Project Development Strategy: Where to Start?
Are you currently thinking about a new software product or software project?
Did you stuck with a fabulous idea for an app and now wondering where to start?
Many a time I see visionaries and founders struggle in finding the right way to start their development. I am presenting a six-step process for this. These steps can help you to begin realizing your idea into reality.
Strategizing an app or software product development is the first step for your new business or project. But the first one does not mean dull. Below is the list of six steps to take to be ready to develop a product development strategy.
1. Define the collaboration pattern
2. Define the collaboration specifics
3. Elaborate and research product idea
4. Think about monetization
5. Define detailed project specifics
6. Identify Project constraints
Let's see one by one each of these steps.
1. Define Collaboration Pattern:
The collaboration pattern defines how the work is going to be carried out during the development of the project. There two types of collaboration: Outsourcing and Outstaffing (Staff Augmentation)
1. Outsourcing: This means you delegate part or whole of the project development to an outside service provider on a contractual basis. This is typically decided when you hear or think of below sentences within your project:
I have a big project which can not be implemented by one person, and a team is required
I don't have time to project management and rather want to focus on other business activities.
I don't have enough technical expertise.
I know the exact scope of the project and want to define clear deliverables before the kick-off
2. Outstaffing (Staff Augmentation): Outstaffing means you hire people employed by a different company to work on your project as a part of your team. You decide to do outstaffing when you hear or think below sentences
I want to bridge the skill gap within my team for a temporary period
I need a remote IT team who will continually help me build my products
We have a deadline coming near and need to finish the project within time.
2. Define Collaboration Specifics
Once you have defined the mode of help required in your software development, you get a sense of how this help is going to look like. You start looking at companies that can help, messaging them and asking for solutions. But to decide the right partner a few more clarifications are required:
1.Outsourcing projects: Please prepare the answers to these questions.
How was the idea of the project/app born?
What is the main idea behind the project?
Within your team who can be the Product owner. Product Owners typically defines the requirements and acceptance criteria.
Have you prepared detailed requirements specifications?
2. Outstaffing projects: For these projects, I will seek answers for:
What are the tech challenges your team is facing?
How are you solving these challenges right now?
Why are you searching for the solution now?
Apart from answers to the above questions, few more clarity is required :
What kind of services are required apart from development? Quality Assurance, Project Management, UI/UX development, etc.
How will you measure the success of the project? That means in time delivery, the bug-free release of the project, etc.
How the decision of software features is made within the organization?
Who are the other stakeholders in the project?
These answers will give you more clarity of specifications of the service you're looking for.
3. Elaborate and Research product idea
It always helps if you have a better understanding of potential risks before launching the development. It may help in saving huge resources like time and effort.
Understand your competitor: What are they offering? What better you can do? Is there any niche? Why the niche is unaddressed so far?
Understand your industry trends: Is your industry moving towards the latest trends like IoT, AI, etc? What technologies you are planning to use?
Understand the target audience: Define the user persona for your customer. What is their age, gender, family status, occupation, interest, etc?
4. Think about monetization:
Every business has to think about monetization, about how the money will be coming back to the business and ultimately business becomes profitable. It's very crucial to decide the monetization plan before the app development.
According to Statista, 96 percent of apps on Google Play and 90.3 percent of apps on Apple App Store are free. Can you offer something so unique and important that the users will buy it?
Some popular monetization approaches free apps to use, include:
Selling products/ services
Limiting service in a free tier and opening up in the paid plan.
5. Define the project specifics
In order to kick-off your project, it is better to define and get clarity about a few more aspects.
What is the business-critical user flows?
Which browsers or devices should the app be compatible with?
What is the expected number of daily active users and monthly active users?
How does branding need to be carried out in designing the app?
Do you want to integrate this with existing technology in the company?
Is there any old system that needs to be modernized?
Does any preferred technology stack need to be used?
6. Identify Project Constraints
Always, our resources are limited, in terms of time, people, budget, and legal aspects. Clearly defined constraints will lead you to choose the right project management strategy and will make sure you will not go beyond boundaries. To identify constraints, we have the answer:
How much do you have a budget now?
What is the deadline for the project?
When do you want to get started?
Are there any legal requirements need to be adhered to?
To Wrap up,
I tried to list down steps to develop a successful product strategy. I understand that it may difficult to get clarity about all the aspects at the start. But you can always talk to experts to get the clarity on your vision and requirements. Get in touch with me at email@example.com in case any help required.