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You know just how important mobile devices are when it comes to your business’s development. To help you implement a successful mobile app strategy, use the lean software development method.

 

What is lean development? It’s a way of working that involves improving performance and team productivity by managing production requirements such that only what is needed is used. First developed by Toyota, it has since been implemented by numerous companies throughout the world. But the lean method should not be seen simply as optimizing work processes in order to produce “faster and cheaper”.

Originally, the method involved doing away with all that was superfluous – everything that weighed production down, in terms of both time and costs. This was the famous “waste elimination”. The aim was to focus on what was essential. A positive application of the lean method involves overhauling it, and incorporating aspects of another theory into it: that of the learning organization. The idea is as follows:

  • the starting point for your mobile app strategy will be your hypothesis
  • your process will involve testing this hypothesis in order to learn from your users
  • your objective will be to deliver a functional and effective app

 

Step 1 / Creating the hypothesis

The hypothesis is the market opportunity – the opportunity to grow your business that you believe you have identified. This growth opportunity is the result of an identified need that your clients have, and the mobile app strategy is an effective means of delivering this offer. The first step therefore involves:

  1. Outlining your objectives
  2. Understanding what your clients’ needs are
  3. Analyzing the digital paths that your clients take
  4. Formulating the hypothesis that your proposed service is something they need… and determining how they could use it

In actual fact, there are three hypotheses: the client hypothesis, the problem and the solution. During this step, you will define how you perceive your clients’ requirements, based on your business expertise.

 

Step 2 / Creating value

Using your hypotheses, you need to relate your business, your services and the business sectors in which you operate to your clients’ behavior, the aim being to highlight the value of your app. This step is vital: the value that you create is the basis for any mobile app strategy. It is around this value that you will be able to create an offer, deliver a service or develop a relationship. The relationship that you have with your clients is based on this value. In order to define it, you need to:

  1. understand how your idea can be useful to users
  2. understand how you can make your idea useful based on your users’ behavior and on their requirements

It’s not so much your product offer that is important… more the way you will get your clients to take advantage of it, use it and appropriate it for themselves.

 

Step 3 / Avoiding pointless development with an MVP

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a way of quickly testing your hypothesis and focusing your work on the functions and features that are really essential for users. This is the waste elimination associated with the traditional lean method.

The MVP might not necessarily be the product as you imagined it. It might be less complex, less complete or less of a finished product. But it must be the product that precisely meets your clients’ business requirements, both in terms of functionality – obviously – but also in terms of its ergonomic design and the way users have to navigate through it in order to find the information they’re looking for.

The advantage of the MVP is that it avoids the trap of the perfect app – the app that has a longer production time, posing a risk to your investment.

Developing this MVP involves prototyping, testing & learning, and trialing. You need to listen, learn and question your hypothesis. In addition to prototyping, involving users in the early stages of the project is a way of finding out how they might use the app and refocusing efforts on its more useful functions.

 

Step 4 / Defining metrics

How do you gauge how successful your app is? The number of times your app is downloaded is not the only measure of its success. Everything depends on your target and what your objectives are. Your metrics will be different depending on whether your app is designed for the general public or business customers.

Users’ commitment is also important, for example. You can just as easily assess your app’s effectiveness in terms of project management, change management in your company or your app’s impact on the evolution of processes. More immediate criteria – such as whether or not the app is delivered on schedule and to budget and whether or not it meets other targets – are just as valid.

 

Step 5 / Your app’s upgradability

If you have properly incorporated your users into a test group in order to get information about their user experiences and their needs, you have created an MVP that is already highly operational. Should you leave it at that? Without overhauling your app’s ergonomic design, you will benefit by improving your users’ experience of it iteratively, making regular changes to its ergonomic design. The long-term existence of your app will also be determined by how easy it is to integrate it into the operating systems in use on mobile devices – which change on a regular basis – or how easily it can be interfaced with third-party technologies.

 

Since we believe that continuous improvement is the best way to produce a high-performance and useful mobile and web application, we have designed the Wakanda Platform to make developing your app easier. You can autonomously manage your app’s prototyping, its development, how it links up to your back-office and its deployment to either the Cloud or your servers – all within an integrated environment. You can make improvements to your app, factoring in feedback from your users – at any stage of the process.