Building a minimum viable product (MVP) has become standard practice in the two decades since the approach was first defined. The benefits of...
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that developing an app can be complicated. Wrangling people, deadlines, and budgets in perfect harmony requires skill. (And, yes, a bit of luck). With app development project management, most conversations center on methodology—for good reason. Development methodologies can make or break your project.
There are several development methodologies used to manage software builds. Each can be useful. Some popular approaches include waterfall, agile, lean, and scrum development methodologies.
Waterfall has a rigid structure of several phases that progress one after the next. It’s a straightforward approach. The waterfall method tends to be great for clearly defined projects, but it’s not as well-suited to long-term projects or ones with uncertain parameters.
Agile differs from waterfall in that it’s more cross-functional from the get-go. Software built with an agile methodology will be released quickly but will undergo frequent improvement cycles. It’s best for small teams and projects where the end product isn’t fully defined.
Lean refers to a bare-bones software development approach where reaching a minimally viable product (MVP) as quickly as possible is the goal. This approach leaves room for improvements based on user testing. The team is critical in this methodology, making it difficult to scale.
Scrum is an agile framework that completes development phases and improvement cycles in sprints. It’s efficient and iterative, making it a popular choice for longer, sustained projects. There are a few dedicated oversight roles in a scrum approach, so bringing in new team members can be challenging.
While the methodology is important to app development, project management is just as crucial to a build’s success. In this post, we share our perspective on why project management for app development matters and the project management essentials that we use to produce top-quality apps on time and on budget.
Having a thorough project management process that supports your software development methodology has three key benefits.
Project management for app development is both an art and a science. We have learned over the years that each of the following elements is foundational for a successful project.
One of the most critical aspects of project management is being consistent. Effective project management requires a disciplined approach. (In fact, we’ve found this is even more important than the development methodology used.) There will always be a multitude of issues that arise. Without a disciplined approach, a project can “go off the rails” quickly—either because people get excited and want to start on a step too soon, or because delays were not planned for and cause problems.
Another important aspect of effective project management is clear and detailed two-way communication. Everyone involved with a project has a wide range of skill sets, and everyone looks at things from a slightly different perspective. We all sometimes speak own language while working on software development projects, falling into jargon or simply assuming someone understands what we mean when they don’t. So every project must have a focus on communication. And documenting agreements ensures that miscommunication remains at bay.
Breaking down tasks into actionable parts is critical to get a complex project completed on time. There’s no better way to understand a project than to break it down into its smallest tasks. This activity helps to provide clarity to each member of the team so everyone knows exactly who is responsible for what and when each task is due.
To successfully and efficiently execute a project, you need to make use of tools. Many activities happen simultaneously when an app is being built, and it’s essential for those activities to come together seamlessly. Tools help you with internal and external communication, issue and time tracking, documentation, resource allocation planning, and task management. After many years of testing various options, we’ve landed on the following collection of project management tools.
These tools are our go-to to keep all the project stakeholders in the loop, whether they’re in the office or across the globe.
Just one Google search will show you there are dozens of options for managing project tasks. These two tools happen to be our favorite because of how intuitive and customizable they are.
Managing budgets, people, and all the moving parts that go into an app can get messy quickly, so we lean on our favorite resource management tools to keep all our t’s crossed and i’s dotted.
Hiring a dedicated development team might just be one of the best and most effective app development project management choices you can make. Building an in-house development team is often expensive and time-consuming. A dedicated development team, by contrast, can devote a set amount of hours exclusively to your project, with a complete roster of experienced specialists. From project managers and software engineers to quality assurance (QA) specialists and UX/UI designers, you’ll have the flexibility and talent you need to get your project done the right way.
No successful app gets built without effective project management. Project management ensures that the app is built precisely to specifications, handles any necessary changes efficiently along the way, and keeps the budget and timeline as tight as possible. Over the dozens of apps we’ve built and projects we’ve managed, we’ve honed a process that we have confidence in and our clients appreciate.
Considering creating an app? Reach out to learn more about how we help clients build successful apps. Get in touch.
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