5 tips to revitalize your stalled mobile app project

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You’ve made big headway with your app, but development issues have you stuck in limbo. You’re not alone. Earlier this year, Zend surveyed nearly 5,000 developers and found 87% experienced delays between development and production. So how do you keep your team motivated and get your app back on track for deployment?

1. Revisit your schedule

Frustration builds as it becomes clear you won’t meet your target deployment date. But was it a realistic date? Some of your aggravation may stem from a timeline that’s simply too aggressive. Once you have all your requirements and design nailed down, actual development can take 4-8 weeks. Then it takes another couple weeks to test before you’re ready to submit to the app stores. With the averages in mind:

  • Plan for delays and build them into your schedule.
  • Add “Troubleshooting” as a line item before, and in addition to, testing.
  • Give yourself permission to revise the schedule (without guilt) once, if necessary.

2. Reduce complexity

Simplicity is key in app development, both for maintaining your sanity and for giving users the best experience possible. If it seems like building your app is getting too complicated, it probably is. Go back to your business requirements and minimum viable product (MVP) and ask:

  • Have we gotten carried away? (e.g. Have we tried to cram too much into the app?)
  • Where has there been scope creep?
  • Have any wish list extras worked their way into the app?
  • Can any features or functionality be stripped out without affecting the user experience?

When you start adding complexity, it slows you down and makes it more likely for bugs to slip through the cracks. In the long run, that makes you less profitable. Zend’s survey found 80% of developers spend at least a quarter of each workday fixing app problems. That’s time they could be spending on true iteration or another app.

3. Fire the committee

Collaboration is a blessing and curse. More hands on deck means you can get to the app stores faster. However, there’s always a naysayer who doesn’t like what he sees during review.

Repeat after me: I don’t have to please anyone but my users.

Trying to make everyone happy never works. At best, you go into another round of revision and end up with a watered down product nobody likes.

For small groups, let majority vote rule, being careful to accept a good idea when you hear it. For larger organizations, limit feedback to essential stakeholders only. Once version 1 is out the door, you can base decisions on your analytics. They’re objective and leave no hurt feelings.

4. Ask for a little help from your friends

Your app may be unique, but there’s a good chance other developers are facing similar challenges. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Members of the Kii Developer Community, Quora and your favorite forums are glad to offer their advice.

5. Identify technology hurdles

Cross-platform development increases timeframes and complications. By selecting one platform for your pilot, you can focus your efforts on a single experience and learn from it before moving on to another.

Having trouble provisioning your mobile app for physical devices? Tackling that tricky push implementation? Read over FAQs and documentation again to make sure you haven’t missed a step. If you’re really stuck, ask your vendor to talk you through it.

Remember, backend headaches don’t have to be yours on top of everything else. Most mobile apps can get through prototyping and implementation with a free Kii Cloud account. If you run into any issues that stall your project, drop us a line by clicking Contact at the top of your Developer Dashboard. We’re happy to help.

Did you find these tips helpful? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the Comments.

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Yuan Weigel

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