App developers work closely with project managers to get the app running to the client’s needs. Today we will be exploring how an app developer works with project managers in different aspects. We will also be discussing each role in the mobile app development process.

Firstly, for this blog post, we are assuming that we are talking about a full-stack developer where he is familiar with both backend and frontend app development. The project manager assumed will be the intermediary between the customer and the app developer. We will be defining an app project manager’s role and how he contributes to the app developer.

What does an app project manager do?

In basic terms, the app project manager will be overall in charge of the planning and execution of the project. In most cases, project managers are familiar with the knowledge of an app developer. Therefore, he or she can communicate on the same page with the app developer.

The app project manager will do the architecture planning of the software. He will plan the timelines and deliverables based on the discussion that was made with the app developer. By coming up with a timeline for the client, it will be valuable for the client to know what to expect from them.

In addition, app project managers constantly ask the app developer of the update of the app. The app developer is to report to the app project manager about the status of the app. This is for the project manager to answer to the client. Clients usually will want an update every week to understand the progress. Therefore, project managers will also push app developers to be on time.

The project managers will also do risk management for the company. In case this app developer is not able to deliver as per requirement or timeline, he or she must have a backup plan in mind. Some risk management plans are things like having a backup developer or having a backup time of app developers. The worst-case scenario is where the app project manager has to do the programming.

Is it important for app developers to have project managers?

Without the use of project managers, the project might be in a mess. Without a system that is developed by the project managers, timelines can be easily delayed and delivery and launch of the mobile app might be also delayed.

In our opinion, having an app project manager is crucial for a project to meet expectations. This gives freelance app developers a huge disadvantage as they usually are a group of full-stack developers or a one-man show. Without the team comprising of a project manager, it might be at the losing end. This might cause the app developer team to lose a project if the client feels unconfident about them.

However, it is important to note that quality project managers are definitely more pricey than app developers. Also, a good project manager is often highly paid as they are the key to smooth-sailing mobile app development projects.

What are the alternatives for app developers?

Project Management Systems

How do we curb this issue of project managers not being in a developer team? Well, it is a good alternative to use different systems and online tools to try and manage your projects. For example, app developers can buy or utilise project management tools to create a portal for clients to track the progress of the development.

The app developers can go into the portal and key in the updates of the mobile app when there is any. This is a good way to replace the project managers’ jobs. Moreover, clients can log into the portal and view the project at any time that he wishes to.

Freelance Project Managers

Another alternative is to outsource project management to another party. You can either outsource the project management to a project management company or a freelance project manager.

It is also best practice to qualify the company or individual before the app developer commits to the project manager. A huge plus point will be that the project manager has tech knowledge, especially in the app industry.

By outsourcing the project managing, the app developers can now focus on what matters: Developing the app.


We hope that this article is helpful in helping you understand the roles of app developers and project managers, and how they work hand in hand.

SleekDigital is an app developer company in Singapore that includes designing, front-end app development, backend app development, project management, app deployment, testing and even maintenance.