Today we will take a look at a model for rapid application development and how it can help you and your company with a new product launch.
So, what exactly is rapid application development? Essentially it is a ‘try before you buy’ type of program for your project and a select group of end
users. This model adopts the theory that users will be able to provide better feedback if they are working on a live app instead of a demo environment.
This approach has its pros and cons. Pros are that you can reduce development time and you get lots of feedback. The cons are that you need a very strong
development team and that if you are not careful, you can get trapped in an editing cycle. Users submit suggestions, the program is altered, and users
submit more suggestions. It never ends. It is like the theory of the Moebius, a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop. See Star Trek TNG
season 2 episode 13 for more.
Here are some of the secrets of the model I employ when preparing for rapid application development.
1) Plan out two-three months ahead.
The Rapid Application Development approach has lots of benefits, but unfortunately, it is not a quick fix. Make sure that you have at least two to three
months before you want to launch your product. This will allocate time for users to leave feedback and for your developers to tweak the products to respond
to the feedback they have left. Two to three months is a great time frame but if you have the time to spare, four to five months is even better.
2) Make sure you have the manpower.
With users constantly submitting their thoughts and suggestions you will need to have a large development team. They must be read for the challenge of
making sure that they are able to address the suggestions and feedback of the testing team. This places a lot of responsibility on your development team,
and The more manpower that you have available ,the better it will turn out. Aim to have all the suggestions made by a user implemented by the following
3) Make sure your project is suitable for rapid application development.
There are some projects that are simply not good candidates for rapid application development. Any project that you need to be perfect the first time
around should not be submitted to this type of development. For instance, an air traffic control software program should not be an option for rapid
application development! Unless, of course, you are working for Trans American Airlines as seen in the movie “Airplane”. Choose a project that you can
continue to tweak and change over time, not one that needs to be completely ready at the launch.
A rapid application development approach can get your product on the road quickly, and with some great insight from users. Before you decide to take that
approach, make sure that your project meets all the requirements. Be sure to keep in mind that while it is a very useful approach, it is not always one
size fits all.