Building software from starch can be an overwhelming experience for you. It's not just writing codes and executing them. It’s a whole process involving multiple aspects. Such as architecture, analysis of projects, designing, testing, and deployment.

Companies that are in pursuit of building robust applications must keep the process in mind. However, they must also know that for every software development, there’s a different pricing model available. When creating a customized technological solution, you don’t just need an expert IT service provider. You also require a different pricing model that narrates premium options for your project development.

Therefore, with pricing models you know what you are paying for. The benefits you will unlock and the feasibility you will access.  There are four pricing models that change the game for software development projects. Fixed Price, Time and Material, Mixed Model, and Dedicated Team. These payment agreements are unique, with different challenges.

In this article, we are going to discuss these pricing models that can make a solid foundation for your conscious decision. Hence, you can kick start your custom software development projects with a complete know-how of the development phase.

1.   Fixed Price Pricing Model

This pricing model specifies technical and business requirements. Such as product release date, strict deadlines, and limited budget. The key priority is to work as per the project roadmap. Negligence costs extra work pressure, prolonged approvals, late delivery, and budget overrun.

Project planning and accurate cost estimation play a crucial role in this model. Defined project goals, specified technical requirements, designed mockups, and wireframes are necessary. You cannot enter the project development stage before finalizing these.

However, with such strict deadlines and requirements, managing this model becomes risky. In the fixed price pricing model, the service provider is responsible for smooth operations. They must make sure the project completes on time within the specified budget.

Issues That May Arise When Finalizing Fixed Price Contract

Some unexpected things may occur during the developmental phase. Such as:

  • Delay in Product Release

Whenever the developers provide some suggestions, modification of the scope will become necessary. When you will alter the document by adding new terms and pointers, the time-to-market product will become longer. This will ultimately lead to delay in product release date, disturbing the estimated time and budget.

  • Compromise Over Quality

In the time of crisis, the development team will focus on delivering the project no matter what. Of course, they wouldn’t like their business to suffer from the contract. The team would work as per the scope and comply to finish it on time. In such time, there would be an absolute compromise over the quality of code and testing. Ultimately, the end result will suffer.

  • Restricted Creativity

During project development, developers often find new features that can add value to the project. But such suggestions require time and budget. In the fixed price model, there is no space for this as the developers have to adhere to the contract. Thus, there is no chance of creativity and new ideation.

The benefit of the fixed price model is that the deadlines are strict, finalized prices, and predictable outcomes. The final look of the project would be exactly what you are expecting. However, this wouldn’t be the best digital solution in the long-run.

When to Go for a Fixed Price Model?

Choose fixed pricing model only when:

  • You have to build a site or an application within a limited budget and time.
  • The project is small and short-term, not lasting more than two months.
  • All the required technical documents are ready. From mockups to features, functionality, to user journey maps.
  • You are affirmative the requirements of the project are not going to change, no matter what.
  • Being involved in the project is not your priority. You won’t mark suggestions, changes, etc. at all.
  • You prefer agreeing on the scope in advance, delegating the software requirements, and wait for the results.

What Are You Paying For?

In the fixed price pricing model, you pay for the accurate step-by-step charting of the scope. The project has to be completed within the time period, on the specified terms, and budget. None of the estimations are changed and developers stick to it completely.

2.     Time and Material Pricing Model

You can unlock the highest level of flexibility in the time and material pricing model. You are typically charged for the number of hours you have spent on the project. The budget is estimated, the activities are discussed, the time is mentioned. However, these all can be changed and altered due to the flexible model.

Payments for the project are settled at different intervals. For instance, the payout at the end of every month. The key benefit of the T&M model is it allows swift alteration and scope of the project. Without incurring higher costs and exceeding time duration, every change is completed easily.

Another exciting aspect of the T&M model is that you can view the results during the developmental phase. You can even monitor day-to-day progress without hindrance. This magnifies the chances of you getting the exact software solution your business requires.

Reasons for Changes in Project Scope

Changes may be initiated in your project scope for several reasons, such as:

  • Your direct competitor launched a similar product. Therefore, some functionality of the product may become irrelevant.
  • During the testing phase, early users are not satisfied with designing elements. Thus, this leads to adjustments and alterations to achieve the best customer response.
  • An IT specialist recommends some ways that can improve the overall user experience and user interface.
  • You feel the need to add a new feature to manage another business task. For instance, you want to integrate calendar and push notifications into your CRM system.

In the T&M pricing model, you directly participate in the developmental phase. You can test the product, suggest changes, approve each developmental stage, etc.

Hence, with a direct impact on your product development, there can’t be strict deadlines and restricted budgets. Sometimes your approval may take time, which wouldn’t be a mistake of the service provider.

This model is preferred only if your goal is to fight off the competition. You can ask for continuous product revisions, seek customer response, and test the product your way.

Issues That May Arise When Finalizing Time and Material Pricing Contract

When choosing time and material model, you may encounter the following issues:

  • Ambiguous Deadlines and Budgets

The time and material pricing model has an end cost estimation with an anticipated time deadline. Any changes to the scope of the project may lead to a delay in time-to-market. Due to limitations, you can never be affirmative on the cost that may incur at the end of the project.

  • Monitoring the Developmental Process

The T&M model requires continuous monitoring of the work and project development. If you already have a hectic schedule then constant monitoring can be a challenge. Either set a weak schedule where twice or thrice you supervise the work. Or hire someone to constantly keep a check and balance over the project development.

When to Go for the Time and Material Pricing Model?

Use the time and material pricing model only when:

  • You find it challenging to finalize all the requirements of project development right at the beginning.
  • The development revolves around a larger project that typically takes more than two months to finish.
  • The technical specifications and requirements are repetitively evolving.
  • There are no limited time and restricted budget cases.
  • You desire the development of the project to start as soon as possible.
  • You are authoritative to control the scope of the project and manage the budget.
  • Connected as a Product Owner is your motto, where you have a direct impact on the scope of the project.

What Are You Paying For?

In the time and material pricing model, you are paying for the time spent by the developers on your product development. You pay the service provider in intervals where the cost may increase or decrease. It's solely dependent on your project requirements and time consumed.

3.     Mixed Pricing Model

The mixed pricing model is a combination of fixed price and time and material pricing model. It's based on tight and strict deadlines, allowing flexible changes.

Choosing the mixed pricing model is preferable when you plan to release the product within a specified timeframe. However, the requirements for the project are unclear and ambiguous.

With the mixed model, you can alter the scope of the project, manage extra costs, and ensure many revisions.

Issues That May Arise When Finalizing Mixed Pricing Contract

Since the mixed model is a combination of fixed and time and material pricing models. There are a few issues that you may encounter when the project is never to be finalized.

  • Delay in Time-to-Market the Product

Even when a mixed model allows alteration to the scope of the project, it will consume time. Initially, the requirements of the project were not clear. This leads to delay, resulting in a holdup in time-to-market.

When to Go for the Mixed Pricing Model?

You can opt for the mixed pricing model, when:

  • The purpose of your project is to launch the digital solution to the target market at the earliest.
  • Your project is short-term or medium size and can easily complete within two months.
  • The duration of the project is set but the requirements are unclear.
  • You desire to achieve the best results within a limited timeframe.
  • Eager to add your input, feedback, response during project development on time.

What Are You Paying For?

In the mixed pricing model, you are being billed for the number of hours. It’s the time spent by the IT service provider in making your required application or website.

4.     Dedicated Team Pricing Model

The biggest benefit of the dedicated team pricing model is the phenomenal level of control. You have the power to personally view and interview members of the team. Increase or decrease the number of people in the team. You can also communicate with the team members and assign them tasks and workload accordingly.

This approach is quite similar to building an in-house team. Instead of recruiting, training, having a software license, etc., you are enjoying services only. This means you have the power but the burden is not on your business.

The pricing model of a dedicated team is highly flexible. Paying monthly salaries to the hired employees, approved by you.

Issues That May Arise When Finalizing Dedicated Team Pricing Contract

When you are working with a dedicated team pricing model, some of the issues that may arise are:

  • Responsibility

Since you are supervising the whole project yourself. You are responsible for the management of the team as well. As a business, you need to strategize, make efforts, and manage the working process.

  • Projection of End Cost

The dedicated team pricing model comprises hourly rates payout. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to predict the end cost of the project. You cannot determine the end cost unless you are sure of the hours being spent on your project by the specialist.

When to Go for the Dedicated Team Pricing Model?

Choose the dedicated team pricing model only when:

  • You desire to have a direct impact on the developmental phase. People with a background in project management are a perfect fit for this model.
  • Your goal is to control the budget, finalize the scope, manage project completion during the developmental process.
  • Personally, assembling the team is your main motto. Where you have time to hold face-to-face meetings and build a team beneficial for your task.

What Are You Paying For?

The dedicated team pricing mod revolves around monthly payouts, instead of interval pays. It comprises salaries, admin costs, fees, etc. specified in the contract. After the composition of your team, you would be able to predict the monthly cost of your project.

Final Thoughts

Your ultimate choice from all the four pricing models is dependent on the need for your project.

But don’t underestimate the main selection criteria, which is:

  • The complexity of your project
  • Size of the team you have or hiring yourself
  • The estimated budget you have for the project
  • Time duration you have for project completion
  • Level of control you expect to have on your team

For instance, if you are looking for project development within two months. Then a fixed price pricing model is preferable. Whereas, if you have time more than two months then switching from a fixed model to another one makes sense.

At Tkxel, fixed price and hire dedicated team pricing models are most commonly used. We offer absolute liberty to choose the perfect model matching your business needs.

If you are looking for a seasoned developmental team to take on your project, Drop a line today!

Success Stories

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“We have been working with Tkxel since October 2018 and we found their communication extremely effective and professional. Our goal with this project was to ensure a seamless and transparent competency review system and the application developed by Tkxel helped us achieve those desired results.”

Russell Willcocks // Ministerial Association Secretary
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"Tkxel redeveloped the application on time and within the budget, meeting all of the project's milestones and pleasing the client. Their development skills and proactiveness accelerated the timeline and delivery of the project."

Sylvian Bruni // Principal Engineer
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“Tkxel provided very good resources for our Broadband ISP and UX requirements. The work was completed on time and professionally. The project was carried out seamlessly and with utmost diligence. We would like to work with Tkxel again.”

Philip Macridis // Managing Director
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"We are pleasantly surprised by the process that Tkxel team adopted to handle this complex integration. Their engineers became core part of our team and took the ownership of the whole project in a very professional way."

Wayne Walls // Product Manager

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