Building an app is serious business. You’re creating a product that will be used by people who have several other fantastic options. Whether your app is free or requires a subscription, it must have the following qualities:
- Optimum performance, and
Getting all these qualities requires a team of experts who share your vision for your app. It will also involve you using the right collaboration tools to communicate milestone achievements, project adjustments, monitor project progress and ultimately complete the task. The development of your app is dependent on your ability to lead people – in spite of their values and personality types – through efficient people management skills, to the accomplishment of your goal. What this essentially means, is that the launch of your app, is largely dependent on you – the team lead and CEO.
This article will walk you through the process of building and leading your app development team.
Building the Team
It’s important for you to get the right experts to build your app. Using a substandard team (for whatever reason), will only produce a substandard app with bad reviews. Think of your team like a basketball team – everyone is useful to get that ball into the net and secure the winning position. A weak player will prevent the team from victory, no matter how good the rest of the team is. So how do you start building an app development team? You do it like a basketball coach.
Understand the field and know the players
What type of app are you building? Will it be free? Who are your biggest competitors and how will your app be different? Who’s your target audience? What’s your budget? The goal and the field determine the types of players you need to have. Here’s a list of team players you should scout for:
The look and perception of your app is in the hands of these professionals. Their expertise in determining the right color schemes and images for your app is critical to its success. Don’t compromise on quality. Skill comes in measures and experience usually counts for a lot.
You want to ensure that your users are satisfied with the functionality of your app. UI/UX (user interface and user experience) professionals have the right skill to ensure that this is done.
These professionals build the backbone for your app, and they are just as important as the designers (perhaps more so). They understand the various mobile operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows) and how to build your app in each environment. Creating an app that’s optimized for premium performance is in the hands of software engineers and developers.
After the app has been designed and developed for the market, you need to figure out a way to make money from it, even if it’s free for use. Business analysts will predict the results of your business strategy, and guide you to maximize profits. They can also develop a long-term plan to ensure that your app does not become obsolete, and identify operational loopholes that can prevent your business from growing.
Marketers will get your app into the hands of the people you made them for. They understand and know how to speak the language of your market, whether through text, images, audio or video. The marketing professional will hire the right content creator(s) to handle this, and also work with the designer to ensure that your app is a good product.
Don’t want users to delete your app because of poor grammar, language and style? Hire the right content writers to word interaction between your app and user appropriately.
Quality assurance professionals
You have to be sure that your app is working the way it’s supposed to. You also have to be sure that your market will like the product you’ve created, and the way it works. It is the job of the quality assurance professionals to make certain that your product is tested for quality, so it can compete favorably with other apps.
Data security for your app is imperative. You’ll need to hire a security professional who will ensure the right security protocols are in place. Nothing can be more damning as an app with lax security protocols. Not only can you be liable for any damages associated with data compromise and theft, your brand reputation will be greatly affected. Hire the right security professional(s).
You may have a couple of people in mind for the project, but their fee is way beyond your budget. Or you may have encountered people who claimed to know the job, but fell short of your expectations. It’s up to you to spot good talent that’s within your budget.
Here’s what you can do:
- Find professionals with the right technical skills for your product (don’t hire a UI/UX professional to do the work of a designer) and offer them shares in your company (as remuneration).
- Find professionals with good recommendations.
- Hire a freelancer who will charge less, but will also deliver good results.
Leading the team.
Share the vision and make an offer
Once you’ve identified the right people to make up your team, share the vision, make them an offer and seal it with a contract. It’s imperative that you make the vision as clear as possible, so much that your team can reiterate it accurately. When the team understands the vision:
- They can become passionate and apply their talents to the vision suitably.
- They can proactively create solutions for problems identified during brainstorming.
- They can modify the direction of the vision to improve it.
While knowing the vision and becoming passionate about it is good, it can become problematic when the terms are not clearly spelt out. Make sure that everyone knows what they’re getting or not getting. Don’t contradict yourself and create confusion – don’t have them sign a contract that’s different from your verbal cues. And do not make them promises you can’t or won’t keep. It takes just one disgruntled employee to leak sensitive development information, or create a PR nightmare that will cancel all your marketing efforts.
Lead the project
Team members want to be aware of the direction of a project, it helps them to trust the leadership of the visionary and the credibility of the project. It’s crucial for you to show leadership at all times, no matter what happens along the way.
- Create a clear project timeline and apportion tasks.
- Create milestones, so team members know what they are working towards.
- Establish communication lines and rules – let team members know the acceptable communication tools.
- Schedule team bonding activities
- Personally check on the welfare of team members, this can serve as a morale boost.
- Stay on top of industry news that may affect your project.
- Communicate strength, even if your investor backs out!
Manage human interferences
Human beings are bound to have flaws and differences in opinion that lead to conflicts. If your team is working remotely, this is more likely to happen, as the familiarity that working on location provides, is absent. Conflict is bad for your app development, as members will probably derail the agenda with their own dissension.
- Douse the fire of conflict as soon as it starts. Guide your team members to express their opinions respectfully.
- Intervene when opposing opinions present a flaw in your plan. The problem might be the work structure you’ve laid out, and not the members.
- Receive feedback with grace, app development is a collaborative effort, not a one-man show.
- Trust the technical experience of your team members, don’t undermine their efforts with illusive ideas.
With your solid team of app developers and right leadership skills, you’re on your way to creating an app that will be successful, and building a company that delivers on customer success every time.
Nikola Baldikov is a Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix, specializing in SAAS marketing, SEO, and outreach strategies. Besides his passion for digital marketing, he is an avid fan of football and loves to dance. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @baldikovn