Work Hard or Go Home: Mobile Development Strategy

August 22nd, 2016

Mobile / Product Development / Wiki // Natalie

Mobile Development Strategy

Many clients come with the need of a fast Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that has to include all the platforms and all the features and the preferred launch date is “Yesterday”. To make sure everyone is pleased and content with the result, strategic and tactical plans come into play that allows us to go through all stages in the short period of time and without losing quality and money.

What is absolutely required for the strategy to work is a strong team building spirit and a considerable amount of quick decisions. This is the only way to make it work and get the project together.

How do we do it?

One of the first tasks for the project manager is to help the client understand and narrow down the major features in the MVP version of the app, those features without which the product just won’t do what it is supposed to. One of the conveniences of narrowing down features is that you can release updates to your app, stimulating the interest in your customers, because new features become available.

If the decision to add all features right away remains, the strategy of a leader / lead-out sprinter is the most comfortable for the working process. I found out that this strategy actually comes from Tour de France cyclists, although we have used it earlier in developing real projects. It really works well and can be applied in various fields of life and work.

Check out the video of how the Tour de France people do it.

How to apply this strategy in app development?

The essence of the strategy is choosing a leading strong developer who is the pioneer in figuring out the challenges of the product, which might include incorrect API, unclear logic in the technical specification, and other things that have to be done.

The decision for who the Lead Developer will be lies on the shoulders of the Project Manager, who knows his / her team as well the palm of his / her hand. Oftentimes, it doesn’t matter what platform is the “leading” one - it can be Android, iOS, or Windows Phone, as long as the developer knows his work well. The Lead-out Sprinter developer is usually someone on whom the PM can rely on and who goes in tune with the Lead developer.

The leader heads up the team, “riding” in front, and representing the entire team. That, however, doesn’t mean that all the other developers are forgotten and don’t really matter. They are accumulating energy to perform their best, helping each other and enjoying the benefits of not having to do the same job twice since the lead developer has worked most of the kinks out of API, in-app logic, etc.

By the time the project is nearing its finish (or one of the milestones, in case there are several stages), the lead developer and his team are lining up - the leader can relax some because he has worked hard in the beginning while the sprinter is catching up and finishing all his tasks. Ta-da, all the required platforms are ready at the deadline time (as you can see in the picture below).

From our experience, this strategy saves a lot of time, money, and relationships because of every project’s member - from the client to developers to quality assurance engineers - are on the same page and know where the project is going.

According to analysts’ forecast (and we don’t even really need analysts for that), the market for mobile applications is growing in geometrical progression, which means that more and more often we would have to approach app development aggressively and with a clear strategy on how to do it quickly and efficiently.

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Author: Natalie

Natalie is a Project Manager who is a great team leader for her mobile development team. She is an expert when it comes to iOS and Android development and to building apps that win markets.

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