How to scope an app idea

How much would it cost me to build this app? It’s the million dollar question (or one of very many!) As I pull together some webinar slides to talk on this subject I am struck by how much I question the validity of every single slide. Because there is no simple answer, there is no golden truth, and the only thing you can do really, is to write down, draw or write a play to explain, what is the problem you are solving and how are you solving it? The more detail you can capture the better. It really is a case of you need to start the process by spilling the beans – warts and all!

I know I am just talking about scoping at this point, but I think it is important to point out that to build an app can be ALMOST as tricky as getting your children through high school! No one really knows what the end result is going to be but you sure as hell can plan, have a strategy, embrace trial and error, look to your community for feedback and support, stay true to your vision and start every new day with a renewed commitment to succeed.

To scope something is to find a solution before you build it. It’s not so dissimilar from what you probably do every day as you navigate your way through a million decisions before breakfast. Each decision is based on research, experience, a problem and a solution. To do this you need a clear understanding of what the problem is. 

And why is the scope so important? Because it is not just about the money (though invariably that has a huge impact) rather it is about understanding what problem you are solving, testing to see if that is the real problem and the right solution and stripping the pathway there back until you have a solution that delivers the greatest learning with the least investment.

To create the best scope document you can, you need to think about your end user, then record in as much detail as you can, using words, images, post it notes, whatever you have at your disposal, and keep your end user in mind. 

Tell us – what is the problem you are solving and how are you solving it?