Quotes are guesses, there is no other way to put it. The developer tries to assume how the app will be put together. For example, you want login for your app. With this simple request you are implying many different questions. Do you want FB/Twitter/etc.. To be used for your user’s ease? Would you like to capture the email, name, be able to post on their behalf? Do you need profiles & what information goes into them if so? Many other implications crop up during this process just like login. The way developers try to develop the app quickly, and get paid, is to assume how you would want them. Login, the loading screen, what’s on the main screen, everything in your app that does anything or shows anything can be interpreted in many different ways.
Pricing and timing
Agile handles this problem by developing “early and often”. Users are at the center of development and the progression of your app’s offering is rapid. First, you break down your idea into user stories. These will say very clearly what you (as the user) would like to do, step-by-step. These user stories are arranged in what is called a backlog commitment list, but is basically a priority list for your app. From this, development is able to get clear instructions to develop exactly what you & your users want, ultimately in 1-2 week iterations.
To save on money, you are looking to develop and test your “Unique Value Proposition”. This is the thing you have “discovered” that will get users to user your app more than any other competitor. Your Minimum Viable Product or MVP is what does this testing. It can be any number of things, but ultimately will need to be an app. Blast Off Apps members’ average $8,100 per operating system for a sense of pricing for our members. This MVP is designed by you to be within your budget, but do a real test to see where you and development should focus the investments for the next sprint (period of development, ultimately those 1-2 week variety mentioned earlier).
Pricing and timing isn’t all that agile makes better
Pricing and timing aren’t the only reasons agile is better than the alternative (waterfall). In waterfall development, you get a quote for what the app’s functionality will be. This is very difficult to “guess” for the quote they are going to give you. Therefore, the actual “meat” of the agreement can LOOK like anything, as long as it does what you agreed to, looks, professionalism of code, documentation and other technical aspects are often overlooked to get a product out.
Agile, on the other hand, is a very granular process. This means that you are outlining exactly how your user would feel and what they would want. You integrate with development to make sure you are only developing exactly what you want, from mock-ups with experienced UX designers (User Experience), coders that can make the backend be secure, fast, and reliable and many other experts, you are able see the best way for you and your app. Each app is unique, agile lets you be you.
Testing is another often overlooked ability. There is an entire industry behind testing apps. There are load test which tell how much data your app can handle in differing ways. There are code-structure testing, which is checking for security and making the code as strong as possible to work as fast as possible. These are just a few of the ways testing matters. The obvious version of testing is when you use the app, throughout development and all the iterations, on many devices. iOS (Apple) only has a few sizes, but Android has many different ones and all need to be tested. On top of this, the number of devices offering Android are way more vast, leading to manufacturer-level bugs in the app’s compatibility. If this happens to be a popular phone among people you are testing, you have missed all of those people as users.
Testing throughout the entire development is the easiest way to keep your app on top of these and other problems. In our system, we weave testing in and even have an entire stage devoted to it before we release the app to the public. These users will have feedback and places like Google, Apple, the database we’ve agreed to use,and other 3rd party decisions will require new bugs to pop-up to the surface, make it to the top of the backlog list and get developed as quickly as possible.
Tough for non-technical founders & enterprises
With all of these tasks, it is very difficult for non-technical people to keep pace with experienced teams. Writing user stories, prioritizing, getting code and visuals you want and your users demand and many other tasks are why how you react to the unexpected is what will ultimately make or break your venture and experience gives you a better chance at success. It is actually impossible due to the developer gap of over 500K and growing. Experience is the most important factor in developing your app. There will be unexpected problems and incompatibilities that come up. Experience helps you know how to navigate the common pitfalls, develop your app with the best practices and keep on top of developing changes in the code field. Keeping this input on your team lets you learn how to be an effective product owner and avoid failing while you learn from the experience on your team. Our members are basically Product Owners and this is a good video (not made by our team) of the responsibilities that position entails.
With so much to learn, do and excel at, you need a team of experts. Don’t spend the $300K per year salary the positions demand. Our team is just $495/m to help you with our expertise and gives you 100% transparent and controllable pricing for each development sprint. We give you the advantage of an entire development department for a fraction of the price. Sign up free today and only pay when you say you are ready to develop your app dream into reality!