Customer – take care of your budget
Cost optimization is a topic that probably is important for all of us. This applies to both running a business and private life. We try to reduce unnecessary expenses, improve the processes, invest in development – expecting profits in the future. The same thing we can do in the case of creating a mobile app. Did you know about this? Do you know how to do this? I’m inviting you to read.
In my opinion, there are two main ways to reduce application development costs. The first – very technical – is the use of multiplatform solutions, i.e. those that will allow us to create applications for Android and iOS (let’s be honest, at the moment there is no need to worry about other systems) from one project. Interesting? I will tell you more about this possibility in a dedicated article.
The second way, which affects the final cost less visibly, but no less in terms of the amount on the invoice, is the customer himself – exactly – his involvement in the project is the key to reducing costs. Why? Let me explain it. There is a vision in the customer’s head that must be understood by the application development team. Of course, the point here is not to look at the programmers’ code or count the coffee they drink, but to watch the progress and be ready for any questions.
The application development process is most efficient when you know everything in advance. However, I know from experience that this is usually impossible. But, this is not a cause for concern – an experienced team will quickly find most of the gaps in the presented vision, which will allow you to avoid painful decisions in the further development phase.
This goal is usually served by workshops, where we try to clarify different processes of the application. Such meetings also help to understand the vision of the product and the vision of the company. They allow dressing the product in a corporate suit so that it can be properly understood. It is worth keeping in mind that changes in this phase are relatively the cheapest.
Most software is developed iteratively, and the teams sum up the next stage of work every particular interval (usually 2 weeks). It is worth participating in meetings of such a group to have the best view on the progress of work. The list of advantages of attending such meetings is long, and the most important are:
You will find out if the creation process is going according to plan, or maybe there are delays
You will see how your product looks like, whether it meets your expectations
Motivate the team with your presence
Is this all you can do as a customer for a project during its development? Well no, this is rather a decent minimum. If you want to really get involved, the team will definitely invite you to daily meetings. These usually last literally minutes, but are an invaluable chance to get a direct answer or set up a time to meet online. Otherwise, be prepared for an email marathon.
If you don’t have to, don’t rush to release the app to the world. There is a possibility of beta testing (testing in a narrow circle of users), which will allow you to collect the first opinions of friendly users. Remember that statistics are a mine of knowledge for you and it may be worth spending some budget to implement their correct collection and analysis.
Just making the application available is not the end of the adventure. From now, we need to actively observe how our application is received by users. Let’s remember that bad reception can cause moving away from the overall business associated with the application, and this loss can be much higher than the cost of creating the application.
In conclusion, when looking to outsource app development, remember:
Find free time to conduct workshops – they will help you better understand the vision and save costly downstream changes
Take opportunities to be in team meetings, especially if the team is presenting the next stage of work
Test your application on a trusted group of people to mitigate the risk of negative reviews
Respond to user feedback about bugs to allow yourself to improve
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