The worst top 3 problems I have faced as an app developer, and what I did to not cry myself to sleep every night and CRUSH them!
Do you make mobile apps?
You make apps, right? Is that true? You’ve come here because you’re curious about them in some manner. Welcome. To begin, I’d like to provide a disclaimer. For a while now, I’ve been playing this game. I began off as a bright-eyed CPA and wound up in the software industry. Initially with an app development company, and now with the exciting area of AI and machine learning. It’s been an enjoyable experience. The learning curve was high and the competition was severe when I first got into app development. Many evenings were spent wondering why I had left my secure position in the organized and predictable world of accounting for one where technology and tools undergo tectonic shifts on a daily basis, talent is scarce, and clients are difficult to locate.
What drew me into this?
Then it hit me: this is what I’ve been missing all along. What drew me in was the fact that it was fast-paced, tough, and fluid-moving. I had learned the necessary abilities for managing finances and projects throughout my time as a CPA, and I had evolved into more of a project manager who could manage a tight deadline and budget as a result of osmosis along the way. Isn’t this the ideal match? Wrong. One of the most appealing aspects of embracing the agile concept is that it allows you to fully embrace change and work toward a goal without having to deal with annoying gatekeepers, which is typically the case with waterfall.
What freedom can you enjoy
You get to operate proactively rather than reactively, while giving your team the freedom to provide what’s important when it’s needed and let go of what isn’t when it’s time. Consider the must-haves rather than the nice-to-haves. They appear later, particularly in MVP mode. Your clients will like this strategy since it allows you to shorten the SDLC while still allowing the project to evolve as new insights and information become available. Just a heads up. Agile isn’t an excuse for bad planning! Communication breakdown Even in the best of circumstances, many teams, large and small, fail to communicate effectively. When things are going well, it isn’t a problem; however, when things aren’t going so well, it’s almost as if the problem has been amplified and given steroids! A breakdown in communication between the client, project manager, UX/UI, and front and back end developers can lead to the project’s final failure. The main risks are reputation and revenue, which are two of the three R’s that can kill a person and their business (see my friend’s blog for the third R!). Effective communication may be accomplished with relative ease, and there are numerous tools and ways that can help.
The two that I have discovered to be the most beneficial are:
- Establish standups to address what has been accomplished since the last standup, what hasn’t worked, what we need to focus on before the next standup, and what our blockers and dependencies are. You’ll cover a lot of stuff with your kanban board if you’re using agile. If you don’t know what to do, just stick to these rules.
- Documenting challenges, finished work, revisions, and backlogs is vital, whether it’s using a basic spreadsheet, google doc, or post-its on a wall. People leaving a firm without conducting a handover is one of the most common difficulties I’ve seen and heard about. When the stakes are high and clients are waiting, the challenges of speed to competency and cost are very apparent. Time squandered getting someone up to speed is not appreciated when the stakes are high and clients are waiting.
All in all
All of this is to say that there is fragmentation across tasks and tools, integrations, too many communication channels, and so on. That’s why my team and I created Adevi, a new solution that solves many of these issues for you. To learn more, contact us or go here to see how we overcame this. What was missing was a genuine ability to solve difficulties that my clients were having, problems that were only partially answered owing to the inability to provide a comprehensive solution that involved technology. That was the missing element, and it was also the day I decided to “burn the boats” (as Tony Robbins would say) and go all in on starting a now-successful App Development company. By this point in my career, in 2011, I had realized that there were two things I was passionate about. Problem-solving and business. I’d also discovered that I was developing an interest in accomplishing this not only with mathematics, but also with technology. What I hadn’t anticipated were the difficulties that just that one factor, Technology, would bring! Technology was a prize fighter, and it was my first time in the ring. I was in for a real beating! Fast forward seven years and I’m still bumping into these learnings and occasionally getting hit, however over time I have managed to fight the good fight and walk away with some wins, more wins than losses I’m proud to say. As expected, certain problems kept surfacing. I also found that when speaking with others in the industry, that they were facing the same challenges. Now, I’m not claiming to have the magical antidote here, but here are some of the most common themes I’ve seen and how I’ve dealt with them. Many of these solutions have been shared with my peers, who have found them valuable, therefore I’m passing them on to you in the spirit of sharing and giving back! Cashflow Cashflow, or the lack thereof, can kill a company, whether you’ve launched a new endeavor or have an existing one. Consider it your company’s “oxygen.” As a practicing CPA, I used a few basic approaches to solve these issues for businesses:
- Look at your pricing – You’re obviously providing value however are you extracting the right amount of value in exchange? Looking at the way you price your services can mean a big boost to your cashflow. Think about fixed pricing with all or 50% upfront, retained work or a subscription based model
- Terms – Look at terms with your suppliers and your customers. Essentially you want to extend supplier terms and shorten your customers. Consider rewarding customers for good behaviour and penalising them for bad behaviours. Also don’t fear asking your suppliers, they’re doing the same with theirs!