Ideas and Initiative Management and Enhancements

Mobile app development is an ongoing process that doesn’t end with a launch. Your team needs to keep an app updated with the right initiative management and enhancements or risk losing out to the next big thing.

But how do you go about updating a mobile app without just slapping on new features randomly?

Here are some ways the most skilled project managers evaluate which product features will deliver the most value and apply them to the development process.

Initiative Management and Enhancements

The best initiative management for apps will use product prioritization frameworks in order to focus on what features need to come next. Some common ones are as follows.

Product Prioritization Frameworks

The framework you choose for your team will depend on your goals and what benefits you hope to derive from them.

User story mapping is considered both a prioritization framework and a necessary exercise in general. By charting the customer journey, your team can create a map of their interactions with the product. You can decide what steps will be the most beneficial.

Cost of Delay (CoD) frameworks combine urgency and value. What can you do with your app that will provide the most value as soon as possible?

The Kano model weighs customer satisfaction against how much it actually costs to implement a feature. This is a must-have model for anyone looking to stay true to their initial app’s functions or go for minimalism.

Similar to the previous model, a value vs. effort framework is based on the value to the customer and how difficult it is to actually implement. With this model, you can determine if a feature is worth the trouble.

The MoSCoW method has you put initiatives and features into one of four different categories of prioritization. Those categories include must-haves, should-haves, could-haves, and those you won’t have at this time.

A product tree is an exercise where you break down the product roadmap into branches, roots, and leaves. Branches are the primary product. Roots and leaves represent technical requirements and new feature ideas, respectively.

The RICE framework scores feature based on reach, impact, confidence, and effort. It focuses on balancing the value of a feature with how much effort it takes to implement.

In SAFe, you can use weighted shortest job first (WSJF) to sequence jobs according to cost of delay weighed against job size.

How to Not Prioritize

There are also mistakes you should avoid when trying to prioritize.

First of all, don’t automatically bend to your CEO’s suggestions. If your team thinks it’s not feasible, then use your experience and data to back that up.

Avoid cherry-picking customer requests for specific features or updates. Just because one customer says they need it, doesn’t mean it’s worth your time and effort in the long run.

While your analyst has the influence of data behind their suggestions, it’s usually based on historical data. User testing is how you’ll really see whether something is needed or not.

And finally, don’t over-rely on ROI to make your decisions. It doesn’t tell you the complete value of the outcome and can be misleading.

Whatever way you prioritize should balance feasibility, desirability, and viability. Can you do it, do people want it, and will it benefit everyone involved?

Enhancing Your Mobile Apps

You’ve started a product prioritization framework for your app, but now you have to ask yourself how to make it relevant. Even after it’s launch, you should always be trying to figure out how to make it even better than before.

How to Keep My App Fresh

Staying relevant today means keeping track of whatever’s trending in the media and on social media. How can your app best serve the needs of the people right now?

Some of the top trends in mobile app creation of the last year include Kotlin for Android, blockchain for mobile app software, and artificial intelligence.

Kotlin is currently one of the fastest-growing developer languages on Github, ranking in the top five languages among Stack Overflow users. Millions of programmers code Kotlin, and Kotlin 1.4 was recently released in late 2020.

Blockchain allows startups to create apps, smart contracts, and blockchain software solutions. And artificial intelligence is becoming integrated with many different types of software, as seen with Google Assistant, Cortana, and FaceApp.

Staying on top of these trends is key to keeping your app relevant.

Developer Success Secrets

You also need to pay attention to the app development world, such as success stories.

Often, they’ll teach you important tips and tricks, such as ignoring great ideas if they don’t equal great sales, thinking fast on your feet, and nailing down your marketing strategy.

Grooming Product Backlogs for Apps

Backlog grooming, or backlog refinement, are sessions designed to help product teams improve development processes. The goal of these sessions is to clear up ambiguity and increase clarity about upcoming stories or tasks in the backlog.

A product backlog starts with a team’s roadmap and requirements.

The roadmap breaks down into groups of requirements and user stories that are fed to the development team. Customer priority, the urgency of getting feedback, and how difficult it is to implement changes all affect what is sent to the development team.

At a backlog refinement session, you should break down larger user stories into tasks, discuss the stories you have, and add key contextual information and acceptance criteria. By the end of the session, you should have a prioritized list of user stories to work with.

A key outcome is said to be a “DEEP” product backlog. DEEP is an acronym referring to some key traits of a product backlog.

Your backlog should be detailed appropriately, emergent, estimated, and prioritized.

Emergent refers to the ability to add new stories and items on the fly. You should also be able to estimate the amount of effort involved with each user story.

The people who attend these meetings are the facilitator, the product owner, the delivery team, and quality assurance representatives. The product owner should prepare by talking to stakeholders and revisiting strategic objectives.

With routine, one-hour sessions, you should have your backlog smoothed out in no time.

Improve Your Product

Properly developing ideas and improving initiative management and enhancements can be either a tricky task or a magical process depending on your point of view.

For the product manager, it involves developing a prioritization framework, and for team members, it means learning to navigate the product backlog.

As for those struggling with either task, consider reaching out to us for a free consultation today. We’ll help you find a solution that fits your needs.

Akash Shakya

Coming from distributed computing background, Akash manages the Sydney operations. He is highly technical yet very business focused and is always driven to create successful business products for our clients.

Read more Articles by this Author