Building a Scope of Work For Your Web Project Means Knowing How to Quote an App Development Project The Right Way
With timelines, costs, features, and platforms, there’s a lot to consider when you quote an app development project. The mobile app market is experiencing huge, daily growth. It’s a booming industry that continues to hit new heights.
In 2015, the mobile app market generated $41.1 billion (USD) in gross annual revenue. This figure continues to rise, with projections expected to reach nearly $190 billion in 2020. It’s no surprise that a digital agency will now need a structured way to quote an app development project to win new clients. Without a solid scope of work, developers will loose projects to their more organized competitors.
Gone are the days where you could write a scope of work for a website project, then tailor it to be used to quote an app development project. As mobile applications continue to move to the forefront of smartphone usage, companies must be adaptable to transform their strategies to comprehensively quote web apps as well as scope website projects.
Whether you’re a developer or a company looking to get a new app built the right way, you’ll need a checklist of everything needed in the quote for an app development project.
For businesses looking to engage within the mobile app marketplace, especially those looking to develop a custom mobile app, here is a guide to the complete app development process.
Scope Of Work For An App
Fundamentally, scope regards the parameters of a project. The scope of work for an app will depend on the complexities of the development and requirements of the project. As the project scales upwards, variables are introduced and complexity rises.
It’s crucial to build a clear, concise, and detailed scope of work for your project. You don’t want to wing when you quote an app development project. Make sure you know the right way to write a Scope of Work document. This step is absolutely vital to a smooth and successful project.
The scope of an app development project will be dependent on the different variables and features required for the client. Scope is the point within a development project that determines what features and functionalities will be available in the app.
Therefore, it’s very important that the outline or scope of the project is as detailed as possible. Any business building a custom app will require a rigorous pre-production process.
Using a comprehensive scoping tool which includes built-in quoting, contracts, and milestones is a must. This irons out any potential issues and informs the business exactly what they’ll be receiving from the start.
Timescale: How Long Does It Take To Build An App?
This varies widely by project, but on average the question: How long does it take to build an app? is answered with: it might take around 4-6 months.
Every app is unique so, your timescale must be determined once the features are all clearly laid out. Once a scope proposal is in place, the development time frame will be dependent on several tech factors. Functionality, app type, the app’s business model, and mobile platform(s) will all play a role in delivering the project on time.
The time scale and scope aspects of an app development project are the pre-production periods where expectations can be set.
Demonstrating a detailed timescale through various stages of the project can:
- Manage expectations
- Minimize project creep or potential problems
- Lay the groundwork for timely payments
- Build trust with your client
Along with timescale, often a quote for an app will require Payment Milestones. Build your milestones into your initial scope of work so that deliverables and payment proceedured are clear to everyone involved.
Remember that timescale encapsulates more than just the app development process, design, and coding. Necessary tests and debugging must be done before launch. Likewise, maintenance support may be necessary for the early cyclical periods of the app’s release.
Meeting Various Platform Demands
Within the mobile app spectrum, between Android and iOS devices, Android apps will require more time and development to build. Android apps are also generally more expensive to develop.
Because of Android’s open source platform, and the fact that it operates on numerous devices, many Android app developers must commit more time on testing and debugging. Android app developers must ensure their app is device-friendly across the whole market, from varying screen sizes to the sheer number of Android platform devices.
In fact, it is generally understood that Android apps require two to three times longer to develop than an iOS app. It is with this reason, along with budgetary constraints, that many businesses build an iOS app first before having it ported to Android.
With this being said, there are times to build an app on iOS, and times to build it on Android, or maybe both. What platform should you build your app on and if you’re building on both, which should you build first? This will depend on your situation and the nature of your app.
Cost of Building an App
A detailed quote will reassure a business that a plan is in place to execute and perform required functionalities. Along with timelines and milestones, you’ll have to, of course, consider the cost of building an app.
Cost is often the most important aspect of any development proposal and the first thing most businesses will look at. Determine what kind of budget you’re working with before beginning to build a scope of work for an app. When presenting costs to a potential client or business, it’s best to format cost breakdown by development stages.
It is useful to highlight each development stage, from pre-production to post-product, as well as each role’s functionality through the stages. Cost breakdown should also factor in ongoing support costs. This will include but is not limited to, hosting, fixing bugs, maintenance, and even necessary app revisions.
Geographical regions will also play a factor in determining cost. Deciding whether or not to hire locally or outsource will create varying salary expectations and project costs. Just as important as the region is your company approach.
- Freelancers can offer a decent end product at an affordable cost, though the project scope will be limited by their technical ability and limited manpower.
- Enterprising agencies with big clients in their portfolio can meet any demand and project requests to necessitate a high-quality end product. Though that will be received at a premium cost.
- Boutique Agencies. Not only are they agile and experienced, but their small-sized teams balances costs without sacrificing quality or project scope.
Mistakes to avoid
Mobile app developers will need to be conscientious when pitching the project scope and timescale to a potential client. Businesses will be tempted to stuff their app with all the greatest features and functionalities.
User experience must pave the way for app functionality. Especially when releasing the v1.0 app. The market must first be willing to adopt the new app before it can enter various iterations with numerous features. Bloating the app with too many features in the initial launch can introduce bugs into the app.
This will diminish user acceptance of the app and its ROI.
Additionally, the app’s user interface should be easy-to-operate and intuitive. Apps are meant to simplify a consumer’s ability to interact with a business. Therefore, the UI must be homogeneous throughout the initial and future versions of the app. Requiring users to constantly refer to a user manual creates a frustrating user experience.
Lastly, be careful when setting cost and time expectations for complex tech features. Underestimating the complexity of a project can depreciate client trust and cost you time and money. Being upfront about potential pain points and complexities within development phases ensures no time or hard-earned money is lost.
It Takes Planning to Quote an App Project
The usage of mobile apps will continue to experience upward mobility. Businesses looking to increase their digital presence and grow revenue must consider the vast opportunities available in the app marketplace. Taking the time to create a company process and mind the details will help you quote an app project easily.
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AUTHOR BIO | Ayham Gorani | Director, Alpha-Apps FZ LLC
Fueled by the firm belief that the Arab World has great potential and great content, Ayham founded AlphaApps in 2011 in Abu Dhabi. His goal is to bring the Arabic apps industry and content forward to an international and competitive level. He is also a start-up mentor, helping entrepreneurs launch successful app projects and investing in app companies in the region.