Mark has been looking for ways to grow his business. He noticed a stagnation settling in within his company – the business has been roughly in the same place as a year ago, and Mark decided it was high time to move forward. First thing that came to mind was innovation. How to make his company grow by introducing modern solutions.
He woke up one day with a brilliant idea. He was going to get an app built to improve internal processes and make work smoother. He wanted an internal communication system between employees of all levels. Mark realised that ready-made solutions would not suffice and a tailor-made, the dedicated system was required.
He decided to embark on a mission, a quest if you please, to turn his idea into reality.
His first steps would lead him towards app developers. There were plenty to choose from but Mark exercised caution and done his homework, which led him to a company that respected his needs, understood his requirements and gave him a fair estimate of time and costs involved.
Most app development stories start here. The ones bound for success have few things in common. Most important bit is actually finding the right people for the job. Following Mark’s example it’s best to research ahead and look among companies with an established market position, strong portfolio and good understanding of customer needs.
More often than not, an idea for an app is to a business owner a value in itself. The need for confidentiality is only natural and a developer should understand and provide for it. They will quickly offer a non-disclosure agreement – if only to speed up the process of analysis and estimation of costs. An NDA gives the client a peace of mind that he’s not getting robbed of his idea, and the developer an access to essential information about the proposed application. Anyone embarking on a journey could use some sort of travel insurance. In software development, an NDA is pretty much it.
So Mark has now found the people to help him with his quest and got all the insurance he needed.He could now tell his developer about the idea in detail. They would want to learn as much as they could about it.
The more details Mark was able to be provide about his future app, the better the developer could understand what they are going to be making for him.
He has now spent a few days talking to his development team. There seemed to be no end to the questions. Why do you want to create this app? What problem will it solve? What is the added value of it? Who are the users going to be and what will they use it for?
Then it got more detailed and technical. What are the functions of the app going to be? Extra features? What should it look like? What devices should it work on? And many, many others.
Little did Mark suspect how much information is required to get his project going. Not even that. Get it as far as estimated and planned. Finally, after days of meetings and conversations, a plan was established.
Once Marks developer got all the information needed, they could get on to working on a price estimation and proposed schedule of works. Since the information was solid and comprehensive, they could come up with a transparent and realistic proposition. Mark noticed that the better you know what you need, the easier it is to get it.
The company’s offer was well within his budget and time expectations. When compared with other software houses – the price seemed reasonable and Mark felt that the communication with this particular developer was full of mutual understanding and professional approach.
The decision was made. The papers signed, and so the work could commence. The following weeks and months were going to be very exciting for Mark. As a product owner he was going to be directly involved in the creation process and his input quite invaluable.
The true value of Mark’s new app was the improvement in communication within his company. With this goal in mind, the developer created personas – imaginary users and their stories of using the app. These encompassed both positive experiences and possible issues and restrictions the app may have. Once they could see what’s needed to provide the best possible value for users, the design process could start.
The value proposition was the most important piece of the puzzle. If an app doesn’t offer real value for a user, then really, what’s the point? Marks idea was solid – a custom made app that will streamline communication, make employees connect and share virtual space, exchange information and connect directly with all resources at the company’s disposal.
Mark’s app was going to be an important tool for his business, his solutions were innovative and applicable to not only his company, but anyone running a business having communication issues . With this in mind, and following the developers advice, Mark started considering his app as more than just an internal tool. There was a high chance for it to become a fully marketable product.
The development team started their work with designing the UX – User Experience. They planned and envisaged the interaction between users and the app, created a map of the experience, wireframes, proposed branding and finally, a fully working mockup of the app. All this has been done according to Marks suggestions and propositions. He was indeed impressed with the design, and after few minor touch ups and adjustments, he could actually see what the app will look like, how it will work and feel. He knew that this was exactly what he needed and was happy to give the developers a go ahead.
With a design ready and approved, Marks development team was now fully prepared to begin the laborious process of crafting the real product. With no questions left to answer and no stone left unturned, they knew exactly where they were heading and how to get there.
The team comprised of specialists in all required areas of expertise. Backend developer for all things hidden, frontend for all you can see, iOS, Android, Graphic designers and testers. They could now make it all happen.
Marks quest was now entering its essential stages. The actual production has begun and it was time for the whole team to get their hands dirty. The process had to be divided into manageable stages. Each iteration would start with establishing the goals, addressing possible issues, proposing solutions. Marks involvement was still very important.
As a product owner he would continuously provide his feedback on the progress, voice his opinion on quality, and propose changes and adjustments. If his app was going to be more than just an internal tool, it had to look the part. It also needed to be scalable and appealing to business owners worldwide.
The software house suggested Cloud services, which would make both the development process more streamlined, and scaling pretty much seamless. The developer showed great flexibility and all of Marks proposed changes were applied to the project, which made his app even better than initially envisaged. It did stretch the timeframe a little, but with mutual understanding and agreement.
The app was now complete and ready for final testing and approval. Internal tests, external tests, bug fixes. All to make the product perfect and and exactly as ordered. Mark was thoroughly satisfied with the effects and now had not only a new tool for his own business, but a product to put to the market and make money on.
With a thorough help from the developer, the app was implemented in Marks offices. The team provided thorough instructions and documentation, which were well received by all the employees and the system was working days from delivery.
The developer then proposed to launch the app as a market product. They offered marketing services, ad campaign, and on going analysis of the apps progress.
The product quickly gained popularity and brought Mark real profits, additionally to vastly improving his company’s processes.
Happy with the product, Mark decided to stick with his developer, seeing that his app was not only a valuable tool, but also one with a future. As the developer offered a 12 month warranty period, he could rest assured that should anything come up requiring attention, the company would address the issue immediately and fix any problem.
Over the following years, Marks company stayed in close cooperation with the developer, signing an SLA (Service Level Agreement). The app kept getting updated, new features were added, the market value of the system kept growing.
The quest Mark embarked on with merely an idea, became a unending story of successful development. Of the business, of software and of profits.