Questions to ask yourself before starting the mobile project
Mobile interface and features
“How important does the quality of user interface account for the project and users?”
A good interface does not mean an exotic interface, unless your project has, exceptionally, a sound argument to that effect. A good interface is simple and clear. It allows users to master their mobile solution quickly and easily, and to work efficiently.
It is generally comparable to that of other apps in users' mobile device, allowing them to use their mobile solution (almost) without training. And more importantly, a good interface is a responsive interface.
On the latter point, do not feel reticent in checking with a representative draft, specially if you opt for the web or hybrid technology.
Be aware that user interface is the major factor of perceived quality for users, and plays a key role in user adoption of the business solution.
“Do requirements include mobile native features?”
Mobile native features are mobile specific features not available on classical web sites.
If you plan to rely on those capabilities, such as fingerprint recognition, then a native app or an hybrid app (with native bridging) works best.
Project management and timing
“What will be the project management strategy? Big Bang or Incremental?”
A Big Bang strategy will above all make it possible to take advantage of the enthusiasm and awareness around a project, and to make a roll-out in great style. The implementation of a mobile project being complex and pricey, you may be tempted by this approach to reduce costs and shorten global lead times.
However, it presents a significant risk of failure, from a technical point of view and with regard to the adequacy with the operational requirements - as described in the successive editions of the Chaos Report from Standish Group.
The main objective of an incremental strategy is to limit implementation work to one group or function at a time, thus preventing productivity loss for your whole impacted workforce. This strategy allows for plenty of time to collect user feedbacks and fix kinks in order to better take into account the operational constraints.
On the other hand, this approach may be exhausting, imparts the feeling that things are always in flux and incurs a loss of reference points.
The key to success of this strategy lies in the way a global project is broken down into sub-projects, and the sub-project timing is planned.
In any case, you should avoid the tunnel effect and breakdown your mobile project in phases with visible markers. The implementation speed is a significant element for success in the implementation of projects, providing stakeholders with regular and visible feedbacks on achieved progress.
Change planning and budgeting
“What is the planned pace of changes?”
Most mobile projects aim mainly to improve user productivity. In this effect, particular attention is paid to the operational constraints which have to be analyzed as closely as possible to the field and relayed to the project team.
Frequent updates send a clear signal to the users that their needs are seriously taken into account and should help enhance their commitment. However, they may have a significant impact on the project global budget. Moreover, if you opt for the hybrid or the native technology, you will be required to perform an app upgrade at least once a year to ensure compatibility with the last operating system version of each type of mobile device.
According to a Forrester Research report, businesses perform from 1 to 12 upgrades of their mobile solution a year.
“Does the budget consider the change needs in the months or years ahead?”
Mobile projects need critically a permanent monitoring to take into account evolving business challenges, the reality on the ground and continuous evolution of mobile platforms. In the light of your business organization, it would be vital to start reflecting on the way to monitor the emerging needs, the pace of changes to implement and the required budget.
Generally, the additional costs associated with the changes in a business mobile solution over 3 years represent from 50% to 200% of the initial budget.
The point of view of Gartner Research
“Traditional Development Practices Will Fail for Mobile Apps”
Most complaints about mobile apps have to do with a poor user experience: poor user interface design, poor application workflow or poor responsiveness. Ensure first that the app looks familiar to the users, because for a mobile app, each device OS can behave differently, depending on the actual device on which it is being used. This alone will result in a higher chance for a successful development effort.
Once the app is deployed, it is important to understand how it is actually used because behaviors may change. The rapid pace of change in the mobile market is putting pressure on IT teams to constantly iterate their mobile applications as expectations change. Hence, it's imperative to employ agile development to quickly iterate on improving the mobile app. Typical in-house desktop application development frequently takes approximately 18 months, and when deployed, the application may be maintained for as long as five years prior to retirement. Mobile apps are different, they need to be frequently revised to meet end-user expectations.
These are the reasons why the teams that use traditional practices to define and implement applications will not succeed with mobile apps.
With Motilia, you are in position to implement our Lean Mobility approach to keep easily your mobile solution in pace with your business and operational challenges. Furthermore, your mobile app is assured to be compatible with the last operating system version without extra effort and without any additional cost.