SevenTablets, Inc.

The SDLC for Mobile App Development

22Sep
Read Time: 5 minutes

Businesses who are interested in learning more information about software development often stumble upon the SDLC. The SDLC or software development life cycle provides great insight into the development process for both mobile apps and custom software. However, you may be curious to know some of the differences between mobile app and enterprise software development. Additionally, how does the type of development project impact the software development life cycle? 

To learn more about the general SDLC process, check out our blog on the phases of the SDLC. If you are interested in the mobile app development process, read to learn more about the differences between mobile app and custom software development and the SDLC for mobile app development. 

The Project Scope for Mobile App Development 

Normally, mobile app development projects have a much smaller project scope than enterprise software development projects. As such, the planning and requirements analysis that occurs during discovery sessions may not be as time intensive. However, it is still critical that your chosen development company fully understands the intended goal of your project. 

Their understanding starts with your clarity of the benefits that this mobile app project can provide to the end user. With a clear understanding of ROI and the outcome you hope to achieve, you will be able to clearly articulate the requirements of your development project.

Budget Considerations for Mobile Application Development

Mobile app projects also tend to have smaller budgets when compared to enterprise software development projects. This can be due to a few reasons. Primarily, mobile apps tend to have a more limited number of features compared to an enterprise development project. This is helpful so that the app is not overwhelming on a mobile device. As mentioned previously, the smaller project scope also means a shorter development time frame and less development costs in terms of coding, implementation and testing. 

Design and Implementation Phases of the Mobile SDLC

The design and implementation stages of the SDLC for mobile apps follows a similar process as what you’d see for the development of enterprise software. However, now you are developing for a mobile platform. Design considerations for mobile apps will depend on the type of devices that will be used with the mobile app. For instance, is your app for mobile phones only or are tablets supported as well? Are you developing for iOS or Android? Advancements in hybrid or cross-platform mobile app development offer many benefits for businesses that are looking to develop for both operating systems.

When your mobile application is developed for multiple types of devices, design can get tricky! Device sizes and button placement and the presence or absence of a navigation bar are all considerations during development. During the planning stages of the mobile SDLC, you will submit a requirements document to your software development company. This document helps to structure the SDLC. During the creation of this document, you will determine and include the main devices that need to be supported for your mobile app. Then your development team will get to work, bringing your design ideas and requirements to life.

Testing Your Mobile Application

The process of testing your mobile app will be influenced by the users your app is intended for. After the application goes through rounds of QA testing, it may be time for user acceptance testing (UAT). If you have an internally facing mobile app, employees within your business may be brought in to help test the application. In addition to verifying that the application is working correctly, it will allow them to provide feedback on the user interface (UI) and overall user experience (UX). If you have an externally facing mobile app, you may choose to have testers inside or outside your business that can provide feedback. 

Depending on the devices that you outlined in your requirements document, this is where you will help ensure that the application looks correct and performs well on different device types. What might look perfect on one device type could cause errors on another, so thorough testing is critical.

Deploying Your Mobile Application

Once your mobile app is tested and ready to go, you will enter the second to last phase of the mobile SDLC: Deployment. This SDLC phase is often considered to be the highlight of the app development process. 

Mobile apps are built to be published in app stores such as the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. But before your app can be released to the public, it must pass the App Store Review process. Deployment involves submitting your finished application for review. Any enterprise applications that are hosted in app stores will go through the App Store Review process as well. Once approved, users can download them directly to their tablets or mobile devices.

Since they are hosted on the internet, web apps are not required to be reviewed by an app store. Instead of downloading them, users will access web apps using mobile browsers such as Safari or Chrome. 

Regardless of whether you are developing enterprise software, a custom web application or a mobile app, the end of the development sprints and the release of your software project is a cause for celebration. After deployment, you can then turn your attention to the final stage of the mobile SDLC.

Maintenance and Ongoing Improvements

By the time your application is developed, you may think that you’ll be ready to sit back and enjoy your product. In reality, however, you will likely have ideas for new features and continued improvements! If additional features or requirements come up during the development process, you have a few options. 

When an idea for a new feature falls outside of the current project scope, you may choose to issue a change request. In that case, your development company will send you a revised statement of work (SOW) along with pricing for the cost of the additional development tasks. Depending on the complexity of the change request and the development timeline, you and your development partner may delay the app release to include the additional feature. Alternatively, you may stick to the original development timeline and include the feature in a subsequent release.

Regardless of what happens at the end of your development timeline, you should allocate some of the development budget to ongoing maintenance to keep your app up to date and running smoothly. As you consider the benefits of your custom mobile application, you may wish to evaluate other areas of your business that can be improved through custom software development.

Start Your Development Project

Some businesses opt to develop a web platform with a companion mobile application so that they can provide more features to their users. If this sounds like an option that would be beneficial for your business, you can speak with a software consultant to discuss your project. 

Other clients chose a phased development project approach. 7T offers phased development for businesses who would like to start with a mobile app or smaller version of an enterprise platform and expand the features as they grow. In this case, an MVP or an MMF may be the way to go. At the end of phased development, you may even choose to have a completely integrated enterprise platform with a companion mobile app.

If you are interested in custom software development for your business, 7T is ready to help. Our Foundation Program guides business leaders through the first few phases of the software development process, providing clients with a clear strategy for their development project.

Ready to jump right in? Fill out the interest form below or call 7T to speak with one of our software consultants today.

 


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Jake Felderhoff

Jake Felderhoff

Jake is a Business Analyst at 7T, where he leads and manages projects — from large digital transformation projects to working with startups to get their ideas off the ground. He earned a degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Texas. Before joining 7T, Jake gained experience in large corporations such as Dell and Hewlett Packard. He has spent the last 3+ years at 7T working to bring our clients' visions to life.

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