How Long Does it Take to Develop an App?

Lotte, Digital Content Specialist

You have a great innovative idea for an application. One that has the potential to reshape your industry and disrupt the market like no one else. Now what? If you’re not a developer yourself, you’ll need to get in touch with an expert in the field, someone with knowledge about not only app development but also all the other aspects of creating and marketing your digital solution. Naturally, you want your product on the market as soon as possible. After all, someone else might have the same great idea as you and you risk losing a great opportunity.


The development of your application doesn’t happen overnight. On the contrary, the development of an app that is market-ready can take months (or longer), depending on the complexity and scalability of your product. App development doesn’t merely consist of coding. There are many other aspects involved, such as the conceptualization of your idea, the design of your product, the technical research, and much more. In this blog, we dive into the journey of a digital partnership with Lizard Global. We discuss the elements that can influence the development time of your application and give you some tips and tricks to prepare yourself to avoid unnecessary delays.

How long does it usually take to develop an app?

One of the frequently asked questions regarding the development of an application is the time it takes to have your app up and running and ready to enter the market. You might turn to Google’s search engine to find an answer to your question, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get a concrete outcome. Instead, you’ll probably find some estimations. So, how long does it take to develop an application, approximately? The average app development time runs somewhere between three and nine months, depending on several factors including the complexity of your product, and optimization requirements around user experience, stability, and scalability. That’s why it’s so important to start your digital partnership fully prepared. In order to give you a more concrete idea of the timeline of app development at Lizard Global, we take you through the entire process, from start to finish.

Would you like to discuss the process of partnering up with Lizard Global directly with us? Shoot us a message on WhatsApp: +60 18 35 65 702, and let’s talk!

Digital conceptualization stage: +/- 3 weeks

In the first phase of our partnership, we start off with getting familiar with your business and the industry it’s active in. We meet each other in a real-life or digital meeting, discussing your ideas and expectations, while we provide you with the information you need to know before starting your journey with us as your digital partner. You play an essential role in this phase, as you are the ultimate expert of your own company, and have a clear insight into the current problems your customers are facing. The more work you’ve done yourself regarding the problem, your target users, and potential solutions, the quicker we can start off with concretizing your plans into actionable steps.

Phase 1: Essential questions

As a future partner of Lizard Global, we start our journey with a list of questions for you to answer. These questions are focused on your target audience, the problem your end-users are facing, and the ideas you’ve come up with so far to solve this problem. With these insights, we can introduce you to the specific services you might benefit from and show you comparable cases to give you an idea of what we can do for your situation. This introduction usually happens during an orientation session of 20 to 30 minutes, often over the telephone.

Phase 2: Agenda

After you’ve answered the essential questions in phase one, we continue with a general introduction of an hour. We get to know each other better, learning more about you, your business and the project. We ask additional questions and afterwards, introduce you to Lizard Global in the form of a presentation. We show some of our portfolio cases that are comparable to the project you want to pick up. And last but not least, we let you ask us any questions you still have about a partnership with us.


Based on your industry and location, we include a Product Owner who will guide you during the entire partnership process. This Product Owner will help by simplifying a complex technical process and by setting a result-driven strategic vision, focused on achieving the ultimate product-market fit.

Phase 3: Evaluation

With the information we have from the previous meetings, we validate if a digital partnership is possible, looking at potential bottlenecks, available technologies, the timeline, budget, and capacity. When there’s a good feeling between both parties, we present you a digital roadmap and price estimations. This process of roadmapping and estimating prices usually takes about five to eight workdays. During this session, everything comes together and the road towards your digital solution becomes more tangible by visualizing the themes, epics and user stories that will be followed during the development process.

timeline

The Planning Stage/Kick-off Sprint: +/- 2 weeks

After signing the offer, we organize an internal “Kick-off”, during which the ideal team for the project is being assembled. This team composition can differ from sprint to sprint since these will consist of different types of activities, fitting different experts in our team. After the internal kick-off follows the kick-off with you and your team. In this meeting, we introduce you to the team you’ll be working with. Next to that, we’ll start working on a concrete plan of action. When this plan is established, and all parties are satisfied, we get to work!

The Startup Sprint: usually 1 sprint of 2 weeks

Our team starts working on the technical infrastructure of your digital solution. In case you’re starting from scratch and don’t have any design elements yet, we start with a wireframe, a user flow, and UI mockups that give you an initial idea of what your app is going to look like. This usually happens in the first design sprint, which takes two weeks, and will be presented and tested in the form of a clickable demo. During the Startup sprint, we’ll start organizing the task list of your solution by prioritizing the most important elements on the backlog.


While our UI/UX Specialists visualize your digital concept into a user journey, our Lead Developers start with constructing a fitting technical architecture. In order to have a scalable solution, your tech foundation is crucial and requires proper outlining first.

uiux

The Development Stage: iterative sprints of 2 weeks (number of sprints varies based on the complexity of the product)

The process of developing a Minimum Viable Product usually takes around 4 recurring iterative sprints (2 weeks per sprint), fully depending on the complexity of the product and features. When we reach the stage of finalizing the MVP, we test the product to identify opportunities for further improvement of the product, to fully prepare it for a successful launch. The more sprints you implement to optimize the product, the more “market-ready” your product will be.


When the MVP is finalized, your product is ready to get your users “hooked”, possessing all the right features to become a Minimal Marketable Product (MMP). The time it takes to get to the MMP highly depends on the complexity of your application. After all, the more functionalities, the more time it takes to build them and test them for potential bugs. The number of features your product starts off with usually depends on your timeline and budget. Some of our clients start off with a limited budget, good for creating a well-functioning application that can continue to grow once the client finds an investor.

sprint

Final sprint and go-to-market stage: 2 weeks

In this stage, depending on the type of application, we submit your application to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. We also start to gather and analyze data from your early adopters in order to optimize the monetization and growth strategies that will be needed in order to help your app go viral and scale up. While your product started off as a small-scaled test environment, it will now be introduced to a bigger audience. We carefully guide your product on the market and advise you on how to continue to grow and scale from there. Our commercial experts introduce you to professional partners that help you dive into a strategy that fits the character of you and your business.

How can you avoid potential delays?

At Lizard Global, we work agile, which means that we work in iterative bi-weekly sprints of development, where we continuously adapt and improve the solution based on the feedback we get from previous versions. This way, we make sure we don’t lose time and effort developing an entire solution in one go without regular incremental end-user feedback, that may not satisfy the customer.

Want to know more about our ways of working? Or about agile in particular? Find out more about the methods we use to add value continuously here.


There are always things that can cause the development process to extend. Here are some examples of situations that might cause delays in the app development process:

  • Unplanned changes, in case a client changes their mind
  • Integrations with external applications or services that require a complex architecture and relies on an external party
  • Unusual complexities and integrations that require extra attention
  • The outsourcing of a specific service to external parties outside of Lizard Global


In order to avoid these situations, preparation is key. Having a clear idea of where you want to go with your application lowers the risk of sudden changes of mind in the middle of the development process. That’s why we take the time to dive into your business, target audience, their problem and the potential solution. This way, we make sure we work with the right technologies and prioritize the most important features.


At Lizard Global, we provide a complete package of services for the development of your application. We do this because we know that outsourcing different services to different parties can add a considerable amount of time and investment to the development process as well as hinder product success. Not only is outsourcing not necessary, but it might even lower the quality of your product by handing out different tasks to different parties that aren’t working together or using the same tools and technologies.

Need a hand?

One of our priorities is to be completely transparent to our clients, including the time it takes to develop an application throughout all the development phases. This is why we present all our potential clients with a clear view of our development process, from start to finish, and the time estimations that come with it. Of course, every project is unique, so to give a specific answer to the question of how long app development takes is impossible. At least, this blog gives you a tangible idea of when you can expect your digital solution to be fully functional and ready to enter the market.


Do you have more questions about the development of your application? Or are you interested in a partnership with Lizard Global? We’d love to hear from you! Any innovative idea is welcome, and we make sure to keep the threshold low. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! Shoot us a message on WhatsApp or give us a call, and hopefully, we’ll be working together soon!

Frequently asked questions

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01

How long does it take to develop an application?

The average app development time is somewhere between three and nine months, depending on the complexity of your product and potential bottlenecks that come up during the development process.

02

How much does it cost to develop an application?

Generally, the price of the development of an application can end up somewhere between the broad range of €10.000 euros to a whopping €1.000.000 euros. This, of course, depends on the type and complexity of your solution and its availability on different platforms.

03

What does the timeline of app development at Lizard Global look like?

- Digital conceptualization phase: +/-3 weeks
- Planning/kick-off phase: 2 weeks
- Wireframing/startup phase: 1 sprint of 2 weeks
- Development phase: minimum of 4 sprints of 2 weeks per sprint
- Final/Go-to-market phase: 2 weeks

04

What is a digital roadmap?

A roadmap is a strategic plan that identifies a goal or desired outcome and the major actions or milestones that must be accomplished to achieve it. It also serves as a communication tool, a high-level document that aids in the process of strategic thinking for both the objective and the strategy for achieving it.

05

What is an MVP?

An MVP, or Minimum Viable Product is a product that has just enough features to satisfy its early pre-market users in order to receive viable feedback for future development implementations. The essence of an MVP is the delivery of a product with only the most essential features to save time and money and to help validate your idea.

06

What is an MMP?

An MMP, or Minimal Marketable Product is a version of the product that is ready for its commercial entrance on the market, while still continuously being improved with new or updated features.

Hey there, can I help you?

Did you like the blog above, but do you still have some questions about the subject or related topics? No issue! You can easily contact one of our Lizard specialists on these specific topics, and they gladly tell you more about it. This way, you’ll never leave with uncertainties.

MARKUS MONNIKENDAM

Global Commercial Director | markus@lizard.global | +60 18 35 65 702

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The Lizard Family is a close team of dedicated professionals, from UI/UX designers and developers to product owners, project managers and commercial experts. Curious about our current Lizard team? Get to know us!

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