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How to Manage And Deliver Mobile App Development Projects Effectively?

Mobile apps are not only important right now but they’re also where most of the future growth is going to come from. By distilling down the information from brainstorming sessions that we’ve had with hundreds of project managers that are currently at the top of their game, we've put together a few crucial things that you need to be wary of.

author Akhil Sharma

Akhil Sharma

- Aug 26, 2021

How to Manage And Deliver Mobile App Development Projects Effectively?

 

Mobile apps have taken over the world, they’re not only easy to download and get onboarded on but are also super simple to use, and this is precisely why all software firms are seriously considering either building mobile-first SAAS products or having a mobile app for their existing product.

 

In the emerging markets, mobile phones have more penetration that personal computers, making mobile apps the best platforms to reach the next billion users. 

 

Mobile apps are not only important right now but they’re also where most of the future growth is going to come from.

 

If you’re a project manager that’s been trusted with delivering a mobile app, you’re at the right place.

 

By distilling down the information from brainstorming sessions that we’ve had with hundreds of project managers that are currently at the top of their game, we've put together a few crucial things that you need to be wary of -

 

1 .  Responsiveness can be a Bottleneck - 

 

mobile responsiveness, especially when it comes to apps is not as straightforward as web and hence can be a bottleneck if correct planning is not done. When in a requirement gathering session with your client, ask them for a minimum viable list of devices and operating systems on which the app needs to work perfectly.

 

Solving for edge cases takes way too much time and you cannot possibly have the app working fine on all devices because there are just too many types of android versions and devices. Tablets, having entirely different size dimensions and resolution can be an issue sometimes and it’s best to have a limited number of tablets on which you guarantee responsiveness.

 

Apart from being difficult to achieve, this area is also the one that can become a bone of contention very quickly, especially if an external client is concerned and communication hasn’t been done transparently or proactively. An experienced Project Manager will hold plenty of planning sessions around this and would reserve ample amounts of buffer time in case things go south.

 

2 .  Selecting the right technology is highly critical - 

 

As a Project Manager, you may or may not have a say in the technology or platform to be selected for the app, depending on your firm’s operations. But this is in fact a critical area where many aspects need to be weighed such as cost, development time, learning curve (in case a new team member joins), ease of handover (in case a developer goes on leave), long term support. 

 

While it may ideally be an engineering manager that takes these factors into account and comes up with the right technology, as a Project Manager you’re usually the voice of the client / user in the team and it’s always highly beneficial for you to join these discussions as nobody understands the client’s requirements better than you and it’s understandable if you’re not a techie and cannot keep up with the complexity of the discussion, but speaking from experience - the more comfortable you become around technology keywords, the better placed you would be to collaborate with the technology team.

 

If you and your team are able to select the  right technology for the project, it rewards you with less bugs, errors, timely deliveries, less slip ups and just a better functioning app, but if you select the wrong technology, the consequences can be far-reaching, sometimes leading to direct termination of the project.

 

3 .  Third party services can be very expensive - 

 

Another reason you need to be comfortable with popular tech keywords as a new-age Project Manager is because in many instances your team members will suggest using third party services (mostly in the form of APIs for particular services like calling, messaging and notifications). Being engineers or designers, they may not have a great idea on the expense that these can lead to in the long term. 

 

As a Project Manager, it’s important to be part of this discussion and help the team in finding the right service. Usually the engineers and designers will suggest popular technologies, a quick tip here that will ensure things don’t go out of budget - there are plenty of not-so popular services that are equally stable and may even be popular in other geographies and these can turn out to be cheaper and achieve the same results as the popular ones. 

 

4 .  PAAS can save a lot of time - 

 

Platform As A Service are technologies that enable you to quickly build backend functionalities without requiring too much time. Popular platforms are - Firebase, Hasura, Back4App and PlatformOS (our partner). They’re a great investment because they require close to zero development time and enable you to automate many parts of the development process in some cases.

 

They’re especially handy when you have to build POCs, MVPs, do feasibility checks or build full-scale production grade products when timelines are tight. Some PAAS platforms can be quite expensive but the benefit they provide far outweigh the cost. 

 

There are many other hidden benefits of using a PAAS platform to develop your app - hassle-free deployments, fully-managed databases, automatic database scaling and backups, automatic load balancing, throttling and built-in security. In simple terms - they take care of your entire cloud infrastructure as well as the backend infrastructure.

 

PAAS can be a great asset when working on projects with low budgets, tight timelines and lack of quality resources. This knowledge can help you tremendously on a rainy day.

 

5 .  Testing on multiple devices often gets ignored - 

 

(QA) Quality Assessment is a pivotal part in an entire mobile app development project, testing the app across multiple devices and operating systems can be quite a feat especially on limited time and testing resources. 

 

A great way to have an efficient flow is to have a TDD (Test Driven Development) approach from day one so that issues are minimized and also follow a CI / CD approach so that functionality gets tested as it is built.

 

Even after following the right process, the app may not work satisfactorily on many of the devices and operating systems you had earlier planned for. A quick way around this is to use tools such as Kobiton and Waldo. While expensive, they can help automate testing across devices by creating virtual instances of the devices and flagging the issues to your team - saves considerable amount of effort and time and ensures client satisfaction.

 

How many of these areas have you previously faced issues at? Did you find these tips helpful? If yes, do take a look around at some of our other blogs to read more of such useful content. We’re committed to making you a better and more refined Project Manager.

 

Looking for a Project Management tool that makes remote-work and remote-management a breeze? Check out Remote Teams.

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projects
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How to Manage And Deliver Mobile App Development Projects Effectively?

author Akhil Sharma

Akhil Sharma

- Aug 26, 2021

How to Manage And Deliver Mobile App Development Projects Effectively?

 

Mobile apps have taken over the world, they’re not only easy to download and get onboarded on but are also super simple to use, and this is precisely why all software firms are seriously considering either building mobile-first SAAS products or having a mobile app for their existing product.

 

In the emerging markets, mobile phones have more penetration that personal computers, making mobile apps the best platforms to reach the next billion users. 

 

Mobile apps are not only important right now but they’re also where most of the future growth is going to come from.

 

If you’re a project manager that’s been trusted with delivering a mobile app, you’re at the right place.

 

By distilling down the information from brainstorming sessions that we’ve had with hundreds of project managers that are currently at the top of their game, we've put together a few crucial things that you need to be wary of -

 

1 .  Responsiveness can be a Bottleneck - 

 

mobile responsiveness, especially when it comes to apps is not as straightforward as web and hence can be a bottleneck if correct planning is not done. When in a requirement gathering session with your client, ask them for a minimum viable list of devices and operating systems on which the app needs to work perfectly.

 

Solving for edge cases takes way too much time and you cannot possibly have the app working fine on all devices because there are just too many types of android versions and devices. Tablets, having entirely different size dimensions and resolution can be an issue sometimes and it’s best to have a limited number of tablets on which you guarantee responsiveness.

 

Apart from being difficult to achieve, this area is also the one that can become a bone of contention very quickly, especially if an external client is concerned and communication hasn’t been done transparently or proactively. An experienced Project Manager will hold plenty of planning sessions around this and would reserve ample amounts of buffer time in case things go south.

 

2 .  Selecting the right technology is highly critical - 

 

As a Project Manager, you may or may not have a say in the technology or platform to be selected for the app, depending on your firm’s operations. But this is in fact a critical area where many aspects need to be weighed such as cost, development time, learning curve (in case a new team member joins), ease of handover (in case a developer goes on leave), long term support. 

 

While it may ideally be an engineering manager that takes these factors into account and comes up with the right technology, as a Project Manager you’re usually the voice of the client / user in the team and it’s always highly beneficial for you to join these discussions as nobody understands the client’s requirements better than you and it’s understandable if you’re not a techie and cannot keep up with the complexity of the discussion, but speaking from experience - the more comfortable you become around technology keywords, the better placed you would be to collaborate with the technology team.

 

If you and your team are able to select the  right technology for the project, it rewards you with less bugs, errors, timely deliveries, less slip ups and just a better functioning app, but if you select the wrong technology, the consequences can be far-reaching, sometimes leading to direct termination of the project.

 

3 .  Third party services can be very expensive - 

 

Another reason you need to be comfortable with popular tech keywords as a new-age Project Manager is because in many instances your team members will suggest using third party services (mostly in the form of APIs for particular services like calling, messaging and notifications). Being engineers or designers, they may not have a great idea on the expense that these can lead to in the long term. 

 

As a Project Manager, it’s important to be part of this discussion and help the team in finding the right service. Usually the engineers and designers will suggest popular technologies, a quick tip here that will ensure things don’t go out of budget - there are plenty of not-so popular services that are equally stable and may even be popular in other geographies and these can turn out to be cheaper and achieve the same results as the popular ones. 

 

4 .  PAAS can save a lot of time - 

 

Platform As A Service are technologies that enable you to quickly build backend functionalities without requiring too much time. Popular platforms are - Firebase, Hasura, Back4App and PlatformOS (our partner). They’re a great investment because they require close to zero development time and enable you to automate many parts of the development process in some cases.

 

They’re especially handy when you have to build POCs, MVPs, do feasibility checks or build full-scale production grade products when timelines are tight. Some PAAS platforms can be quite expensive but the benefit they provide far outweigh the cost. 

 

There are many other hidden benefits of using a PAAS platform to develop your app - hassle-free deployments, fully-managed databases, automatic database scaling and backups, automatic load balancing, throttling and built-in security. In simple terms - they take care of your entire cloud infrastructure as well as the backend infrastructure.

 

PAAS can be a great asset when working on projects with low budgets, tight timelines and lack of quality resources. This knowledge can help you tremendously on a rainy day.

 

5 .  Testing on multiple devices often gets ignored - 

 

(QA) Quality Assessment is a pivotal part in an entire mobile app development project, testing the app across multiple devices and operating systems can be quite a feat especially on limited time and testing resources. 

 

A great way to have an efficient flow is to have a TDD (Test Driven Development) approach from day one so that issues are minimized and also follow a CI / CD approach so that functionality gets tested as it is built.

 

Even after following the right process, the app may not work satisfactorily on many of the devices and operating systems you had earlier planned for. A quick way around this is to use tools such as Kobiton and Waldo. While expensive, they can help automate testing across devices by creating virtual instances of the devices and flagging the issues to your team - saves considerable amount of effort and time and ensures client satisfaction.

 

How many of these areas have you previously faced issues at? Did you find these tips helpful? If yes, do take a look around at some of our other blogs to read more of such useful content. We’re committed to making you a better and more refined Project Manager.

 

Looking for a Project Management tool that makes remote-work and remote-management a breeze? Check out Remote Teams.

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