The Project – things to keep in mind

Speak to your developers every day…

Obvious? Perhaps, but even if you’re not on a tight timescale it really is important to speak to those guys at least once or twice a day if you can (and get regular builds too).

…and follow-up your sign-off sheet, snag list and other spreadsheets

Whether you’re using Google Docs or any other system, a quick check of these key documents every day is vital.

If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority

As tempting as it is to mark everything as ‘Critical’ or ‘High’ priority on your Snag List you’re not helping your developers much by doing so. Of course you want the app to be as good as possible but if time is a factor you may, at some point, have to accept that maybe some features can wait till your first update.

Do build in a ridiculous amount of time for testing at the end

Of course you want as high a quality a product as possible, but there’s also another very good reason to care about testing it thoroughly. Even a minor bug in the app may cause it to get ‘bumped’ by Apple and you will have return to fix it and then start from the back of the approval queue again.

Seek criticism

Step outside of the rigours of the testing process and show your app to some other people. Be brave (!) and ask them what they don’t like about it or how could you improve things though, rather than for their seal of approval.

Involve stakeholders

You might not want to show them every single build (particularly very early ones) but while it might not be appropriate to make them formal members of the testing team, it pays to get them used to looking at the app and using it early on. If you have a sponsor it’s important that they see it too. They might have some other people inside their organisation they need to show it to and will appreciate the early look.

Keep your master copies up-to-date

Some things are bound to change as the project moves along. Make sure then that you keep one central folder with all the spec and design files in it and, if something changes, make sure it’s updated there as well. This will save you a lot of pain and reduce the chances of finding out later that half the team is still working from the old spec…

Decide early on the ‘extras’

Don’t wait till the end of the project to decide what analytics you want or anything else you might be tempted to hold off deciding on. Research it now, decide what you want and build it in to the project early on.