Creating an app is always an in-depth and intriguing experience. There are so many different apps nowadays; it is especially important to develop a unique app idea that appeals to a large target audience.
However, as we all know, the masterpiece we have in our minds doesn’t always translate to the mobile app developer as easily as we would like. This issue can occur whether you are working with a new app developer or a professional you have known for years.
So, regardless of what type of relationship you have with the mobile app developer taking on your project, you want to know what you need to provide to collaborate on a successful project.
Defining Your Scope of Work
First, you need to define your Scope of Work (SOW), which means you need to have a clear, actionable picture of what your app should look like upon completion.
To do this, you need to supply your mobile app developer with an in-depth list of your overall project goals, target users, methodologies, milestones, and the intricacies of how you envision your application before, during, and after the project’s completion.
Here is a breakdown of the specific aspects your SOW should cover:
Overall Project Goals
The most important aspect of your project’s early discussions includes discussing the core problem that your app will fix. Even if you are creating a game with no other purpose, but for entertainment, your issue is boredom, and your game is the cure.
Whether you are creating an app or a business, the goal is to solve a problem. If you solve that problem with your new entity for enough users, you will find success.
When you present the concept of that app to your mobile app developer, you need to explain the issue you are trying to solve before going any further.
Part of explaining your project goals involves your target users. If there is an issue, you need to find a rough estimate of how many people run into this issue.
Hint: Don’t say, everyone. Again, even if you are creating a game, everyone on the planet will not love your game. (Except maybe if you’re Candy Crush. Everyone did seem to love that game.)
However, when you are creating your app, you want to be realistic about your target market. Who will get the most use out of the app? Is the problem you’re app solves applicable to most of the people in your chosen demographic?
Depending on what your app does will dictate the girth and variety that encompasses your target users.
If there were no budget restrictions, nearly anything would be possible. Unfortunately, budgets are an important reality that defines your app’s capabilities, at least during its creation.
It is vital to have a budget amount that you know you can afford. The worst-case scenario is that you run out of money before the app gets finished. In that case, you have no money and no product.
So, from day one, you need to be realistic about your budget and make that budget clear to your mobile app developer from day one. Being upfront and honest about the budget helps you and the mobile app designer collaborate to decide what is monetarily possible for the project.
Even if the mobile app developer can do anything you want with your app creation, the time and work involved vary drastically, accounting for a difference in price quotes. So, you need to respect that there are elements that might be impossible for your mobile app developer to perform within your budget constraints.
Simultaneously, though, your mobile app developer needs to respect that your budget is not a number your company came to easily, and it is non-negotiable.
Management methodologies are another aspect of your SOW that you should straighten out immediately.
Namely, how much do you want to be involved in the production of the app? To whom should the mobile app developer report?
Thankfully, there are a few tried and true management methodologies to choose from to decide what works best for your company:
- Agile - Create an app that is a new version of a methodology that works. (For example, creating a new Candy Crush-type game.)
- Scrum - Create a self-functioning team to collaborate and show you the finished product.
- Kanban - Create an assembly line of sorts, where everyone has their specific orders, and you request that they update you regularly on their process.
- Lean - Streamline the operation to use the minimum number of resources to produce the quickest result.
- Waterfall - Plan out the entire process and then work through it in stages.
You can use one or more of these management methodologies, but whatever you decide to do, ensure that you present thoroughly within the SOW.
Milestones are also a key aspect of a successful SOW. The app release timeline and urgency are a pivotal part of defining the capabilities and budget needed for the mobile app designer to create the project the way you want it.
To be transparent in this aspect of the SOW, including information about your ideal calendar timeline. Within this timeline, express the amount of time you would like to allow for each phase or milestone.
If possible, add paydays or payment amounts to the calendar to sign good faith during an ongoing project.
Do not be shy when it comes to vital key features.
- Is your app dependant on geolocation?
- Do you need unique or revolving content?
- How do you want your brand to get represented throughout the app?
- How do you plan to make money with the app?
Ultimately, the features of the app are the spice that makes the app unique. It’s unlikely your app is going to be completely revolutionary. To make it successful, you need to develop and implement special key features to solve your cornerstone issues.
Thus, you need your mobile app developer to know every key feature you intend for your app. That way, there should be no surprises for either of you during development.
The design of your app is almost as important as the key features of the app. The app’s design is where your business gets to exact your brand’s image throughout the app.
Using sketches in this section of the SOW is a great way to convey design elements instead of trying to wordsmith your way through a highly visual aspect of the app design.
Apps you like and dislike?
Another great section to showcase your specific preferences is to provide apps that you like and dislike. You need to be clear and concise with your intentions for the app, though. While picking existing apps to highlight as both designs that you like and don’t like, it can be easy to get too far off track.
Ongoing Support and Maintenance
Apps need maintenance and upkeep. So, the final but still vital chapter of your successful SOW is the expectations and capabilities you will have after the app is complete.
This section might need some insight from your mobile app developer. To decide the right amount of support and maintenance going forward, you will need to be upfront with your team’s capabilities and understanding of apps.
Then, listen to what your mobile app developer suggests, and together you can come to a feasible and affordable solution.
Using Your Scope of Work to Find the Right Mobile App Development Partner
A brilliant Scope of Work is worthless if you can’t find the right mobile app development partner. Fortunately, having a brilliant SOW can help you weed out all the developers that are not a good fit for the project simply by presenting it to them.
For the most part, your SOW is not a negotiation. It is a written presentation of your expectations. So, when you present your SOW to potential developers, likely after they’ve signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, their reaction, questions, and hesitations (or enthusiasm) will help you find the right mobile app developer for this project.
Here are some key signs you are dealing with a good mobile app developer for your project:
Excitement for the Project
Of course, no one will love your project as you do, but there is still a level of excitement you should look for when presenting your SOW.
The mobile app developer you choose will create an app. It ultimately will be their creation too. Therefore, they should have a level of genuine excitement and enthusiasm for your project.
If they don’t have that excitement when you sit down to talk to them, it is unlikely they will find excitement throughout the project.
Eager to Share Experiences
Chances are, when you meet the right mobile app developer, they will be proud of their past accomplishments, especially if they align with your project. So, even if they haven’t worked on a project quite like yours, they should still have insight that will help you navigate the best solution for creating each part of the app.
Comfortability with Your SOW
Although your SOW is, for the most part, non-negotiable, you need to be open to the idea that your ideal mobile app developer might have input that improves it.
Remember, you are hiring them for their app creation expertise. So, while comfortability with your SOW means that the developer keeps your budget and overall ideals in mind, it may also mean that they can offer valuable collaboration to smooth out the app’s finer details. Don’t be too stubborn to take their advice.
In summation, the best way to provide your mobile app developer with the best guidance for a successful project is to provide an open and well-thought-out plan. Once you’ve presented your SOW plan, you need to see how each candidate reacts. Their reaction will help you find the best mobile app developer for the job.