With the rampant use of smartphones, it’s no wonder spending in app stores is exploding. According to Forbes, global spending in app stores climbed to $50.1 in the first half of 2020. So choosing the right development approach for your mobile app development is crucial.
To find out the best practices in app development and what kind of planning and reporting goes into the work, carry on reading!
Why Do Different Mobile App Methodologies Exist?
With so many apps out there we can’t expect a “one size fits all” solution. There are intricacies to every app that determines how it’s made. While some applications need to be particularly responsive, others need to have full hardware access to achieve that rich visual display required.
The development methodology used will also depend on the team working on the app. After all, different approaches are employed to help teamwork efficiently and communicate clearly. So if an app fails, you should also keep in mind that the team structure, various analyses, and market research are also players to keep in mind.
Before we dive into the best methodologies for mobile app development, do bear in mind that combinations of different approaches can be great for one project.
Agile Development Methodology
Let’s start with the absolute star in the mobile app development methodology roster. As the name says itself, Agile development is a flexible method that lets teams implement changes throughout the project. That’s the key benefit – you can adapt without sacrificing discipline and workflow. Also, various types of risk are reduced this way.
The Agile methodology relies on:
- Iterations which last between a week and a month.
- Constant communication between the team and customer takes out the guesswork.
One of the main drawbacks of the Agile methodology is that bigger projects can be harder to estimate in terms of documentation and time needed to complete the product
But before Agile, there was Waterfall.
Before UX (user experience) was crucial in determining the success of mobile application development, Waterfall was the way things were done. The name itself describes the approach: phases are executed sequentially and completely. Teams don’t move on to other phases before the previous ones are done.
Waterfall’s big downfall (sorry-not-sorry for the pun) is that once you move on, you can’t go back. So there is no typical MVP (minimally viable product). Instead, you can make changes once more only in the maintenance phase, which comes after the product launch.
The Spiral methodology is great for big projects and for those project managers that focus on the risks. That is because the main benefit of Spiral is the practical way of spotting and lowering risks in early project stages. How is this done?
Mainly, developers work out the kinks, which leaves the team with a good risk management plan. Also, project managers will love that their web developers will be working fast since all features are implemented systematically.
Key drawbacks include:
- The Spiral methodology is costly since any flaw in risk-management can veer the team off course.
- The Spiral methodology requires a tedious approach to documentation and patience since you can’t easily predict the length of the process.
If you see some similarities between the Prototype and Waterfall approaches – you’re correct. The main difference is that the Prototype methodology is the next evolutionary step of the Waterfall since it fixes one huge drawback – it lets you make changes during the design phase.
That is done with prototypes (hence the name). It was created with the assumption that the team and the client benefits from a prototype to understand the scope of the project before the development carries on.
As with Agile methodology, Prototype allows the client to quip in and give an evaluation. It’s clear now why this methodology is also smart for reducing risk.
Lean Development Methodology
Lean development focuses on quick and cheap product development. While this sacrifices efficiency, it also lets you develop mobile apps that are easy to change afterward. So if you are down on time and money, going for lean development can be a great strategic move.
Also, your team can be extra motivated working this way since they have a bigger say. But be wary of choosing this approach if you lack a good business analyst and suffer from poor communication in the team. But if your team has a good track record of working together and your analyst is experienced – they are less likely to lose their focus and sight of the goal.
It’s more clear now that there isn’t one correct methodology for mobile app development. For a customized approach, you may find out that a mix of Agile and Spiral methodology suits you the most while developing an app. The most important thing to note is that one strategy won’t apply to building all of your apps.
So instead of wasting time and other resources, go for a trusted mobile app development team that you can lean on while waiting for your perfect product.