Crowdsourcing 101: How to Plan Your App Development Project

December 1, 2015 Nicole Klemp

App Development

Customers, vendors, and employees alike expect to engage with your organization via their mobile device. This demand for digital interaction has companies of all sizes feeling the pressure to create mobile apps that are modern, engaging, and user-friendly. But many companies don’t have the people or resources in place to develop apps in-house. Even those that have done some of their own development work in the past may find themselves unable to keep up with today’s requirements. According to Forrester Research, building modern apps is different from building websites or traditional client/server applications. “It’s not just the technologies that are different — development processes need to be faster and produce higher-quality apps in order to meet higher expectations.”

Luckily, crowdsourcing is an alternative to the traditional development model, and — if leveraged effectively — can scale your development teams and eliminate the need to recruit and train new talent, ultimately delivering business value faster and more efficiently.

The big picture

If you’re new to crowdsourcing, this video provides a high-level overview of how to plan and budget for your next app development project. It walks you through how to approach things like getting your boss’s attention, creating a budget and project scope, and developing a plan for your internal teams when embarking on a crowdsourcing project.

Here are 4 key steps to starting an app development project off on the right foot when using crowdsourcing:

  1. Be clear about what you want from the start — No matter where you are in the process, it’s essential to clearly define your requirements — functionality, usability, and brand requirements.
  2. Know where you are and where you’re headed — With crowd development, challenges take approximately 7-10 days, and it can take up to 10 separate challenges to get from initial concept to finished app. So having a roadmap and an end goal in mind is a must.
  3. Budgets will vary, so start with design and prototype — Project cost is highly dependent on what you’re doing, the complexity of the app, how many integrations it will require, and how many iterations you go through. If you start with design and prototype, you’ll have real, usable results that you can show your leadership team to (hopefully) get the rest of your project funded!
  4. Feedback throughout the process — Feedback is essential to a successful app development project, so your internal team members must be available to provide feedback and direction throughout the process. Built-in checkpoints in the design, prototype, and development phases will help keep everyone on track.

Crowdsourcing is becoming an integral part of the IT talent equation and can bring speed, innovation, and quality to your development projects. If you’d like to learn more, check out our ebook, Surviving the Talent Wars: Building Apps with Crowdsourcing.



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