This is a two-part series on app development pre-planning, or mapping, as we call it. In Part 1, we begin with what app development mapping is and why it’s an important part of a software deployment strategy. In Part 2, we will explore the steps involved in the mapping process so you can plan your next steps with confidence.
The app development process begins as early as the initial idea of creating a business software or mobile app. The process of pre-planning, or “app development mapping,” guides you to a deployment strategy, whether that means utilizing existing software, or building your own.
What is app development mapping?
Mapping is the exploratory phase of your app development strategy, in which you identify and explore fundamental questions about the app.
We call this process “mapping” because building an app is a lot like taking a road trip. It can be long and time-consuming but having a strategy to get to your destination will save you time and (gas) money. To create an effective app solution, you have to have a good plan – or road map – to know where you are going and how you’re going to get there.
The mapping process of app development is like drawing out your route on the road map in preparation for your trip.
During the process, you clarify things like:
- What will the app do?
- What business problem(s) are you trying to solve?
- Who will be using the app?
- How will it function?
- Is the best solution to buy existing software or build your own?
- How long will it take to deploy and how much will it cost?
Why is pre-planning important?
Investing the time upfront to identify and answer the critical questions about your business needs can help define your software deployment strategy and reduce time to market. The end result might be a technology solution that will jumpstart your new business idea, an efficient tool to help your employees’ productivity or a completely custom solution that will help your business scale and gain a competitive edge.
The benefits of pre-planning include:
- A clear understanding of development processes, including design concepts, phases of development and expectations, and time to market
- Early insight into design trends, functionality, and best practices
- Cost and time projection for development.
A lack of pre-planning could result in:
- Lack of clarity in concept due to insufficient information
- Time constraints or deployment delays due to considerations that were overlooked before development
- Extra costs due to a lack of planning, organization and communication.
At the end of the mapping process, you should have a clear understanding of the look, feel and flow of your intended software solution. You will also have expectations for budget and estimated time frames to build and deploy.
In Part 2 of this series, we’ll tell you how to get there. We will take you through the steps of the mapping process to help you launch your app in a manageable way.