Posted by:Ranjit Anand April 25th, 2014

Apple makes an OS version release every quarter and releases new devices frequently; so do Samsung and other players. This invariably, leads to a situation many of us have faced. The app development is making rapid progress and suddenly, you encounter a new device launch or a new OS version upgrade. And yes, since it is prudent to have your app support the latest device and OS in the market, you can be certain clients will start the upgrade requests.

What should a project manager do in such a situation? Below are a few approaches to take –

#1 Bring it to the notice of stakeholders

One of the most common drawbacks among project managers is making an assumption that stakeholders are aware of version upgrades. But, at end of the day, the responsibility lies with your team to be aware and prepared to make the changes. What is necessary is to communicate an announcement on new device or OS upgrades to stakeholders immediately.

#2 Study and analyze the impact

Before you take any action, make sure your tech team goes through the changes which are part of the new update. Be it UI, code libraries or hardware changes, it is very important to learn those technical changes and be prepared to support them. As a Project Manager, you should do this with your tech team and analyze the impact on the project in terms of requirement, time and budget. Based on your analysis, figure out the best alternatives to handle such changes with respect to the delivery of the project.

#3 Estimate the additional time and effort

Once it is analyzed, start estimating the additional time required to accommodate this change and also the implied effort in terms of cost and resources. Communicate the additional time and efforts to the client and kickstart the work based on the client’s sign off.

#4 Consider the known risk factors

Since you are dealing with a new device or new version of the OS, not everything can be assessed right away. There could be some uncertainties in terms of unknown bugs with the device/OS based on the latest change. And your implementation strategy changes as your understanding of the change improves. It is better to state the uncertainties as known risk factors than pay for it later.

Have you faced such updates amidst your app development? If yes, how did you handle it? Share your thoughts –

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