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An Executive’s Guide: Part 6 of 20

A 20 part series, we bring you an in-depth discussion of each question to ask before planning and designing your own mobile application. Read more right below the form.


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QUESTION # 6: 

WHAT’S THE BUDGET?


So, the game usually is, we don’t have a fixed idea of a budget. We want as much as we can get for as little as we need to pay. Mobile projects are really difficult to budget estimate but for scoping the project you need at least to work to a range. Defining the scope of work is also really important. It’s not just about the physical build.

Is there budget for researching the app, competitors, key functions that users will highly value that will guide you on what the MVP (minimum viable product) needs to have for the app to be market ready?

If it’s a new vendor it could become a tricky game of poker, neither side wanting to show their hand. But unless you get to a range pretty quickly, expectation management is going to be tricky. If you – the client- do not have a range, that could be a red flag to the vendor that it may not be a serious project but just a vague idea you are trying to flesh out.

You should also agree what the ongoing budget is going to be once the app is live. There will probably be hosting costs, ongoing optimization of the app on-boarding and in app use, discovery optimization as well as managing scaling out back-end systems as app user grows. The Vendor, knowing how much ongoing work the app will require, could also influence how much they charge in the initial build phase. They could decide to scale back costs on the initial build and get the app to market quicker then work with the app owner to continually improve the app over time. They get an awesome app that’s just getting better and better.

 

So, your business needs a mobile app for a specific business purpose. That’s a great place to be right now, lots of possibilities, lots of choices and with that comes lots of risk. How do we reduce the risk to a successful mobile development project? We do our homework, we prepare, and we have the answers before we’re asked the questions. The largest Risk with any Mobile Project is time. Because we all know time is money. A mobile project that is loosely defined is a risk for all involved. It is risky for you (the customer) as well as for your vendor. Your company’s impact is missed delivery dates, misunderstood ideas, and most of all, cost. For the vendor, the risk is associated with reputation, delivering incorrectly functioning applications, changes after the start of development, and also cost. So, everyone involved has something at stake. It is best to set the ground rules before the project starts, just like playing a game if the rules (Scope) change in the middle of the game it is nearly impossible to win (hit everyone’s targets). I will go through several questions that you should be answered before contacting a vendor or while interacting with them. Armed with these tools (answers) you can get accurate estimates, accurate timelines, and most of all, piece of mind that you have done your homework. Scope creep will be minimized or eliminated from your project giving both you and your vendor the chance to succeed.

So, it usually starts with a great idea for a mobile app that will help revolutionize your business and reach out to existing customers and a whole new set of customers.

That’s Awesome!

A project that starts off in the right direction has more chance of ending up on time, within budget, looks, feels and does what you wanted it to. So, here’s 20 questions that need answered to before you start that mobile app build.


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