Fixing on a clear budget for your app development? Think again!
We remember how client meetings were about 5-6 years back, when we were a considerably smaller team.
The requirements were straightforward. They had ‘N’ number of features to be built into their app to address the problems of a certain industry. We were able to estimate it, develop it, and deliver it. It seemed quite simple.
This model of engagement was called a Fixed Bid, that is quoting a fixed price for a development with clear deliverables and defined timelines.
Fixed bid seems impractical nowadays for most development companies. Has the kind of clients changed for us? Not to that big an extent. Are the budgets different nowadays? Not quite the reason. Are the requirements complex? We are kind of getting somewhere with that question. Let’s try and list down the key reasons:
– Features, features and more features:
With technology evolving rapidly over the years, the possibility of what can be has expanded all the more at a micro level. What used to be just a login screen 6 years back, now has social login, Authenticator verified login, 2FA verifications, and the list goes on. We really cannot just say ‘We need a social commenting section’. We need to define the 100 things that are possible within a single feature and narrow it down to what is exactly needed and not get overwhelmed without that understanding later.
– Building for tomorrow:
With the unicorns of the world inspiring people to envision bigger digital products, the ideas are not limited. We hardly hear about requirements that are having 10 features. It is really heartening to see businesses thinking what their app is going to be 5 years down the lane. App development cycles are way longer now with planned roadmaps, which leads us to our next point.
– MVP leads the way:
Companies are starting to understand the importance of building MVP – A Minimum Viable Product. A version of your digital product that has the core and most important features of your application, that you can roll out to all the stake holders to understand how it is perceived, used and responded to. This is not just for getting investments, this has become the norm for building products right.
– Scope that is not limited:
One of the biggest cons of the fixed bid model is that once the scope is defined, it cannot change. Because, in IT and development time is money. With every change in scope, the time and the budget changes, which the entrepreneurs/product managers have not accounted for. Sometimes you are forced to go with not-the-best-version of the idea or shell out more if something critical changes. We are looking for ways to develop that are more fluid, to match the dynamic markets of today.
SO WHAT IS THE WAY OUT?
Well, there are now two more engagement models that are becoming increasingly popular:
Time and Material – Flexi Time/Flexi Resource Model
If you are unsure of how your app will evolve over time and what you are clear about is your idea and the market, it is best to estimate your project based on the resources who you will need than instead of the exact micro level finalization of features.
You get say 2 Front-end developers, 1 Backend Developer and 1 UI/UX designer allocating X number of hours each to work on your product. As your product evolves, you tell us what you think about it and if there is a need to shift tracks to make the product better on the go. This is the most common engagement model and estimation model that is working out in a way where you never lose on you the core – Building a solid product/application.
These are for people who are tech savvy or for internal tech teams to build products that they don’t have enough resources on board for. Let’s face it, you don’t want to hire a developer in a non-tech environment or hire one without knowing if you have enough work for him 6 months down the lane.
Avoid overheads, hire developers remotely from us exclusively for your project. They will work as your extended team, minus all the overheads and company-level commitments from your end. Hire them for 100 hours or hire them for 3 months. They will work directly under your technical guidance or if you want a team, we will even manage them for you. This is a growing model that is enabling companies to build better products without worrying about very long term commitments.
Wondering what is the right engagement model for you to bring your digital product to life? Why don’t you give us a ring? If we did not love discussing ideas and way forward for great products, we won’t be where we are today over the last 8+ years digitally transforming businesses.