An app developer having built an app successfully and received continuous user engagement can really find it a rewarding occasion. For app development companies these days, such feeling is increasingly becoming rare as the competition is steadily mounting. Getting quick success with a great app is increasingly becoming rare. Naturally, app development companies are now trying hard to stand out from the rest on the virtue of new and advanced development approach. Thus after agile, it is the turn of the continuous development which is a new approach to creating value for the user simultaneously when the app is in use. We are going to explain here various aspects of this development approach and the ways it can impact an android and iOS app development company.
The merits of continuous improvement
Continuous development approach basically refers to an environment where the app developers never really feel complacent and just go to a resting phase as soon as an app becomes successfully published and gain market traction. As per this approach, a developer cannot really stop working on a project just because it came to successful completion and became a popular product. Even after achieving the initial release and success the developers will continue to find ways to improve the app. This is what we know as continuous development in the context of the app development.
The term is not entirely new and many call it as a continuous improvement as well. The approach has been widely popular when applied in the Japanese manufacturing sector and it is this philosophy that made world famous engineering and high-tech Japanese global brands possible. The philosophy propels the developers to grope for more excellence and better solution. But in the modern app, software and digital world of the web the term were introduced first as part of the Agile Development.
How continuous development became a force in IT?
We already know the major difference between Waterfall development and agile development. The primary difference between these two approaches is the pace of development. Waterfall approach always allows developing an app in a series of activities each depending on the completion of the previous and thus it takes a lot of time for the development process to complete and bear fruit. For instance, the testing phase in the waterfall development process comes in the end and so any fault found at the last lap again will take another series of actions to address it.
The agile process, on the other hand, ensures building different parts of the app concurrently and testing each element and feature simultaneously at the time of development. Thus it comes with extremely short cycle times allowing faster development and quicker outcome with all app features.
Continuous development is the natural outcome of the agile process which holds the same principle with the approach of improving an app continuously throughout the development process. With this approach, the developer never can rest after the successful completion of a part of the app but instead should focus on the betterment of the app on a continuous basis. It uses automation heavily for continuous feedback and testing of the respective app. Moreover, there is no separation between the change of code and its deployment according to this new approach. Continuous development through the use of flexible infrastructure and modular architecture ensures applying code change without requiring waiting for the deployment. Any change in the code is simultaneously deployed.
More flexible and responsible development
If any organization wants to ensure optimum excellence in the business operation through the implementation of apps, it is important for them to develop apps in a way so that they remain reusable when they need to come out with better and improved app in future. This helps them saving a lot of time and cost since they do not need to develop apps from the scratch. They can easily re-use elements from the old app instead of building all the things right from the start. This re-usability is one of the prime aspects of continuous development approach.
As far as responsibility is concerned, in an organization not only the IT department remains accountable for it. Ideally, an app feature can be tweaked and changed as per the suitability of the particular business process. For instance, your sales team while using a reporting tool can engage additional functions as and when required. So the app architecture must allow such continuous as well as the wider integration of features and changes incorporated by professionals of the respective department.
Continuous development means continuous value addition
Continuous development in-app creates the scope for continuous value addition. Let us explain the matter with some examples. Just take an app that allows business executives and managers various market research data and comparative analysis. Obviously, such an app would be hugely effective in allowing the company to understand the market, competition and target audience and accordingly create a branding and marketing strategy. The research data within such an app may include a variety of metrics.
Now as soon as the app is released it is not only well appreciated but it continued to offer a measurable business advantage for the respective organization. Your app even found a great industry reputation. But then what? Is it the end of the road for the app to improve and get better? Certainly no, according to continuous development approach, your app can still be better by incorporating new metrics and new research analysis within the app. Thus you continue to add value make your app practically safeguarded from all the future changes in the data research.
So, what is the ultimate learning that developers need to keep in mind in regard to continuous development approach? Obviously, they learn to stand on the toe to address any imminent changes and shifts in the business and technology. Whether it is a scope of better design or an enhanced functionality or a completely new approach to the deliverable contents of the app, continuous development continues to add value to the app with frequent and often real-time updates and simultaneous changes. There is no other way you can help your app stay updated all the time than this approach.
Keval Padia is a co-founder of Nimblechapps, a prominent mobile app and based in India. He follows different tech blogs and current updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.