Understanding these 4 risks will help you build a successful app

Developing a mobile (or web) app is an exciting opportunity that could lead to substantial business growth. Just like any meaningful innovation, app development includes a number of risks and analysing them should form an essential part of the planning process. Given the amount of time and resources that are typically invested in app development projects, it is crucial to identify, assess, and mitigate the potential risks to increase your chances of success. Polymorph has delivered numerous successful app development projects over the past 12 years and would highlight 4 important risks that should be addressed to ensure successful app development. These risks are discussed below: 

1. Value risk

Does your app address a real need or is it just a “nice to have”? Value risk is the risk of users not choosing to use your app. Developing an app that users won’t use is the surest way to fail. Assessing value risk entails asking questions such as: why an app, what real business problem or customer need are you addressing, has this perceived need or problem been validated with target users, and have you conducted a competitor analysis?

2. Business viability risk

Does your app make business sense? Business viability risk entails asking whether you will be getting the required business value from your app and identifying key objectives that will make building an app worth it. The biggest concern is the risk that your chosen solution won’t work for the various parts of your business such as sales, marketing, finance, legal, etc.

3. Usability risk

Do users enjoy using our app or are there aspects that they find frustrating? Usability risk is the risk that users can’t figure out how to use your app. User experience (UX) design, as the first step in the development process, can either boost your app or ruin it. Therefore, apps that do not meet their intended purpose because they are, for example, frustrating to navigate suffer from inadequate or poorly executed UX design. However, the majority of usability issues can be addressed before writing a single line of code. It all comes down to one overarching question: “Who are your users?” Followed by user testing to discover usability issues.

4. Technical feasibility risk

Can it be done is not the right question. Anything can be done given enough time and unlimited resources. The right question is, what can be done with the available time and resources? Technical feasibility risk is the risk that software engineers can’t build what you need with the available time, skills and technology. Two overarching questions will allow you to mitigate this risk: Does your app need to integrate with existing software or systems within your business ecosystem and how and where will your users access your app? For example, an app that has to be used deep within a coal mine while sending and receiving data will need to overcome specific connectivity and durability challenges.

Developing an app is risky business but overcoming the risks can lead to great reward. To ensure you mitigate the 4 risks mentioned above and receive the highest return on your investment, it is important to select the right partner that will take ownership of your business objectives, drive your app strategy, and invest in proper research and UX design before development. Our follow-up articles will break down and consider each risk in detail. 

If you would like to assess whether you are ready to start building your app, please use our free app calculator to find out in a few simple steps. 

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Lize Monametsi
Lize Monametsi
CEO at Polymorph

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