INSIGHTS - February 2019

CONNECT KND ep 09: How to Finish your App Development and Get. It. Live!

Getting your App live, pushed through the testing phase can be such a frustrating, painful journey! Just ask anyone who has been through the process before. From our experience, if you stick to these steps and keep a level head your build, test and launch process will have crapload less headaches!

Full Transcription:

It’s so interesting watching an entrepreneurs journey during the course of building an app, it can be such a complex process and it can take a long time, but I thought today I just sort of map a cycle of emotion and how to minimize that emotion during the course of the process. So I’ve just created a little graph here with the steps of app development. Idea, plan, building it, testing it, launching it and growing it. And I’ve got a little happy face everyone’s feeling happy, everything’s growing great it’s okay we’re getting along the process okay or… man I’m just so OVER THIS I’d rather throw my hundred grand into a bonfire in the backyard and watch it burn overnight with all my mates then keep going with this project.

So how do we minimize that stress, so let’s have a look, first before we minimize it, let’s have a look at some of the ideas. So ideas..everyone’s pumped, we’re really going strong, this is, you know, we’re gonna make this happen this is a great project, the plan… you might still stay happy, but you might drop back a little bit once you know sort of the budget and how much time it’s going to take, to put forward all these projects take time. Time equals money in software land.

So the build process, this is where it starts to get a little bit stressful, we’ve dropped down to “I’m okay” now you know this isn’t going well, hey I’m moving the testing yeah I’ve got it ready for testing, oh no! It’s crap we’re gonna get back to build, I know! Let’s add a few more functions… Back to the planning stage! (we’re still not very happy) but hey! We’ve got some great ideas so I’m happy again! I’ll go back to testing. Testing it sucks I’m gonna go back to build, hopefully we’re getting close to launch and we’re starting to get happy, but here’s where the work begins. You’ve got to sell this thing, so you know hopefully your team is up at this stage and haven’t been totally burnt out by all the stress that’s in this build test and launch process. It’s a long process or might be short, but it can be quite long ,and it’s a process you’ve got to go through this cycle of what’s working and what’s not and testing and release so how do we minimize that.

Well first, I would have a detailed scope every time. In that planning stage get it down on paper wireframes we’ve spoken about this before, wireframes & functional spec, get that Bible together that can be shared between the stakeholders and the dev team to bring that project all together get it documented.

The second minimization of stress is “regular open communication” Don’t leave open weeks and months of time to the dev team to get their stuff done and come back to talk to you. Have weekly regular meetings maybe catch-up daily if the cycle is tight. Just keep those comms cycles really tight.

A third is try and do it in small parts, don’t go through this big bang, big huge project approach. Strip it back go for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) then build components on over time running fortnightly sprints, whatever that cycle suits your project. But really keep those parts small and you’ll have a less stressful project.

The fourth point is stick to a process, so use tools like Trello or Atlassian’s JIRA to map that project and those tasks and what and where you are along that process.

Bug lists! The number of clients or prospective clients that maybe have gone through a problem with their development team and they’ve moved on they’ve walked in our door and they’ve gone.. “this whole project sucks” nothing works! it’s crap! I said, well hey, show us your bug list… have you got have you got a list of bugs of this thing? so “oh no I don’t have a bug list, the whole thing is just crap!” so it works both ways… the stakeholders need an active involvement in bug testing, user acceptance testing in that flow.

Get a process in place it, could be just a simple case of an excel file with a list of which screens broken, I logged in as this type of user, the problem was doing X Y Z. Be detailed about that bug list, not just “hey this doesn’t work”. So get detailed, get focused back in to using a system and then tighten up the columns.

And the last one it’s all part of this same thing. The “right team”. The right team is absolutely critical. They need to be level-headed, you need to have an eye for detail in that testing process and release process, but also see the bigger picture. It’s it’s critical, it’s hard to build that team together, but the leader really needs to have that vision to push you through to the other end.

So I’d love to hear your tips for success, I’ve given you mine but please put it in the comments about what really rescued your project, how did you get that project through to the other side? It’s really easy to tell really bad stories about developers but I want tips on how to keep your project on track and get it through to the other side! Cheers