So You Want to Build an App Eh?

15 Questions You Should Ask Your Developer

  1. How is your team going to help me reach my goals?
    – Your products success is a success for us too! No one wants to make something no one wants to use. Ask your developer how they intend to work with you to reach your goals. Discuss timelines, users, revenue; whatever you want. Set and aim for goals together, and develop a plan as to how you want to reach them.
  1. I want to get my product out quickly, how can we best break up the work into a MVP (minimal viable product)?
    – The best way to start making money off your product quickly is to have a product out there! Work with your developer to break down your product into a MVP so you can get it out into world quickly
  1. How will we be developing the additional features?
    – One of the benefits of working off an MVP is you can test what parts of your product users like and dislike, allowing you to prioritize and develop your next round of features. Do your users wish they could save items to a list? Add it! Do your users not understand a particular function? Fix it! Work with your developer to prioritize features in a release schedule.
  1. Who can I contact about marketing for my product?
    – Users can’t buy a product they don’t know about. Ask your developer if they have any contacts to get the word out.
  1. Who can I contact about focus groups to test my product?
    – Testing is important! There is no telling what users will like or dislike in any given project, so it’s better to get a focus group first before cashing in on larger feature. If your developer works with a designer, he or she will likely have contacts, or could even lead the focus group for you.
  1. Can you see any security risks in my current plan?
    – You don’t need me to tell you that no one wants to get hacked. Your developer should have some ideas as to how to avoid this. They may also have some ideas about avoiding fraud in your current business rules.
  1. Do you have any concerns about my current plan?
    – This question requires a little humility, but assume that not every part of your project is attainable. Be open minded about timelines and functionality; your developer should be clear about what parts of the project may take longer or require extra attention.
  1. Have you built anything similar to my product?
    – You may already know this answer from researching a potential developer, but they may still surprise you! Some of your products features may have been implemented in some of their previous projects. This can give you the opportunity to see their work in action.
  1. Can you see any points of friction in this project?
    – Experience is invaluable, especially when it comes to your own product! Your developer might already have a map of dangerous waters, and be able to offer an alternative if you are reluctant to invest extra cash in a feature known to be more challenging or time consuming.
  1. How involved will you need to be in this project?
    – As the product owner, the more time you can invest into a project the better. Your own involvement can range from product to product, developer to developer. Discuss where in the process you want to be more involved, if in house meetings make more sense than emailed reports, and how they would best like to receive feedback on their work.
  1. How can I best prevent project failure?
    – You and your developer are in this together! Make a plan for testing, marketing, and product release. Make sure to talk openly about potential risks in your project and see if you can determine a way to avoid them.
  1. My product has been partially developed/developed by another team, what do you need to make your adoption successful?
    – Not all development teams are alike, and your new developer might have some questions. If you have contacts or resources that could be helpful, make sure to pass them along so your team can catch up more quickly.
  1. I want you to work with my current team of developers, what do you need from me to make that successful?
    – In most cases, just the contact information and code should be enough to get the team running, but it’s always nice to ask.
  1. What do you need from me now?
    – As the product owner, you will likely have to do a little ground work. This can include figuring out what languages you use, setting up app store accounts, buying domain names, etc. Your developer should have some idea as to what your project needs and when they need them by to get your product out in time.
  1. What do you see looking forward?
    – A successful product should last for a very long time. Make a plan for maintenance, but who knows? Maybe your developer can see another project for you to explore in the future! Your developer is part of your team, so make sure you build your success together :)

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