App Development Checklist: What You Need Before You Begin

Not sure where to start? We've developed this handy Q&A style checklist to help you get your plan in writing BEFORE beginning development to avoid common problems.

BY: RICHARD BERTCH ON FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019
App Development Checklist: What You Need Before You Begin

App development is a multi-faceted and complex process.

Before you begin development, it's critical you have a plan for success.

Not sure where to start? We've developed this handy Q&A style checklist to help you get your plan in writing BEFORE beginning development to avoid common problems.

Let's begin, shall we?

1. Set Goals

The very first item on your list should be to define success for your app.

  • What problem does your app solve?
  • How many users defines success for your minimum viable product (MVP)?
  • What are the minimum features needed to make the app functional?

2. Identify Your Ideal User

To attract the right user, build a profile of what your target user looks like.

  • What industry are they in?
  • What are their demographics (gender, age, income, etc.)?
  • Why would they choose your solution?
  • How much are they willing to pay for your solution?

3. Scope the Competition

As much as we would like to think our idea is brand new, there's usually at least one other app out there trying to solve the same problem as we are. It's important to identify their strengths and weaknesses to see where you can fill in their gaps.

  • What apps are available that attempt to solve the same problem as you?
  • How much do they charge?
  • What platforms are competitor's apps available on?
  • Where do they succeed?
  • Where are they failing to meet expectations?
  • How can you differentiate your app from the competition?

4. Set Your Budget

This step is self-explanatory.

  • What is the average cost to develop the MVP of the App?
  • How many platforms and devices do you want to support?
  • What is the cost for ongoing maintenance and upgrades?

5. Talent Acquisition

  • Will use internal or external developers?
  • Agencies or freelancers?
  • What internal resources do you have available to help with development and maintenance?
  • How will you retain talent once you acquire it?
  • What are the biggest strengths you are looking for in developers?

6. Create a Business Plan

In order to survive in today's competitive marketplace, you need accurate financial projects about your revenue.

  • How will you monetize your MVP?
  • What will you charge users?
  • How will you structure pricing (monthly, annually, etc.)
  • How long will it take for your revenue to pay off initial development costs?
  • What is your long-term monetization strategy?

7. Plan the Technical Details

This is where you get to geek out on all the fun stuff like programming languages, roadmaps, etc.

  • What platforms will you support?
  • What technology will you use to build the app?
  • What hardware will you support?
  • Which marketplaces/app stores will you make your app available on?
  • When will you perform maintenance and upgrades?
  • How long will it take to build your MVP?

Wrapping It Up

Be smart about developing your app and create a plan. Before you jump into the development phase, answer the above questions to ensure you're on the right track. You'll be able to approach development with a realistic plan and timeline to ensure long-term success.

About the Author

Richard Bertch

Richard is a contributing finance author at ChamberofCommerce.com and freelance writer about all things business, finance and productivity. With over 10 years of copywriting experience, Richard has worked with brands ranging from Quickbooks to Oracle creating insightful whitepapers, conversion focused product pages and thought leadership blog posts. Richard can be reached at richardbertch@gmail.com.

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