Time and Material Advantages

The article is a part of Code Inspiration’s software development outsourcing Knowledge Base.

Software development models of work

Code Inspiration being a professional software development company works with all 4 types of working models commonly applied in outsourcing all over the world

Each project and business are unique and as practice shows selecting the right model of work in the very beginning can help to economize up to 30-40 % from the total budget for the development. Other than that, it helps to establish the working process where things are scheduled in advance and the product owner can concentrate on business goals and not on resolving development issues.

In this article, I wanted to outline my personal point of view, based on the working experience and cooperation with clients from more than 15 countries, different projects at different stages, developed for multiple niches.

I consider the Time and Material model to be the most accurate and appropriate for most of the projects. Nowadays, living in the world where everything changes, we should be always prepared for a change.

I couldn’t but mention, that dedicated team model or outstaffing are flexible models, the only barrier here for the most companies is the term, as usually dedicated team and outstaffing contracts are signed for a period of 6 months and longer.

Fixed price model, from the other side, providing you with such benefits as exact timeline for the delivery and exact budget for the project, blocks you from a possibility to change the scope or modify the functionality. As the result, after completion of the project, the modifications, which could have been easily done within the development, require change in the initial architecture and logic of the application. And as a result, turns into time and monetary loss which you could have avoided applying Time and Material.

Time and Material model of work

Why Time and Material model suits a big number of projects with different budgets and in different niches?time and material model in software developmet

  1. Providing in the very beginning the estimation of the approximate budget and timeline for the development already lets a client plan the business.
  2. Applying Time and Material model you won’t need to pay big amounts indicated in the milestones, as it is done applying fixed price model.
  3. If the business requires modification or reprioritization of the tasks – you can easily check the backlog and remove some functionality or add amendments.
  4. Things happen and you can always stop working with your vendor if for some reasons you are not satisfied with their work anymore or your company simply has monetary issues and needs to pause the development.
  5. Applying time and material makes it possible to use resources you need and pay only for the time they have spent on your project, you don’t need to think how to load your back end developer (like in case of a dedicated team or outstaffing model) while waiting for the production keys for example.
  6. Development of the additional functionality is also one of the main points we couldn’t but mention discussing this topic. If your product is not that big, and you simply need to adjust some functionality to the existing software, ask for a pre-estimation and then get a report of actually hours spent.

Time and Material model disadvantages

Two minuses, which might be critical for the customers are the following:

  • Sometimes the pre-estimation you were provided with in the very beginning will not suit the actual hours in the report. And if the software was developed by company’s resources, and in that sprint they didn’t depend on any third-party – you should obviously ask to be charged according to the pre-estimation. However, if the time in the report was exceeded because of third-party services’ bugs you wanted to implement, the bill should be paid fully.
  • The other minus I can see is possibility to have fast reactions in case of emergency issues. Usually, when the project is live an SLA with a development company is signed. It provides you with a guarantee that if a critical issue or a bug arises, the maintenance team will look and fix it as soon as possible. In case of Time and Material, it is most likely that the team or the developer you need will be working on another scope of tasks, and in case of emergency they will not be reassigned to your project the same day, it would be scheduled and might take time, while users of existing software will be struggling and the results will impact the business.

Despite few minuses, Time and Material is considered to be one of the best models in modern world of changes. Investors require additional features before accepting to fund your company, while usability testing there will always be modifications to be made about the software. Time and Material will guarantee flexibility of your development team and will for sure help you concentrate on your users’ needs, needs of your business and achievement of business goals.

If you still doubt which model to apply, or need a consultancy regarding technological stack for your project, don’t hesitate, contact Code Inspiration team. Being top 2 best Minsk consultancies in IT development we will be happy to talk to you and to provide our award.

The article is a part of Code Inspiration’s software development outsourcing Knowledge Base.