When creating an app, so many considerations – from concept to delivery – need to be organized into a structured journey so that every team member knows their part in the process and where it fits into everybody else’s.
Keeping everyone on the same page means having a detailed plan, a schedule, and open communication lines between everyone who needs them. Almost every item on your plan is a deliverable – each contract, payment, purchase, schedule, software system, build, or sprint.
It’s impossible to design a mobile app development deliverables checklist ideal for every team, but here we are, giving it our best shot for an (almost) all-inclusive list to help you on your way.
Deliverables vs milestones
Your schedule will include deliverables and milestones – here’s the difference:
- Deliverables fulfill an objective. They could be internal or external, a product, plan, tool, or agreement.
- Internal deliverables are most relevant to your teams – for example, reports, test results, budgets, technical documentation, builds, sprints, and more.
- External deliverables are most relevant to stakeholders – for example, design files, presentations, prototypes, MVPs, and test models.
- A milestone is a checkpoint in the project journey. They’re valuable parts of the schedule, delivering a timescale and measuring how well you’re achieving your goals.
Deliverables, documentation, planning, and communication
With so many players taking care of all the moving parts, planning and communication are as critical as the attention that goes into writing the code. Team members and clients need to know about every milestone or deliverable completion, as each will likely inevitably trigger the next stage or step.
Choosing an appropriate project management tool or collaboration / communication platform is necessary. Failing to keep everything and everyone in touch and aware of the progress of each stage, efficiency suffers, and avoidable problems will hinder the progress you need to meet each milestone.
So, with no further ado, what deliverables should you track, and what are their roles in the overall project?
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Planning and communication
When it comes to project deliverables for mobile application schedules, we’re going to start with planning – because that’s where you should start too.
- Market research
- Business strategy
- Uniting teams for information flow
The proposal document covers all essential information, including its title, operation dates, objectives, goals, features, costs, and many other estimates, hopes, and requirements you expect your app to fulfill.
2. Market research
Your idea may be incredible and groundbreaking, but you need research to confirm whether there’s a viable market and that nobody else is already doing it better than you can.
Your vision outlines the essential and radical ideas that will make or break the product. It’s a list of features it must include, others that ‘would be good if it could’, and how they translate into a marketable, saleable product.
Plans include technical requirements, infrastructures, languages, and the steps you need to take to reach their launch in each chosen market and country.
5. Business strategy
Business strategies consider costs, budgets, risk analysis, and mitigation, the monetization of your and your competitor’s products, which all lead to product viability and proof of concept. It also caters to how you’ll structure discussions, workflows, presentations, design ideas, development, and build, leading to advertising, marketing, and sales, plus a timeline for each stage and step.
6. Uniting teams for information flow
Everyone is invested in the product progress and their part in the plan, from designers and developers to clients, customers, marketers, and accountants. Ensure everyone gets what they need with the appropriate project management or communication tools.
On the topic of communication, your teams and stakeholders will expect access to detailed, specific information. For example:
- User stories log
- Live source code access
- Running code access
- Detailed app description
- Host server logins
- Bugs and issues
1. User stories log
User stories describe how each user utilizes the app for a particular feature and the benefits it delivers.
2. Live source code access
Access to the code is a must, especially during collaboration projects, whether for progress tracking, code reviews, or downloading and delivering to another provider outside the chain.
3. Running code access
This is the working version of the app in release-ready packages. Regarding testing, there are two ways for Android – generating an .apk file and installing it directly on devices OR generating an .aab file which is recommended to upload on Play Store and then share it on test or production channels.
For iOS, it’s only one file type (.ipa); in most cases, it’s shared by the TestFlight app.
4. Detailed app description
This README file, stored with your other technical documentation, should be your most detailed app description. It includes installation and configuration processes, contact and licensing information, acknowledgments, troubleshooting elements, guides, and more.
5. Host server logins
Login credentials cover various technical elements and can include such items as:
- Hosting company’s client login
- Hosting control panel login
- Website’s dashboard/admin login
- FTP hosting details
- Domain registrar’s login
6. Bug and issue docs
Bug reports are organized to include an ID, description, environment, logs, URLs, visual reference and proof, and the steps required to reproduce and rectify the errors.
Read also: How to make a successful digital product?
To round off the documentation, each build team needs access to set guidelines on how the app will work and look. These records govern your mobile app design deliverables in a specific direction, keeping each team and module neatly aligned and consistent.
But before we set off with the deliverables, it always starts with the research. Ecosystem review, user persona research, even competitor analysis – all of those must-do activities will ensure you produce an app that will cover users’ actual needs, not the assumption of those needs.
- UX, storyboards, and wireframes
- Style guide
- Images and elements
1. UX, storyboards, and wireframes
These early-stage design elements are part of our product deliverables, yet their documentation should be recorded and readily accessible to stakeholders, designers, and developers.
2. Style guide
Your app style guide is an extension of your brand style guide, depicting your company’s presentation, voice, and delivery rules. A style guide rules out inconsistencies that could confuse or alienate customers.
3. Images and elements
All logo styles, types, formats, pre-drawn elements, sounds, and reusable files should be stored in accessible directories to prevent multiple versions, incorrect usage, and wasted time locating necessary items.
Worth checking: What Is a Hybrid App Development?
There are hundreds of possible mobile app development considerations for each unique case. We can’t cover every last eventuality, nor can we write more than a brief outline of what each entails on this page. However, we can create a sensible generalized list of most-likely options for the various stages of your design and development stages.
- User experience (UX)
- User interface (UI)
- Development sprints and builds
- Testing and quality assurance
- Regression testing
- Beta testing
- Product launch and content seeding
1. User experience (UX)
UX is the process of researching, considering, designing, and delivering the best possible experience for your app users. User experience can make or break a digital project. If your app is clunky, confusing, or hard to navigate or operate, your users will dump it for one that isn’t—and likely make loud, public complaints along the way.
Storyboards lay out the most straightforward plan of your app. They’re basic sketches of each panel and activity, with annotation explaining how each should work.
Wireframing develops your storyboard into a more sophisticated plan. It combines structure, content, and operation yet is simple, basic, and clean. Wireframes can be hand-drawn or digital.
The next step—prototyping—is a higher fidelity version of your wireframe layout. They include far more detail, often incorporating animations and interactions to illustrate the app’s functions and values.
5. User interface (UI)
UI and UX often go hand-in-hand. For the ideal user experience, the interface must present a straightforward and evident route through its processes and features. This combines UX with branding and style guides.
Development should begin only when the UX and UI stages are almost complete, as coding is likely to be the project’s most time-consuming and complex part.
7. Development sprints and builds
You would never expect the entire app to be created in one hit, so the complete sum of parts is built in smaller, manageable chunks. These chunks are known as sprints or builds, and each is a deliverable in its own right, often the stepping-stone to the next stage.
Also, building with a modular approach allows for easier modifications, updates, and reconstructions.
8. Testing and quality assurance
Testing happens throughout the process, at each stage, sprint, and operation. However, specific testing stages occur on the completion of MVP and the final product.
It looks for flaws in the code, bugs, and errors to correct, whereas quality assurance (QA) is a preventative process, checking the app looks, feels, and operates as anticipated, meeting the expected set standards.
9. Regression testing
Regression testing ensures that all the various components work seamlessly when they’re brought together or added to existing builds.
10. Beta testing
Bringing in a small selection of users for a limited, private release allows you to spot any errors or issues you wouldn’t want to go out at the official product launch.
11. Product launch and content seeding
You must populate your app with information or content before it’s complete and ready for delivery. Also, at this stage, the app developers will prepare the finished version for distribution, following the rules laid out by Apple and Android app stores.
Apps must be safe and free of offensive material for general consumption. They must also meet performance and design standards benchmarks, provide business and revenue models, and comply with necessary legal requirements.
Once you release your app into the world, you may be tempted to believe the journey is complete. However, at that point, you’ll encounter a wealth of brand new feedback, and have access to even more user data, to measure and track the performance of your new application.
All such new data needs to drive your upgrades, updates, and fixes, each adding to the regular maintenance that ensures your app is its best possible version to retain its popularity and profit.
Finally, to sign off our checklist
There’s far more to deliverables than first meets the eye. With stakeholders, managers, team leaders, and members experiencing varying expectations and requirements, we could write a separate piece for every item we’ve tried to cover.
But our crucial point remains – healthy planning, documentation, and an almighty, inclusive checklist all go a long way to keeping everyone on the same page, organized, and happy, ensuring the best possible version and final product on which your reputation depends.
Failing to plan is planning to fail, or so they say. So build your unique checklist to success, including every deliverable and milestone you expect to meet along the way.