December 20, 2018
Start with a Flight Plan
Our Flight Plan phase helps prepare individuals and organizations for the challenge of designing, building and marketing their digital product. You wouldn’t build a house without blueprints, likewise starting your app development project before outlining a detailed plan is bound to bring some unexpected hiccups along the way.
When it comes to developing digital projects, most entrepreneurs create a wishlist of features, and then start shopping the idea around to development companies for estimates. The problem with this approach, is that you don’t know, what you don’t know, and often the feature set we are asked to quote is missing a great deal of what is required to make the product market ready. This means the estimates that are received are generally inaccurate and reflect only a fraction of the project’s total cost to complete.
Pieoneers has spent nearly a decade refining how we plan, design, build, and release digital products in both the public and private sectors. Our Flight Plan phase is vital in helping aspiring entrepreneurs, academics and seasoned business owners get from idea to blueprint, so that designing and building their product happens without all the unexpected surprises and added costs.
What is a Flight Plan?
Flight Plan is an intense phase of collaboration during which we research, plan, discuss and create the detailed documentation necessary to produce a market-ready product in the digital space. The Flight Plan is a preliminary phase that precedes the design, development and release phases.
We start by identifying who the target users are, and how/where they will find the product. Next, we explore the competitive landscape and determine who else is targeting the same users with a similar product. From there, we explore the needs of the target market and assess what features are necessary to gain traction and, if applicable, to monetize. Finally, we focus on defining a technical architecture which will support growth and simplify maintenance over the long term.
Example Flight Plan Deliverables:
We perform basic research into the target market and assess the technological demands of a project. The goal is to determine, as soon as possible, if the proposed product can be created within the available budget, and with the desired ROI.
Competitor Search & Analysis.
We review existing competitors, trial their products, document their monetization strategy and quantify their success in the market. We also document each competitor's strengths, weaknesses and how directly they would compete with your proposed product.
Identifying Missing and Incomplete Elements.
We thoroughly review existing project documentation, wireframes, and any other documentation in order to identify areas which have not been adequately explored, defined, or documented.
Joint Work Sessions and Product Development Consulting.
We host collaborative work sessions with project stakeholders to review shared materials on the project’s scope and discuss areas of concern and opportunity.
Minimum Viable Feature Selection.
We summarize the results of our work sessions as a proposed minimum viable feature set. The features on this list will be collectively agreed upon and will form the basis for estimating the cost of app design.
We visually describe the user experience, demonstrating the core interactions needed to progress a visitor from landing, through registration and on to the final product goals.
Technology Review and Recommendations.
We review the scope of the proposed MVP and advise on the platform(s) the product should run on, the most suitable tech stack, how much existing code can be leveraged, and whether there are third party libraries which can be used to save time and money.
Concept Drawings of Core App User Interface.
Our designers create concept-drawings/wireframes showcasing a vision of the user interface for several of the core user workflows.
Price Quote for Design.
We leverage all of the work in the Flight Plan to produce a comprehensive cost estimate and timeline for the UI/UX design phase.
How much does a Flight Plan cost?
The answer to this question is, “it depends”. The cost of a Flight Plan can range anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 depending on the size and complexity of the project. Additional factors include: the deliverables requested, the amount of upfront research and documentation available before we start.