Posted by:Ranjani Rao June 4th, 2014

An app needs to have a clear goal, clean design and just enough functionality to make it useful. Anything more means a confusing app that defeats the purpose.

business-people-arguing

So how do you build a lean app?

  1. Get all the stakeholders together
  2. Brainstorm and then articulate what the app needs to do
  3. Trim, trim, trim till you have it down to a few key features
  4. Stick to this feature list till the app is done. If you do need a new feature, then take one feature out before you put in the new
  5. Have one and only one person be the decision maker for modifying this list

But the way we work, everyone’s opinion is important, you might say!

I agree, but did you know that the maximum amount of time is spent on endless debates around app features and functionality? Analysis paralysis can set in if there are too many people collectively making decisions. So every stakeholder gets a say and then the best features get picked based on consensus, but after that one person should be responsible for staying the course and steering without any distractions to your end goal.

But does this mean that you cannot follow the agile methodology?

You can be agile. And you will be within a structured framework. You don’t want a “everything and the kitchen sink” approach for the app. Your developers will thank you for giving them a clear vision upfront that will help them plan not just for the sprints but also for the final release.

And of course the app development cost will be managed better without endless rework.

What comes next?

Once your app is out there, listen to the users. They should drive your next set of features. And follow the same principles all over again.

So to conclude…

Iterate, Implement, Iterate, Implement – or you will be left behind.

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