This article appeared in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Better Software magazine
These devices can also get quite banged up if they are shared, so be careful how you store them each night. If they are all rattling around loose in the bottom of a desk drawer, they will wear out prematurely. Store them in their original boxes if you can, and be sure they are clean before putting them away. On one team I was on, a team member liked eating salty snacks while working, which left salt crystals that actually ate away at the screens of the devices.
It can be tempting to always want to buy the latest and greatest hardware, but that can quickly eat up budgets. Try to encourage a purchasing practice, and be strategic about what you buy.
The Internet has made application distribution much easier. We don’t have to worry nearly as much about getting shrink-wrapped software on disks onto store shelves. In fact, most teams don’t think about this much at all. In the mobile space, though, your application is delivered to consumers through a third-party online store. These are popping up all over, with the platform creators developing and hosting the most popular ones. Apple has the App Store (synced with its popular iTunes platform), Android has the Android Market, and Blackberry has App World, just to name three. Often, these application stores also require specialized software on your computer to transfer the application from the store to your device. Telecommunication companies are developing their own application stores, as well.
Application stores have requirements, and submitting your application to be hosted and available to your target market but having it rejected can have a big impact on your schedule. It’s important to do the following at the beginning of your project:
- Determine what stores you will submit to.
- Learn their submission requirements.
- Ensure your application type will be acceptable.
- Factor in at least one rejection in your schedule, particularly if you haven’t submitted before.
Store submission rejections are often a surprise to development teams. The schedule is set out, a target delivery date is agreed on, the team delivers, and then a rejection occurs. This can throw a team into a tailspin. You have to change your application to resubmit, which requires more redesign, development, and testing. In some cases, the application store may not accept the kind of application that you are developing at all. It’s important to find this information as early as possible so you can plan for it and develop accordingly.
For a look at some of the human factors that may impact your mobile project and how to plan for them, read Mobile Challenges for Project Management: The Human Factors.