Getting the Most Out of Your Project Kickoff

You finally found a developer you trust and have signed a contract with them to build your municipality or local government’s mobile app – congratulations. You’ve just confirmed the date and time of your first meeting to kick off the project – exciting.

Now what?

While your developer will typically own this part of the process, there are definitely things you can do as a client to make sure the project kicks off on the right foot. The more prepared you and your team are, the smoother the development process will be.

What is the purpose of a mobile app development kickoff meeting?

The kickoff meeting with your mobile app developer is an opportunity for both teams to meet each other and get excited about the project together. It’s also an essential step in the app development process. It’s your opportunity to establish a clear understanding of the project’s goals, scope, timeline,and how you’ll communicate throughout the project.

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of the kickoff meeting with your mobile app developer so you can ensure the success of your project.

Do your research

Do some research on the mobile app development process so you have a high-level understanding of how things work on your developer’s side. Create a list of questions to ask the developer to gain a better understanding of their approach.

Your developer should explain their process to you in non-technical terms so it’s easy to understand and you know what to expect throughout the project, but you’ll be ahead of the game if you already have a general understanding.

Come to the meeting prepared

Before the kickoff meeting, take the time to prepare thoroughly. There are a few things you can do to prepare.

  • Have a clear understanding of your project’s goals, requirements, What do you want to achieve with your mobile app? What features do you think you need? We recommend having the goals and requirements written down in a document and do an internal review to iron out conflicting opinions with the requirements prior to the kickoff meeting. Expect your requirements document to be a few pages long. If you only have a few bullets in the back of an envelope, although it can be a good start and be better than nothing, having more defined requirements will help with the entire development process.
  • What kind of user experience are you looking for? Collect examples of other mobile apps that you like and that have features similar to what you’re looking for. Share these with the developer during the meeting to give them a better understanding of what you’re looking for. Your development team may have suggestions you haven’t thought of, but doing your best to solidify your objectives will help set clear and reasonable expectations.
  • Bring any relevant documentation, such as sketches, logos or branding guidelines, to the meeting to help the developer understand your vision for the app.

Gather your team

Try to ensure everyone who will be a part of the project can be at the meeting. Outside of establishing timelines and setting expectations, the kickoff meeting is an opportunity for everyone to put a face to a name and get to know who they’ll be working with.

Establish roles and responsibilities within your own team–who will own what, who is involved in the approval process, and who should be notified first of any potential issues. Clearly define who the development team will go to for what.

Define the scope of the mobile app project

The scope of the project is a critical aspect of any mobile app development project. It’s important to establish a clear understanding of the project’s scope to ensure that both you and the developer are on the same page. Define the app’s features, functionality, and target audience, and make sure that the developer understands your vision for the project. If you have created a requirements document, you can use it for that purpose. Note that it is perfectly acceptable to break down the requirements into smaller parts and limit the scope to only one part to start with.

Discuss timelines, budget and set expectations

The timeline and budget are two critical aspects of any mobile app development project. Discuss these with the developer during the kickoff meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Agree on deadlines for each phase of development.

Be transparent about your budget and expectations for the project timeline, and make sure that the developer can deliver the project within your constraints.

Identify potential roadblocks

Identifying potential roadblocks is an essential step in any mobile app development project. Discuss any potential issues that may arise during the development process, such as technical challenges, changes in scope, people on your team on vacation during the project or any other unexpected internal delays. By identifying these potential roadblocks, you can work with the developer to create a plan to address them proactively.

Establish communication channels

Establishing clear communication channels is crucial for the success of any mobile app development project. Discuss how you and the developer will communicate throughout the project, including the frequency of communication and the tools and methods used. Establishing clear communication channels will ensure that both you and the developer are kept up-to-date.

The kickoff meeting sets the tone for the rest of your project. Your development team will lead and guide you, but doing what you can to prepare will ensure things run smoothly from the start.

Learn how Info Grove handles our kickoff meeting and discovery phase here.

Karim Mansour is an Inside Sales Representative at 14 Oranges, the creators of the Info Grove platform.

Kick Things Off Right With Your Mobile App Developer