When a client company approaches us for support in building a mobile app, or any particular aspect of its development, it should be the start of a mutually fruitful, thought-provoking discussion. But all too often, proceedings kick off with the question “How much will it cost?”, swiftly followed by, “How quickly can you do it?”
Now, don’t get me wrong… It’s not that price and timeframe aren’t relevant. By all means, these factors are important to the overall project, and we welcome the opportunity to have a frank discussion.
However, the primary focus from the outset should be on the project’s overall goals and scope of what’s possible. Everyone ultimately wants a great product. And management ultimately judges an app on results and performance, not just on how much it cost. Remember, you can pay a steep price in terms of poor product performance when you cut costs.
So, how should you start a discussion? It might sound obvious, but be clear of your own business objectives. This is the best starting point. What outcomes do you expect? What’s the particular challenge we need to solve? Are testing cycles taking too long, and if so, what impact is that having on the business? Maybe the challenge is launching and localizing a multi-language companion app in multiple markets worldwide. Or perhaps a sub-optimal UX is eating away at your market share.
With your objectives clearly defined, now you’re ready to start asking the right questions.
What’s your experience of working with enterprises?
There’s a whole spectrum of choice out there when it comes to selecting an app development partner. If you’re a medium to large business, the chances are that you require a very specific kind of support. Any prospective partner needs to be able to demonstrate that they’re not just highly skilled, but that they also can support initiatives at a strategic level and deliver real business results. Added to this, you should see evidence that your prospective partner has the back-end support to help you address software development challenges involved in progressing agile development, nailing the transition to CI/CD or improving automation.
Can you describe some outcomes you’ve helped achieve?
Passion for the product is great to see. I can’t tell you how energizing it is to have clients who feel as passionately as we do about app development. But before you get too far down the line discussing the look, feel and functionality of the app, make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to how the app will be used, who will use it and why. In other words, let the business needs drive the design – don’t be tempted to tack features onto something that’s beautiful to look at but doesn’t deliver what you intended.
What relevant experience do you have and can you demonstrate the results?
Whatever your specific challenge is, be rigorous in seeking experience and examples of success. Sector expertise can be important, but the ability to accelerate time to market, for example, is not sector specific. When a client is attempting an innovation that’s never been done before, we’re always happy to share examples of the ground-breaking projects we’ve enabled.
How will our teams work together?
I like to ask this question of a prospective client because it is illuminating in all sorts of ways. It allows us to gauge the level of support that will actually be required, and often is a good indicator of the real-life complexities of a project. Good communication is the backbone of any project, and it goes a long way to helping answer those all-important “how much will it cost?” and “how quickly can you do it?” questions.
What do you think we should do?
If you are consulting with an expert, they should be able to guide you in the most effective mobility strategy to pursue. An expert development partner can help you create a solid executable roadmap to achieve your business objectives as quickly and efficiently as possible. Be sure to ask what sort of technical deliverables will be produced at each stage of the engagement.
Why should I partner with you?
Not all app developers are made equal. What do they bring to the table? Do they have frameworks, pre-built tools and processes, such as QA to QE, to ensure a better outcome? Do they offer flexible engagement models? Any app development partner should be clear about what makes them special. At Infostretch, what sets us apart from other mobility and IoT specialists is the sheer depth and breadth of experience, technical skill, robust processes and strategic engagement, all backed up by our global infrastructure. This is why we’re the leading choice for global brands. If you’d like to start a conversation about your business needs, go ahead and contact us. We welcome your questions.