Before you begin designing and creating the next greatest iPhone application, it’s critical to define exactly what you plan your application to do, so says the iPhone Human Interface Guidelines. A great way to do this is to write a product definition statement. It is a succinct affirmation of your application’s core purpose and its intended audience. I believe Apple understands, in order to be successful, you have to have a plan. Developers of iPhone applications are not necessarily project managers. Perhaps Apple is giving them better odds of success, by encouraging them to write a project definition statement. I once worked with a very knowledgeable developer, Kent Lynch, who spoke out during a managers meeting saying, “People don’t plan to fail; they just fail to plan”. He could not have been more right.
A project mission statement is no different. No project should be attempted without first capturing a mission statement. Traditionally, mission statements contain:
- Project Name
- Primary stakeholders
- Responsibilities towards these stakeholders
- Products and services offered
If you can articulate a mission statement that satisfies these few bullets, you’re on you way to understanding what you need to do to have a successful project.