With over 7 years of experience in working with clients, we can safely say that no two clients are alike. Each client is unique, with some coming to us with a clear vision of the product, while some require our help in narrowing their ideas down to a product. It’s as challenging as it sounds, but not impossible as we at Mood Up place a core focus on planning.
The most important aspect of a software house and a client relationship is the communication that goes within it. So much so that we sometimes spend weeks communicating with the client and understanding requirements, as failing to do so can lead to the failure of the end product.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The reason I quote this here is as this is what we believe in Mood Up.
Outstanding products do not happen by chance. They are created by an intimate understanding of functionalities, design preferences, budget deadlines and other details thoroughly discussed during the planning stage, which usually lasts for a week or two. It is during this time that the Mood Up team embarks on a period of intense research and bombard our clients with questions to ensure no stone is left unturned and both sides are fully clear on requirements and expectations.
Such an approach is paramount for us when working within Agile, as we aim to deliver a shippable product at the end of every sprint. The main goals of a planning phase for us consist of:
Good, transparent communication that leaves nothing to chance is important as being crystal clear on client expectations help us focus on working efficiently. The client, however, is expected to be as involved in the product as we are during the whole development cycle, as iterative development is only possible with extended client involvement.
2. Assembling the team
Each product requirement is different and we take this into account to match it with developers who have the the most experience in related areas. Our focus at this stage is on assembling the best team that can deliver outstanding products to match client requirements.
3. Product concept
The assembled team, based on the information gathered at stage one, is now able to focus their attention on creating a product concept with key features based on the client needs, time and budget. It is this team that offer the client advice on different product aspects such as concept development, design mapping and finalizing the requirements listed in the product backlog.
The concept produced in the previous stage is brought to life via low-fidelity wireframes by our designers. It is this stage that allows a client to take a look at the schema of how the finalised app will look like. Such visualisation gives the client a glimpse of their ideas being brought to life, making sure all that was agreed on is what is being developed.
5. Discussing design
This stage involves us holding extensive discussions with the client on how the design will appear, and involve all our design thinking. No amount of questioning is too little at this stage as one doesn’t have to look too far for products that failed due to poor design.
6. Project documentation
This is the last aspect of planning and will help us to create
- User stories – user narratives that are extremely helpful in understanding the end functionality of a product
- Detailed estimation – a compilation of all the features that will be implemented and the time they would take
- Project plan – an estimation divided into sprints, in which the client would receive a shippable product at the end of every sprint.
- Technical requirements – documentation on the technical particularities such as programming language, approach and external APIs related to the product.
Failing to plan due to its tedious nature has led to the downfall of many apps. It, contrary to what most think is actually a huge time saver in the long run as it provides a sense of purpose to the team and helps developers write code that meet client expectations. This keeps the projects on track, within cost and relieve unnecessary strain on both the client and the development team.
Got an idea for an app that we can help with? Write to us here and let’s get planning with an initial estimate.