We’ve asked a lot out of you so far on this IDEA process, so it’s time we finally get to the fun part! Now we get to put together all of the hard work you’ve done during the Inquire, Define, and Eliminate phase. Now aspire to greatness for your finished product.
This is the time to create a vision for the future of your application. We want to bring back those features that we asked you to cut in the Elimination phase and find where they fit in your development timeline. Go back to your original design that includes all those features, and create a roadmap for getting there.
Take the time to review what you’ve outlined in the Idea and Define phases. We put the time in upfront to explore and invent so that now you have a collection of features to pick from and strategically add to your M.V.P. You want to build a comprehensive application that meets all of the basic needs of the user and includes more advanced features that will enhance the power of users. The answers that you discovered earlier in the process will be valuable resources that remind you of the vast potential of your product.
Once you’ve revisited your earlier wants and wishes, create a map for development and decide what you want your application to look like in 6, 12, or 18 months! The best way to go about determining your timeline is to picture your user and consider which features add the most value to their experience. In-application messaging might sound like an exciting feature for a mobile fundraising application, but if you haven’t implemented in-application transactions that allow users to donate their money, no one will be using it. Basic needs should always be the primary concern when developing an application. You need to be able to recognize the value of your ideas as they pertain to the user’s experience and need to prioritize development accordingly.
It is also important to recognize that this timeline is not definitive. Application development is an unpredictable process, and after the M.V.P. is created, you may decide to prioritize something else based on the reactions of your initial users — and that’s okay! The reason we ask you to create this roadmap for development is simply that we want to make sure that you are actively engaged in thinking about the future. The plan you make will just act like a rough guideline that will keep you inspired and will ensure that development never comes to a halt because of a lack of planning.
So, organize and prioritize the future of your application to the best of your ability, but don’t feel pressured to rigidly stick to this plan. We use the Agile development method to help keep this process flexible so that our teams are able to quickly change direction if you end up changing strategies!