Better ways to meet application development challenges Posted on July 3, 2012 by Tim Burke Application development projects can be difficult to manage while ensuring milestones and retaining hard-won ROI. But it doesn’t have to be that way. An experienced, competent application development service provider can handle the details with a flexible development strategy that begins with discovery, carries you through concept/design, development and testing/quality assurance, and completes the effort with production/launch and maintenance/support. Here’s what you need to know about how an app dev services provider should handle each of these stages… Discovery: Working with your team, your provider’s business and development consultants should ask the questions necessary to quickly understand your needs and effectively scope and document your solution. Concept/Design: With information gleaned during discovery, your provider’s engineers should create a development design document that includes timelines, deliverables, and cost estimates — so you’re armed with the facts to ensure deliverables are accurate. Development: In this phase, the application is developed, initially tested, and documented. Your provider should offer user and development team documentation options that depend on your application targets or verticals — and you should have every opportunity to review your application and provide feedback. Testing & QA: Next, your applications should be deployed into a beta environment where application user testing, load testing, and quality assurance processes are performed. Your provider’s staff should provide you with application testing results and work with you to review and finalize your documentation while application deployment scripts are prepared. Production/Launch: Ideally, your app dev services provider will have a variety of deployment options for you — including at one (or more) of the provider’s data centers, at your site, or released through another channel. As your application is launched for client use, your provider should complete any final testing and assure application stability. Maintenance and Support: You also want an app dev services provider who can design a dynamic and comprehensive solution to handle your application’s maintenance and support. Whether you want to handle it all yourself or would rather not be involved at all, your provider should have the means to work with your specific needs.