Learning how to pitch your app idea to your development team is easier said than done. But when done by pressing the right buttons of your team, the results are spectacular.
Project managers and, sometimes experienced leads, too struggle to communicate their ideas and vision effectively to their team. As a listener, the tendency to sustain your attention span gets difficult with each passing minute during a presentation, meeting, or even a video call.
You’re kind of lost in the never ending onslaught of information, and might start feeling the guilt of not being smart enough to grasp the presenters’ statements and waste their time.
The other side of the coin is no different too. You’re talking about something relatively complex, for instance, a new app development idea or project, and can spot the exact moment when your listeners start to turn off one by one.
While failing to communicate effectively can result in a typical boring, lackluster session to loss of a serious business opportunity.
Learn how to pitch your app idea!
Having a great app idea isn’t enough, but communicating it in the right manner, at the right time becomes the major make or break element.
Talking to Mr. Hady Shaikh, the Product Strategist at CMOLDS, he laid down some valuable pointers that should help software project managers, business owners, team leads, and lead developers in communicating their app idea and other technical minutiae in a strong, convincing manner.
Understand the preliminary touchpoints
Not every individual in your app team will come from the same background, possess the same skillset, or a unique intellect. Hence, it is the job of the facilitator to explain in a way that everyone understands.
Leaving a gap in the middle of a conversation and expecting the attendees to follow along could be a mistake. And asking questions at periodic intervals if they are getting along so far is important.
Moreover, project managers and leaders should stop worrying about telling something they think the group might already know, nobody dislikes a quick refresher.
Regardless if you’re communicating your app idea or discussing some other official matters, understanding the audience and tailoring your message accordingly is the key.
Initiate with user stories
User stories are arguably one of the most convincing ways to communicate your app idea to a development team. They are extensively used in agile development detailing the app’s audience, their needs, and why they would use it.
Consider the following format, “As a <type of user>, I want <some goal> so that <some reason>”. The format will help the developers understand what elements are to be included in the app, even if you’re unsure of any particular feature at the moment.
Do note that every user story depicts a step-by-step process throughout the user experience.
Every step will individualize key features, which are then scaled for the value they’d incorporate in the app.
In doing so, developers can create a series of releases and ascertain the precise influence of each feature in the user’s overall journey.
Create an MVP plan
Minimum viable product (MVP) refers to the fundamental version of an application without adding the actual features that will be seen in the end product.
The purpose of MVP is to test the validity of your app idea, and explaining that to your development team is important for creating the right tool and convincing the client.
As a project lead, it is your job to clearly detail out the relevant features your developers will include in the MVP, while the secondary features can come later on.
Try to communicate how the target audience will perceive and use the tool, and keep the core purpose of the app as the discussion’s main agenda.
An MVP affirms the client’s and development team’s assurance and what the target audience can expect from the final product.
Creating flowcharts, images, or app screens and displaying in a meeting is a great way to answer aesthetic and UI based questions. The flowcharts will indicate how the user will navigate through a particular screen to achieve a particular result.
For instance, if you have an ecommerce app development project, creating different image screens for signups, ordering, and checkout would be a great move. In short, you’re mimicking the steps the user will take to successfully complete an order.
If time and technical expertise permits, you can even create detailed flowcharts with “what-if” scenarios.
For example, if the user opens the same ecommerce app from the example above, he might be taken to a welcome page where he’ll fill in his personal details, or browse the products catalog first.
Let suppose the user wants to make an order, he’ll choose a product, add it in the cart, and proceed for checkout. And if the user tries to tap the “Submit” or “Pay Now” button without filling the address fields first, a message in red will be displayed stating, “Please fill in the address fields”, and the cursor navigates back to the empty fields.
In short, flowcharts keep you in the right direction when visualizing the app features and navigation aspect.
Here is an example of a signup flowchart.
Mark the deadlines and budget
Every software development project comes with a deadline. The case with your app development isn’t otherwise.
It is vital for everyone in the room to understand and acknowledge the deadlines committed to the client. Remember, the development process is tedious and can go sideways for a number of reasons including change in the project scope, last minute addition or removal of jump-queue features, changing market trends, technological glitches, etc.
And the last thing you want is miss the deadlines and risk the client calling off the project.
Always stay open when discussing flexibility in the deadlines, but finalize it only after confirming it from the development personnel. Moreover, realize the estimations provided by the project manager.
The idea is to acquire a sense of the completion time. If the client is in a hurry, the development team must have additional resources in spare to speed up the process.
From the client’s side, he/she needs to discuss the total costs associated with the development firm. Apparently, no one would want the billing invoice to come with unexpected costs near the project completion stage.
Develop visual mockups
Visual mockups are full-fledged, colored designs as high-fidelity assets from the client’s end. In other words, high-fidelity answers your, “how to pitch your app idea to your team” question.
Visual mockups play an important role in bringing the gap between the client and the development team. And being the major idea conveyer for your team, you need to clear with the how part of your development milestones.
Today, almost all businesses in the global industry have their own website, and a mobile app is just an extension of their presence in the digital realm.
This is why the client, or the project manager, needs to show their visual chunk of the project to the development team.
Putting it simply, not having solid mockups will make it quite difficult for your team to understand how the tool will actually function.
Furthermore, by creating mockups, you’ll also be explaining the relationships between various features. In doing so, the front-end developers will understand your app idea better, consequently, use the right designs, colors, and fonts for the application.
Besides the above technical questions as we discussed above, there are various general communication tips as well that should help you in conveying your app idea to our team.
However, asking the right essentials is the key for a team to clearly understand your expectations, talk about their challenges and provide feedback, and collectively develop a feasible plan on how to create the best output meeting the client’s needs, but without compromising the user experience.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.