I’m sure you’ve heard it before – smartphones and tablets are on the rise. As of 2016, there were 4.61 billion mobile users globally and this number is forecast to attain 5.07 billion by 2019. As people are becoming more attached to their mobile devices, both enterprises and startups are eager to develop mobile applications to engage with their customers directly. As a result, the number of apps downloads is only growing.
But let’s talk about you. Do you have an idea for a mobile app? Or let’s put it this way: do you know how are you going to develop it? In case you have experienced developers on your team, the answer is more or less clear. But what if you don’t? Then the answer lies in outsourcing. The use of leading technologies and practices, the acceleration of time-to-market, and the expertise that high-quality development teams bring are just a few to name when talking about proper outsourcing.
Sounds appealing. However, before you start searching for a mobile development company, you should know what important factors you have to consider in order to obtain good results. By “good results” we mean the following bonuses:
- the ability to optimize the budget by paying less for higher quality software;
- the access to best capabilities and expertise;
- increased efficiency for time-consuming tasks.
While outsourcing may change your business for better, it comes with many challenges and obstacles. The biggest one is to find the professional mobile app development company. Or, we should say, the right one for you. The best way to identify your partner is looking for a company putting complete efforts into understanding your requirements and developing the app accordingly.
Step 1 – The App’s Concept
Without any doubt, the first thing for you to do is to fill in the questionnaire covering all the important aspects which are substantial during the pre-development stage. Make a list of your ideas (thus, you won’t forget anything), validate them on paper and provide developers with a clear summary so they can come up with an estimate. The most common questions at this stage are these:
- Describe the mobile application concept.
- What are the main business goals the application should help to reach?
- What platforms do you want your app to run on? (IOS / Android, IOS – iPhone, OS – iPad, Android smartphone, Android tablet)
- Who is the app to be aimed at? Describe your target audience.
- What’s the concept for the app? Do you have any creative/design specifications for the application?
Of course, there are more questions to consider. Check out the rest of them (and even download a special questionnaire) in this article.
Step 2 – Looking for Mr. Right
You should always pay attention to the quality of outsourcing. Strictly speaking, when contacting your potential partner, you should never consider their price proposal as the main competitive advantage. Just make a small research about it and you’ll see that way too often negative reviews contain two notions “they declared the lowest prices in the industry” and “we got unsatisfying results“.
This means that you will have to pay a lot more than expected just to redo everything in the right way. What about being frustrated to the core? No one will be happy to deal with that. To avoid this unpleasant situation, concentrate on your partner’s corporate values. Be sure to find out what technological innovation and expertise can your technological ally bring to your project.
Take the time to evaluate best matching candidates until you find the perfect developer to complete the job. Try to find a company which is hiring versatile developers. It has a real significance because every problem should be approached in a different way. Companies using only one technology will approach the issue from their tech stack’s perspective, which sometimes may lead to wrong development decisions.
Step 3 – Are We on the Same Page?
At this stage, there are two things to pay attention to. The first one is that you have to choose a company that fully understands your business goals. The second one is that your technological partner shouldn’t have any cultural gaps with you.
Undoubtedly, the effective communication is an essential part in the process of outsourcing apps development. No language barrier should be an obstacle in the course of your communications. As they say, the truth lies in the details. If neglected, the risk of getting poor end results is only growing. The problems in communication may not be evident until it’s too late, so it’s smart to make sure you’re on the same page. Alternatively, you can use a small trial project to test how closely the deliverables match your requirements. At this stage, an experienced Project Manager (aka PM) is your best friend. Be sure that your PM is the one who has deep technical knowledge and can assist you with issues that may occur during the development.
As of today, more and more entrepreneurs tend to choose companies from Eastern Europe, as local developers offer good prices, quality and are strict to deadlines.
Step 4 – Project Scope
Once you’ve signed the contract (and it is a must-have element in your relationship with the company, be attentive), your technical partner will start working on your app. The common question here is “How long will it take to develop my app?” While there’s no general rule, the most common answer is about 4-6 months. To get things done properly, you should discuss a number of deadlines for specific milestones of the project. Setting up project milestones lets you track the progress of outsourcing company’s efforts and gives you an idea of project completion.
From your part, the key concern during this part of the process is to keep in touch with the team on a daily, maximum weekly basis. During stand up meetings, developers should give you a demonstration of their progress, explain various features, and give you an opportunity to try out your app. And the final piece of advice: don’t rush simply because you want to get your project completed. Remember that proper project requirements and patience result in a successful and satisfactory project completion.
We’ll be glad to answer all your questions about the process of an app development (no obligations :)) or share your experience of working with an app development company. Feel free to leave them in the comments or drop us a line here.