Hire an app developer
Hiring an app developer isn’t easy…
It seems to be a simple process. Perhaps they will go something like this:
- I will get a quote from each of these companies and individuals
- I will accept the one that produces the best Statement of Work (specifications under contract) and price
- I will have my app and be on my way to taking over my space
These all seem reasonable and your end goal should be to create an industry leading app. However, the actual process is much more complicated & is basically impossible for someone that can’t code. So, let’s see just why these fail, one-by-one. Don’t take our word for it, even Gartner says agile app development is essential for mobile app development.
I will get a quote from each of these companies and individuals
This is by far the most misunderstood part of the process. If you are looking for a traditional quote there are MANY things that are going to be impacted by this decision, if they aren’t utilizing agile techniques. The way firms give traditional quotes is to first copile all of the features they think you are asking for and, the best ones, collaborate
with you to make sure they understand your whole app idea. You will need to make plans, explain things, find out details that non-technical people wouldn’t even think to include, like how long the Splash Screen should be shown (or even IF it should be, there is philosophy behind both).
You want login? Well, that could imply many other things, such as profiles, gathering and storing of the information you are gleaning (at the very least it will be Username/Email & password). You also probabl
y want to have a way for people to reset their password if needed, that’s more functionality aka cost.
Back to our hypothetical quote we received, depending on how much detail they get, this could take weeks or even months with many mockups and other talks
coming in between, time that could be spent developing the app & more importantly validating your assumptions. After they have this detail down, they will generate a statement of work, specifications list, or something similar. In this document, they will try to detail the app you’ve talked about and then, deep in the recesses, have language that stipulates it is the functionality you are after, or they are only limited in their liability, or other dubious statements. These aren’t added because they are (necessarily) underhanded in their practices, but because the development they need to assume will always be higher to account for the worst case scenario when visions are completely off, it is very hard to avoid in the old, “Waterfall” development style most employ in the development outsourcing market.
I will accept the one that produces the best Statement of Work (specifications under contract) and price
A statement of work, specification list, or something similar is what outlines the work to be performed, basically it is the contract between you and the development firm or individual. The only problem with this approach is that the needs of your app will be ever-changing. First, it is expensive to develop apps and every hour of development should be used to bring value, not perceived value. This requires you to develop “early and often”, which is the motto of agile development.
Why spend thousands of dollars and multiple months developing features that users won’t want?
Agile app development focuses instead on fast & often updates that bring only the core value (MVP) & evolving the app to make the users happy enough to use their app, invite their friends, and become your first steps to virality and scale. As you build the app, your users will go to certain places more than others. Did you know that instagram started as Burbn, an app to checkin and share photos. As you can tell, they pivoted to what users were wanting and it worked out pretty well ($1,000,000,000’s worth of well) for them and many others that have put the user at the center of their development efforts. Agile development works and there are tons of examples of it working. However, to employ all the experts is costly and is actually why we developed our style of development.
For our team, replacing this statement of work with a backlog gives the non-technical person on the team (our members in our case) complete control of their budget & predictability in their software delivery. Our tiered pricing also allows for scaling of costs as budgets constrict and expand, all with complete transparency into what that will do to your user’s experience. This way, you don’t build things you don’t want. On top of this, those “worst case scenarios” the firm or person you picked gave you are all avoidable with these agile techniques. Signup free and talk to us!
I will have my app and be on my way to taking over my space
Big dreams are what drive innovation, but you need to plan and learn from experience. The app, if developed most effectively, will be in MVP form and then you will need to react to your users with more development, throughout the life of your app. Your approach to the development of your app will help you succeed because agile development and practices were developed to do just this, bring only value to the user and keep them central to the process. In this, you will create a product (app) that users will love and share, bringing you and your app venture success. Regardless of approach that was used over the planning and development phase, your users are going to demand things or leave, Android or iOS will update, another 3rd party that you rely on
(like your database; Firebase, Amazon Web Services, etc…) will make you update the code to comply and keep the app functional. On top of these, you and your business, as it grows, will offer more and more ideas to navigate the users pulling the app to profitability. Scale isn’t easy and it requires constant attention.
This is why our team employs a monthly fee that includes product experts, development input, and help understanding the technical details so you can contribute to the process and keep 100% control of the app’s evolution with an assist from our team of experts. When you need a lot of development, like the MVP, we can get it up and running in just one month or 6, whatever your budget allows. From this, we are able to craft monthly sprints to keep working on bringing the app to market and reacting to changes. Using the backlog will keep only the most important things in the pipeline for development and the predictability of monthly payments (that can be paused and all the code and documents are yours) will bring order to the chaos of outsourcing development and finding new firms or individuals.
It is hard to develop an app, even harder when you don’t understand how to code. Taking your development down the agile development path will help you keep your priorities on target with your app developer. When you are hiring an app developer, you should keep in mind that the app itself will always be in development and if you have to explain, plan, and developer and test with different firms, there are significant delays. Not to mention the missing ingredient of all successful apps, user-centric qualities to drive value and your bottomline as a business.