Development best practices focus on user needs, agility

Application development has always had a certain degree of complexity, but as the mobile market continues to fragment and expand, there are more considerations than ever to make in these processes. Today, businesses are connecting numerous devices to their networks and are undertaking the initiative to provide employees' hardware with capable programs that will benefit operations. While the company can leverage the cross-platform compatibility of HTML5 components, the programming language is only one factor that must be addressed in order to create a successful application. As the mobile environment becomes more complicated, it will be essential for app builders to understand steps that they can take to meet modern development requirements.

Businesses are putting increasing pressure on app creators to deliver a product that will be advantageous to overall performance. If employees do not use the program, for example, it could be costly to fix, especially if the process has to start from scratch. However, developers have their own way of carrying out projects, which can make it difficult to establish a standardized approach. While there is no one right path to take for app projects, there are a few best practices that organizations should employ for their own processes. By utilizing these methods, the development cycle will be much faster while still allowing developers to test their product and ensure its feasibility in everyday operations.

Gearing up for development needs
Many developers rely on their skill sets to carry them through the software's lifecycle, but this may not be enough to provision employees with the tools they require or ensure that the business is seeing benefits. VentureBeat contributor Stephen Forte suggested that companies become more versed with mobile efforts, tear down application silos and consider more hybrid projects. These initiatives will help app builders make a better user interface, which naturally leads to an overall improved experience. Leveraging a hybrid approach with Web and native coding can help achieve this while enabling developers to distribute the necessary features that workers will require to succeed. Choosing a reliable provider will also be essential to ensuring that the development process stays up to par and delivers quality results.

"When determining what's right for your enterprise and customers it's of course important to carefully select a vendor and platform that supports and even improves upon your approach," Forte wrote. "In terms of modern application development, this means finding a vendor that allows for development on any kind of technology."

Leveraging agile for better apps
While the waterfall method of development has been used for a considerable span of time, it has since become outdated. The process has stages that cannot begin until the previous phase has finished, making it a time-consuming endeavor. The user is also often not consulted on the progress until after the project has been completed, making it likely that the app will need some adjustments to make it more viable for staff. However, agile project management has the strategy that's necessary for a successful program. CIO's Tim Mendham stated that because agile methodology relies on constant updates, it's significantly easier to make necessary changes quickly. The agile approach also takes stakeholder and user interest into account from the very beginning, constantly checking to ensure that the app meets their needs throughout the software's lifecycle. This helps deliver profitable software from the start and reduces the chance for lost time and funding.

"The methodology drives the business to define capability in a way that the business value is measurable in each piece of work," said Telstra CEO Patrick Eltridge. "They can 'see' exactly what they are getting in real-time. It requires them to work more directly and continuously with the IT delivery teams – taking more responsibility for design decisions – and this drives trust in both directions."


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