Power Apps has shortened the development life cycle of many projects due to the quickness with which you can get connections to your data up and running, no matter where it's stored. But that doesn’t mean you should throw typical software development processes to the wayside when building your apps.
We've recently helped our clients build applications quickly during these times to communicate crisis management news and updates, report on resource utilization, and facilitate work from home solutions.
If you are starting build or in the process of evaluating your next need, keep these important steps and milestones in mind when building your next app, whether it’s a Crisis Management app, or the Sales App that has been in the backlog since before Covid-19 happened.
- Define what is needed in your app
- It's important for app developers involved to understand the business need behind an app. Furthermore, it’s important for end users to know what they can do or expect with the new app. Consider documenting the key business requirements and outcomes your users expect to achieve with an app before you develop anything.
- Prepare users
- Even the simplest apps need training materials and documentation for end users. By preparing or providing end users with the information they will need to troubleshoot issues themselves, it could lighten the load on your support system (which is probably taking a lot of Work from Home related tickets as it is).
- Crawl before you walk before you run
- Keep the app simple at first. There may be an immediate need to get the app released during this crisis. If that’s the case, which parts of the app are needed immediately? If you can release those features first to get your app running at base functionality, do so. You can add more features as time goes on. Additionally, this allows you to collect user input on which additions are most important. The initial plan for the app may change after receiving such feedback, so instead of backtracking on work, you can reevaluate the app's functionality at various stages.
- Make sure the development timeline and schedule are possible
- Power Apps has made building apps a breeze, but that doesn’t mean that tasks don’t take time. There are still troubleshooting and possibly large development tasks that need to take place, so don’t condense the time allowed for development if possible. Shortcuts taken now can impact greatly in the future.
- Your development teams are probably working remotely so strong communication is important. Using project management techniques like daily Scrum's can help everybody stay on the same page and help to resolve issues quickly.
If you can stick to these simple bullets, you should have a successful app deployment, whether that’s during the Covid-19 crisis or not.
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