Mobile development team strategies: Industry expertise, collaborative platforms and putting the user first

By James O'Brien

Getting a successful mobile app to market is increasingly challenging, and even the best players need to address mobile development team strategies.

As few as 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps are expected to be financial success stories between now and 2018, Gartner recently reported, and the market is very crowded. To carve out a space in which your mobile app development team can beat the odds, you’ll need to incorporate key best practices from the start.

The following approaches put a premium on expertise, collaboration and, above all, the user experience.

Your Team Needs More Than Mobile App Experts

In a competitive marketplace, mobile app projects can’t afford the time it often takes developers to learn industry specifics on the job.

If your mobile app is for the banking sector, as Jennifer Lent points out at TechTarget, then your development team should include members whose knowledge includes security and payment card industry compliance regulations, for example. That kind of deep, specific expertise means your project has an edge: the ability to address and answer key industry questions and concerns at even the earliest stages.

A Successful App Development Team Is Cloud-Based and Flexible

In today’s workforce, talent moves around. When it comes to achieving milestones on schedule and under budget, collaboration among both team members and business end users demands a dynamic, noncentralized workspace. Collaborative platforms in the cloud provide that environment, letting your mobile app team network ideas and optimize progress regardless of location, time zones and devices. A recent IBM Center for Applied Insights (CAI) survey gives evidence that the cloud-based approach fuels progress: Two-thirds of winning mobile app projects utilized cloud APIs at the core of their creative functionality.

Strategy for Developers: Collaboration Is an Expansive Ecosystem

When major app development teams want spectrum-wide perspectives on how a product works, they expand their collaboration to include many kinds of stakeholders — and they include external insights.

For example, whether your graphic designers are in-house or contracted, you’ll want them to educate your coders about the ways different platforms tend to display on-screen elements. Likewise, if your mobile development team is designing an app for an enterprise client, you’ll want the client to address what its users are likely to find intuitive and/or frustrating about a proposed layout.

In another example, as Fortune reports, Red Hat opens its testing ecosystem to include even third-party developers. Those experts outside the internal team may well see design features and user experience opportunities that others miss.

The User Experience Is the Ultimate Developer Laboratory

Even as the development team marks key milestones across the course of design and implementation, it’s still the end user who confirms success. This underlying concept extends beyond direct feedback such as reviews.

As Tangerine Bank’s chief information officer noted, speaking in the same CAI report, the data surrounding app usage also offer a wealth of insights, including how many times users open Tangerine’s app and what they do within it during a session. Even user sentiment on the social Web, when it comes to in-app experiences, can help shape important responsive strategies.

The elements that make for successful mobile app development teams constitute a threefold system:

  • Bringing on industry experts from the start;
  • Supplying your stakeholders with powerful collaborative tools;
  • Giving your team the advantage of access to user experiences and data.

By following the above approaches and keeping the collaborative space dynamic and inclusive, mobile app developers can shoot for that coveted 0.01 percent in the consumer space: The app that earns a financial win in the coming years.

Written By

James O'Brien

Technology Reporter

For the past half decade, James O'Brien has covered technology and the ways it intersects with our lives and work. His points of focus include data analytics, the mobile sector, driver-less cars, the Internet of Things, IT infrastructure, data security, 3-D printing, and technology…

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