app development

The basic Principles of project management for App Development

In our world, smartphones and tablets have become commonplace commodities. With their prevalence, more and more apps are being developed for these smart devices, and many companies have started to release app versions of their products that users can constantly have on them. Apps can be developed by companies across all industries. These app developers may be part of large, monolithic companies, or small, nimble start-ups. It’s key to note that strategies for managing app development will differ between these two kinds of companies. For now, let’s explore project management for the small, tight-knit team.

What is project management for app development:

The guiding process behind project management is the basic flow of five phases: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. These five phases can be applied to app development to give us a workflow. In the initiating stage, the idea or concept for the app comes into being, and the requirements are fleshed out by the stakeholders. In the planning phase, we take the specifications laid out in the initiating phase and plan out how the app will be developed in terms of schedule, resources, budget, and scope. The brunt of the management work will happen at this point. Once plans have been documented and confirmed, we can move into the executing phase, which is when the app enters development. During this phase, the project manager needs to monitor the progress and control any risks that may start to look unwieldy. When development and testing are complete, we can deploy the finished app and close out the project, taking note of what went wrong, what could’ve been done better, and discussing strategies for next time in a retrospective meeting. Following these five phases sees the app from the point of ideation to fruition in a reasonable working order.

How to manage your app development the right way:

It may seem narrow and restrictive following the project management workflow, but there is actually some hidden flexibility for creativity in the process. By working out the project schedule, you not only highlight potentially risky points in the timeline, but you can also discover periods in which there is buffer time to experiment and explore implementation options. If planning is done early enough in the life cycle of the app, a research spike can also be worked into the executing phase, which could streamline and benefit the more formal development. A lot of teams follow Agile or Scrum development methodologies, which looks at iterative cycles. We can adapt the project management workflow to match these iterations by defining each iteration as a sub-workflow of planning, executing, then monitoring and controlling. By working in smaller cycles, developer are given the freedom to make mistakes in one iteration, and have the opportunity to correct them or pivot elsewhere in the next iteration.

What you’ll need to succeed:

Defining a project management process that works for your app development is only half the battle. The other half is finding software that is able to handle all of the intricacies and quirks. At its root, OneDesk is project management software, but its feature set extends far beyond that. OneDesk allows you to work at the product level, so you can manage different versions of the product and do release planning. On the client-facing level, OneDesk allows you to bring stakeholders, clients, and customers into the loop, so communications are kept flowing. And at the project level, OneDesk knows that everyone on your team has their own work style, which they account for with different views and visuals of work and task items. For your app development projects, OneDesk can mold to fit your specific needs.

 

Photo Credit : Binary Code / Christiaan Colen / CC BY

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