3 2023).
With so many apps on the market, it is unlikely that your app will be unique. However, you can use the information you’ve collected to see if features are missing on existing apps that your app can provide.
Pro tip: You can engage the services of feasibility study consultants. They can perform demand analysis in the course of studying the feasibility of your mobile app.
3. Think small
Comprehensive apps take a long time to complete and might drain your company’s finances. Instead of developing an app that can do everything, focus on providing a straightforward solution to a single problem.
For instance, if you’re planning a productivity-enhancing app for employees, focus on one complex workflow or process your app can simplify. Even if your app can solve only one problem initially, it should do that one thing well.
It would be fantastic if your app could provide a straightforward solution to an old problem. Your app would not be a mere improvement but a drastically new way of doing something. That’s a recipe for disruption.
4. Go into the details
Once you have an idea of the demand, it is time to figure out how your app will work and its features. Include as much detail as you can on what your app can do and what the experience will be like for your users. You can use a wireframing or storyboard tool to accomplish this.
Try to remove features that are not critical. Features “nice to have” can be added later as updates. Keeping the app essential initially will help control app development costs and quickly release your app to the market.
5. Talk to your market
Reach out to your target users. Talk to that market segment if you are building an app for a particular demographic. Present your idea to them to see what they think. Better yet, conduct focus-group discussions (FGD) with members of your target market; your business consultants can help you with this.
Ask your FGD subjects if your app is something they would be willing to purchase and how much they would pay. They may be already using something similar; learn what apps these are. Find out what would encourage them to download your app.
When you present your idea, think about what makes it unique. There may be plenty of similar apps on the market, but how your app changes and enhances the user experience can make your app memorable to its users. Present it in such a way that they can easily understand.
Explaining what your app can do will help prepare you for when it’s time to promote it.
6. Think about your business model
Consider how your app will make money. For most businesses, 90 percent of the revenue comes from in-app purchases. You can monetize through in-app ads if you don’t want to sell upgrades and features. You may also implement an entirely different business model.
7. Pick your app development team
The people you choose to work on developing your app can significantly impact the result. Pick well, and you’ll get a solid, well-made app within budget and schedule.
You have two options here: hire in-house or outsource. Outsourcing has distinct benefits. Pick this if you want the cost-savings and capabilities you can get with outsourcing.
If you want peace of mind to go with the cost savings and capability-building of outsourcing, ensure you put an IT project advisor on top of your project team.
Tips for App Development Success
When building an app, you must be clear on your idea, particularly the problem the app solves and the solution it offers. You want to be sure it has demand and a transparent business model.
Note that app development is an ongoing process. Even upon release and marketing, no app can be considered truly complete. Keep gathering data from your market and users. See what they think, and use the data to continue to develop and improve your app. Continually working to enhance the user experience will improve your app, expand its user base, and increase its likelihood of survival.
Most importantly, make sure your project has oversight from conception to launch. You must engage the services of an IT project advisor so you can keep a handle on your app development project and increase the likelihood of successful completion.
Ratheesh C. Ravindranathan is the Managing Partner at Affinity, a comprehensive advisory services firm assisting clients in the UAE and worldwide with IT, risk, and management consulting solutions. Being a specialist FinTech professional with over 20 years of experience, an MBA in Information Systems Management, an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP), and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Ratheesh is an expert at guiding through your business's digital transformation journey, Independent ERP Advisory, and Transaction Advisory for various M&As in this region.