Every app starts with an idea. But what happens between having that idea and starting development? On this blog we’ve talked about our development process quite a bit (you can read about it here, here, and here), but that’s all focused on what happens after a project contract has been signed. As with any business venture and partnership, there’s a process even before a contract is signed. Here’s typically what happens between the time we first meet our clients and when the project contract is signed and development begins.
Establish the Basics
When we first meet a potential client, we spend time discussing the app concept and options for technology platforms (iOS, Android, or web), content management needs, and long-term vision and goals. We also discuss a ballpark estimate and budget for the project. Timeline is also discussed; we like to know if clients have any hard deadlines so we can work it into our project schedule. We also discuss all the potential features the app could have and their technical feasibility and options. At this point, we try to grasp a high-level idea of the app’s purpose and technical needs.
After we established a high-level idea together, we work with our potential clients to dig into details and define a scope document. This document outlines in greater detail every feature of the app, including any back-end content management system and integration work. Together, we build an itemized list of everything the app could include and the work it would require to build.
Bid and Phase
Now that we have a defined project scope, we bid each line item of the scope. We provide fixed cost proposals that are based on our estimate of how many hours it would take to build each line item. Along with a bid for each line item, we’ll also provide a total project budget. At this point, we can work on phasing options. Phasing is breaking the project down into logical portions of work, and it may or may not be driven by budget. We may end up building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), launching, testing, and improving before adding additional features. Phasing can be a great way to stay nimble in an ever-changing world of technology. Some projects can be broken up into phases, and built up over time. Other projects may require a full feature set right out of the gate. We work with each client to determine the best way forward for each need.
After we work through the bidding and phasing steps to a point where our client feels comfortable with the outlined work and budget, we work on contracting. We start with a Master Services Agreement, which outlines the ongoing business relationship between Rocket and the client. Then, we create a specific project contract that outlines the scope and cost and other project specifics.
Let’s Get Started!
If you’re wondering what your options are for your app idea, contact us! We’d be happy to sit down with you and listen to your idea and offer our insights.