You might believe that your development team is capable of anything. Any challenge you throw down will be executed with relative ease because that’s just what they do. However, developing apps is a complicated business. You might only see the magic of the final product, but as app developers will tell you, they will be hit by a lot of challenges along the way.
So how can you make sure your business handles these challenges as effectively as possible? After all, you could potentially sink or swim based on how you deal with them. These can be defining moments for your business; any issues that arise could unearth underlying problems at your organization.
The first step is to recognize your app development challenges. Once you know these, you can start to pick them apart to find what they say about your business, taking steps to improve them along the way. The team of business app specialists GetApp asked nearly 150 North American small business professionals who have close involvement in app development to tell them the biggest challenges they deal with on a regular basis.
You Don’t Have the Supply to Meet the Demand
Of the businesses surveyed by GetApp, 41% said that they had backlogs of 6-20 apps. This size of a backlog can have severe knock-on effects for your business, with the delivery of other apps getting knocked back and other customers potentially being let down.
The reasons for this can be quite simple, often explained by the fact that app development is a long process, with ample opportunity for things to go wrong. On top of this, your backlog will include more than just new projects – maintenance and updates to existing apps will form part of this. However, if you find your business in a constant state of backlog, there could be bigger problems.
So, what does this tell you about your business? Most likely, you have an issue with supply and demand. You’re busy and taking on plenty of projects, but you probably don’t have the excess of skilled developers that you need to deliver these projects.
Using an application platform as a service (aPaaS) could be just what you need to get back on track. This cloud-based software means that you won’t need the most skilled coders to build your apps, as it’s user-friendly enough for anyone to operate.
You’re Not Getting It Right The First Time
Rework is a dreaded word for most app developers, and it’s probably because 84% of organizations surveyed have encountered apps that require rework after delivery. As we mentioned before, developing apps is tricky and wrought with challenges, so getting it completely right the first time is a difficult task. Thirty-nine percent of businesses said that up to a quarter of 2017’s apps required some form of rework.
Seventy percent of respondents said that they are satisfied from moderately to very with the quality of the apps they delivered, so what is causing this rework? It could be a lack of communication that’s causing problems and resulting in developers having to make big changes after an app has been delivered.
Ensuring that all parties share the same vision before the start of a project is vitally important. Once the project has begun, keeping open lines of communication, where every single stakeholder knows what’s going on, can avoid major changes taking place and errors being made.
You’re Spending Too Much Time and Money
Meeting targets for project deadlines and budget is a problem for app developers. Seventy percent of respondents have faced app development projects which went beyond budget in the last year. Further to that, 11% of organizations reported that as much as half of their app development projects in the past year had gone over budget.
Clearly, money is a common problem, but hitting those timetables is an equally big issue. Seventy-four percent of respondents experienced app development projects that arrived late. For 40% of businesses, up to a quarter of apps in 2017 were delivered late.
Both of these problems can cause big issues when it comes to building trust with a customer (particularly if you’ve missed a launch date you committed to), having long term effects for a business. The most likely scenario here is that your business is setting expectations which are unrealistic from the get-go. Telling your customer that you can achieve the almost impossible might seem like a good idea to get them on board, but likely won’t end well when you miss that unrealistic deadline.
What can you do about it? Hiring a project manager could be key to improving your success in this area. There are times when you need somebody who is assertive enough to say “no” without damaging relationships and can keep expectations set for all parties involved.
There’s no doubt that app development is a difficult process full of ups and downs. Challenges to this process are inevitable, but learning from them can lead to a smoother process next time around. Using GetApp’s research, identify and analyze recurring problems in your app development process. Making changes based on this feedback could lead to you delivering a better service for your customers.