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Top milestones to consider for your app development project

20/02/2024

14

Before you start developing an app, you should have a set of targets that let you know how much progress you’re making. They also guide you regarding possible changes in your app development roadmap and other aspects of the project.

These app development milestones are in two major categories; application characteristics and business-related/organizational developments, so let’s discuss the most important milestones and what they tell you about your project:

Scope and requirements

The project scope is about establishing the boundaries within which you’ll operate, particularly the problems you want to solve and how advanced the solutions should be. At times, the project scope may also hint at the different market segments you intend to serve based on various demographics like age brackets, geographical region, individual or institution, public or private organization and more.

Establishing a scope helps narrow your targets, so you’re not distracted by the other possibilities regarding the target audience and app features further down the road. You can rest assured knowing that whatever new ideas the team suggests along the way align with achieving one or more of the predetermined goals.

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In addition, the project scope helps you ascertain your requirements, whether human resources, tools, permits and licenses, funds and more. Many tech talents like to experiment with new methods and state-of-the-art tools, some of which may be unnecessary, complicated and expensive.

In that sense, having a project scope helps you zero in on the essential requirements and possibly even start consultations on how long the project could take or how much it might cost.

Project approval

Whether you intend to produce software for internal use, a specific client or the general public, senior management officials have to green-light the project. This usually happens after you’ve proved that the proposed solution will address the problem and be affordable.

Furthermore, project approval can be viewed as continuous since, in many cases, the initial sign-off focuses on a few primary features while others may be okayed later. Therefore, as teams seek approval, they should have estimated durations, costs, revenue and profit.

Fund-raising

Every project requires a certain amount of money to get started, and in many cases, the team will need more later. However, teams rarely have the luxury of getting their entire budget funded before they begin since they could lose their competitive edge if someone else is first to market.

That said, many teams start with a particular amount and gradually search for more funds as the project progresses. This requires clear and constant communication between the technical teams, managers, and business leaders because the project could consume funds much faster than everyone expected. The last thing you want to do is have to pause development progress on the app after gaining momentum.

Modules completed

Think of a module as an individual software component that serves a clear and distinct purpose. Sometimes it may be the kind that can run independently, but occasionally, a module may depend on another to perform a specific function.

A module can be something like a file export/render component, an ecommerce checkout, an account synchronization option or some other piece that can perform a complete task. Often, development teams have a disconnect with management and business leaders regarding the level of progress, especially when communication is dominated by technical terms like code commits, compilations and more.

Source: Unsplash

The non-engineering staff may need help understanding what these mean regarding work done. Accordingly, tracking the number of modules completed helps everyone understand how functional the app is at any point in time. Since every module has a name representing a capability, the list of modules completed is a way of saying, “Here is what the app can do so far?”

However, this milestone can be subjective since the team may still need to address inter-module communication and bugs.

Defects fixed

Whenever a new piece of an application is completed, it has to undergo testing. Occasionally, teams discover some defects in the application. Unfortunately, circumstances don’t always allow for discovered issues to be rectified at once.

Typically, teams focus on issues integral to the app’s baseline functionality, then tackle other non-critical UX problems later. Moreover, even when teams fix many defects, others may go unnoticed and surface when the app has already gone public.

So in every app development project, teams ought to keep an updated list of app defects discovered and those fixed. Firstly, this helps keep the team focused since they know the portion of problems they will fix in each iteration. Secondly, when that portion is sorted, they also have something concrete to communicate to the general public and show the importance of each update.

User interactions

For many app development projects, the team releases a leaner version in the early stages, which they continuously improve. So along the way, they track interactions such as downloads, free trial sign-ups and subscription payments.

While interactions like downloads may be more indicative of marketing efforts, sign-ups and subscriptions speak more about the relevance of app features. Also, figures highlighting paying customers can show how lucrative the app might be in the future. These are some of the numbers that potential financiers are more interested in.

This revenue is often compared to the time since the app launch and the cost of developing and delivering its current features. In that sense, such a milestone can be considered an intersection between business targets and application characteristics.

Wrapping Up

Several events, metrics and other pieces of information can be considered milestones in an app development project. Nevertheless, when coming up with milestones for your project, always ask yourself, “Do they help indicate progress?” “Could they influence the duration of the project?” “Do they help secure buy-in from decision-makers or motivate frontline team members?”

The milestones you emphasize can massively impact your project’s success, so it’s prudent to seek professional assistance before you begin your app development journey. For any help in establishing and utilizing milestones throughout the software development lifecycle, contact us for a free consultation.

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