Why Use A Mobile Application Development Process?
In this day and age of increasing pressure of performing and consistently reducing quantum of time for delivering the solution, every client wants the vendor to deliver the product yesterday. The same holds true for our clients who want us to develop their mobile apps. While it always remains our endeavour to deliver the app on time, we often face the prospect of having to explain to them the benefits of proper planning for every phase of app development. While it extends the timelines slightly during the planning phase but it saves a considerable amount of time and effort in rework during the later stages of the development.
While planning for mobile application development process focuses on the individual project lifecycle, it should operate in conjunction with strategic business objectives which helps align the planning with new developments and direction of the constantly evolving mobility solutions. This is the only way to efficiently ensure that the mobile app helps the client to leverage technology to realize their business objectives.
VDC Research defines a robust seven-step methodology for Mobile Application Lifecycle Management (MALM). This methodology for Mobile App Lifecycle is akin to assembly line manufacturing where following the agreed checks at every stage ensures a quality end product.
Phase 1: Identification
Identify all the stakeholders (people, customers, and employees), processes and their controls along with systems and technologies that will be impacted by the exercise. Capture the initial business requirements from the stakeholders, especially end users.
Phase 2: Specify
In this phase we define detailed app requirements. This will help clarify whether the requirements will be catered to by a pre-packaged or a custom solution. This in turn will help take a Buy vs. Make decision along with integration touchpoints.
Phase 3: Develop or Acquire
Based on the make vs buy decision, in this phase we specify the target app’s development environment, detail the integration requirements with the back-end data, and streamline quality control and testing. The actual development or customization happens in this phase.
Phase 4: Secure
Authorization and authentication requirements are detailed and finalized in this phase. They help in making the data secure and in limiting data access to the right user. The security framework is embedded within the app during this phase.
Phase 5: Install
In this phase, the mode of distribution of the app and its analytics details are finalized and executed.
Phase 6: Manage
Here, the usage of the app is tracked and monitored for performance, objective realization and compliance.
Phase 7: End of Life
With millions of apps in the market, it is highly important that an app which is dysfunctional or has seen the end of life, is withdrawn from the online market. This is critical because such an app will create an undesirable experience for the users who may then disconnect with your brand. During this phase, apps are classified and logged in blacklist and whitelist categories, which will then be used to take a timely decision on when and how to decommission the app.
Key Challenges for effective Mobile App Development Process
It was found in a 2014 VDC research, that 42% of the developers considered the lack of mobile platform standardisation a key challenge. With multiple mobile platforms like iOS, Android and windows, it is quite a task for the developers to continuously keep abreast of the latest releases, fixes and issues on each platforms. However, knowing these is both a challenge and an opportunity as a diligently developed app will provide the users with a consistent and seamless experience across all platforms. That by itself is a great positive for user experience.
While the importance of comprehensive testing cannot be stressed enough, the lack of standardization adds another dimension to an already complex world of testing and quality assurance. A user wants an app that works well on all the phones that he can buy and ensuring that is the job of the app developing firm.
Data security is another critical challenge for the mobile app developer. With privacy being such an important concern for the users, any slip up on this front can cost dearly and perhaps irreversibly. This further emphasizes the importance of testing the app rigorously prior to its launch.
It is critical to monitor the performance of the app and its acceptance by the users. This requires that data retrieval for monitoring is seamlessly integrated across platforms, which helps retrieve usage metrics and associated feedback both at the global and platform specific level.
When a great strategic initiative associated with a nice product is backed up by a well planned application development, the combination can ensure the success of a good strategic initiative. However, a mediocre development resulting from a badly planned initiative can actually undermine even a great strategy and a great product. So plan well and execute better, is a definite success mantra.
About 360 Degree Technosoft
360 Degree Technosoft is a leading mobile app development company with more than 5+ years of experience in mobile apps development for iOS and Android platforms. We have dedicated team of app developers with expertise in creating mobile apps.