When you're a startup founder developing an app, you'll have the difficult task of finding and managing an app development partner to build your idea. This article shares some of my experience and will hopefully let you spot problems ahead of time, or deal with them when they arise.
The reason I put this together is that I work with quite a few startup founders who are looking for a new development partner because things have gone wrong.
Let's look at the key problems I hear from startup founders, along with options to fix them.
1. The first problem is scope creep. This happens when the scope of work expands beyond what was originally agreed upon. For example, you might ask your developer to add a new feature, but they end up adding several new features and changing other parts of the app. This can cause delays and extra costs.
To avoid scope creep, you need to be clear about what you want from the start. Make sure you have a detailed specification of the work to be done, and that both you and the developer agree on it. Be clear about what changes can be made and how they will be made.
2. The second problem is poor communication. This can happen when there are misunderstandings or when important information is not communicated properly. For example, you might not tell the developer about an important deadline, or they might not tell you about a change in the scope of work. This can cause delays and frustration on both sides.
To avoid poor communication, you need to have regular check-ins with the developer, and make sure that both sides are clear about what is being done and what needs to be done. Be patient and understand that there might be language barriers or different ways of communicating.
3. The third problem is unrealistic expectations. This can happen when you expect the developer to work miracles, or when you expect the app to be perfect from the start. For example, you might expect the developer to add a new feature in a week, when it actually takes months to develop. This can cause frustration and delays.
To avoid unrealistic expectations, you need to be realistic about what can be done and how long it will take. Be clear about your timeline and budget, and make sure the developer is aware of them. Don't expect perfection, but do expect progress.
4. The fourth problem is a lack of transparency. This can happen when the developer is not transparent about their work, or when they don't give you access to the code or to the project management tools. For example, you might not be able to see how much progress has been made, or you might not be able to track the project's budget. This can cause frustration and delays.
To avoid a lack of transparency, you need to ask for regular reports from the developer, and make sure you have access to the code and to the project management tools. Be clear about what you need to see, and how often you need to see it.
5. The fifth problem is a lack of trust. This can happen when there is a lack of communication or transparency, or when there are unrealistic expectations. For example, you might not trust the developer to do the work properly, or you might not trust them to keep to the agreed timeline. This can cause frustration and delays.
To avoid a lack of trust, you need to build a relationship of trust with the developer. Be clear about your expectations, and make sure they are realistic. Communicate regularly, and be transparent about what you expect to see from the developer.
I hope this article has helped you understand some of the key problems that can arise when working with an app development partner. By being aware of these problems, you can avoid them or deal with them more effectively if they do arise. If you are a start-up searching for an app development partner, join hands with Quiits - the leading App developers UK.