Mobile apps are redefining the application development landscape

Mobile app development is reaching new height as more people are turning to smartphones, tablets and laptops. This evolution has opened up large avenues for the mobile application development business. On the other hand, enterprises are looking for a trusted mobile app development partner for all types of mobile apps, such as iPhone and Android apps.

Two years ago, Gartner predicted that traditional development practices will fail for mobile apps. Today, speed is the magic word as the mobile revolution continues. On average, it takes 18 weeks to develop a mobile application.

The whole development ecosystem is changing

With speed as a main trend, and the known characteristics of the mobile apps, corresponding changes are taking place in three development perspectives: Business Analysis, App Development and Project Management.

Understanding the synergy among the three will enable enterprises to develop mobile apps for today and future needs.

Business analysis perspective

Business Analysts (BAs) should understand how mobile applications differ and how business analysis for mobile is different from web apps. There are very specific considerations needed for mobile, which makes it special.

BAs work with different stakeholders to formulate the business vision, scope and requirements for the project. The fundamental goal every BA works to achieve is to get the project focused by translating the high level vision into tangible outcomes.

The BA has a role which is critical to deliver the right mobility solution. It’s not just meeting functional needs but also stakeholders needs, especially for everyday mobile app users. For this to happen, BAs should bridge the communication gap, and act as middleman, translating customer needs and business needs into a clear set of functional requirements.  

Also, we can not underestimate the importance of clear precise and smart goals – developers build to these, and testers verify and validate the system to these.

The development perspective: DevOps

DevOps is focusing on business outcomes rather than technical details. DevOps integrates lean principles, and focuses on improving the collaboration between developers and operations teams.

DevOps organizations have short backlogs. They are generally more creative, work closely with development and operations teams, drive agility and emphasize continuous development. DevOps are pushing applications out into production more quickly than what is expected.

Using self-service portals enable stakeholders to contribute interactively and have accountability for the application. Developers work seamlessly with operation staff to release, test, refine and re-release applications to users.

The project management perspective: From agile & waterfall to agifall & wagile

In a typical mobile app development project, there’s often many players, from third parties to user experience team members who may come from different vendors. Also, there might be multiple decision makers. This leads to different types of pressures that a team doesn’t get exposed to. Apparently, agile or waterfall on its own seems to be unable to cope with such complexities.

A magic formula is a hybrid combination of waterfall and agile that is called ‘agifall’. In agifall, the best of waterfall and the best of agile are combined in a hybrid approach that works for complicated projects with paying clients and large teams.

Agifall accelerates speed and quality by applying agile methodologies to the Waterfall process. This happens by dividing the research, strategy, and planning phases into tasks and then uses sprints to complete them. The development phase would be like any other agile project, with more information up front. You also don’t need to wait for one phase to end to start the following phase, which is traditional in pure Waterfall. In Agifall, the project begins once it is ready to begin.

Wagile, on the other hand, implements agile practices like short iterations, or continuous integration on top of the Waterfall model, without really changing the traditional Waterfall model.


Developing a mobile app is changing the whole development landscape and new methodologies and approaches are needed to cope with the ever changing nature of mobile apps. The most pressing challenges developers face is building mobile apps that enterprises want to use as fast as they need them. Most enterprises today have mobile app backlogs with no sign of it getting any better in the near future.

Tamer Marzouk
Tamer Marzouk
A management consultant, with 18 years of experience in diverse capacities, Tamer Marzouk began his career as an IT professional. Marzouk is an author, speaker, and lecturer. Marzouk holds MBA and M.COMP degrees with research focused on change management and human behavior in ERP implementations.

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