How not to run out of money in the middle of mobile software development?

Every company performs within a less or more limited budget so app development vendors should be able to provide an approximate estimation. However, please remember you put yourself and your company at risk when you commit to a product development based on an estimation that you may not understand or relate to, but yet you have a price. Be aware this is only an estimation, not the definitive final cost. Typically under Time & Material contract, unless the costs and hours set are the result of solid scoping and discovery, any client is at risk of costs spiraling out of control. But even if you use fixed-price pricing, there’re lots of situations that can end up with generating the additional costs. How to prevent them?  

Find a reliable mobile software development partner

No matter which pricing and cooperation model you use in collaboration with the IT vendor, outsourcing the project requires a bigger or smaller dose of trust. And to find a trustworthy partner in mobile software development you’ll need to prepare yourself for a comprehensive and profound research process. Of course, there’s a number of criteria you need to consider while looking for the best service provider (you can check our extensive guide about choosing the right IT outsourcing company) but when it comes to trust the first thing to check are reviews. And not only the testimonials on the vendors’ websites but also the ones from the external, credible resources like Clutch.

Don’t depend only on e-mails. Arrange video calls, see the people you’re about to entrust your project, talk with them to check their English proficiency, communication skills, and such a trivial, but vital aspect of remote collaboration as tech equipment enabling smooth and uninterrupted stream. In the last stages of research, when there are only 2-3 companies left on the list, consider visiting their offices. That might be time- and cost- absorbing but nothing will replace the possibility to meet the team in person, see the workspaces, observe the employees to check how they cooperate internally.

Think everything through

What exactly is the main reason why IT projects cost more than assumed? Changes. Every change made during the process of mobile software development costs. That’s why it’s essential to have a clearly defined scope based on MVP or PoC, especially in fixed-price contracts as they are much more rigid. A reliable software development partner can help you with gathering requirements within extend scope sessions or product design workshops. This way you will gain more credible and precise estimation, but also you will validate your ideas with professionals, find problems and bottlenecks during the design stage so fixing them will cost you much less than if the project would enter the software development phase (learn more about the 1:100:100 rule in the article about UX Research)

Mind that there’s no way to predict all the modifications or the elements that would need further discussions. If your MVP or PoC is purely focused on validation with real-time users, prioritize the fundamental features, this can take away any needless extra costs. Plus it’s just as easy to put this on the shelf for the 2.0 version of the product.

Bet on tried and tested technologies

Although, as we mentioned above, every change during software development costs, it’s rather impossible to avoid all of them in IT projects. Still, it’s possible and highly recommended to reduce the potential risks and be well prepared for any situation we can predict. To minimize the probability of growing cost, it’s better to bet on battle-tested, well developed, and explored technologies rather than tech novelties. Choose the simplest solutions that can provide achieving your goals, not the fanciest ones wrapped in a bunch of buzzwords. Remember that you need to be open to compromises, so focus more on the business value of the features than on the details of their design or mechanism of action.

Get a good PM

You might have your own employee appointed to run the outsourced project, but even then, the role of the vendor’s PM cannot be overestimated. First of all, a project manager is responsible for maintaining high communication standards, ensuring that you’re up-to-date with work progress, and taking care of delivering topics on time. PM in IT outsourcing needs to be proficient in managing risks, budget, scope, and backlog, know how to prioritize tasks, and keep the team motivated. His experience should help you avoid the problems he has already met within a number of other projects or cope with them faster and much more smoothly.

PM’s presence is a sine qua non for taking full advantage of a self-managed remote team. Fundamentally a project manager should take ownership of your product and if you can’t see this within your cooperation, there may be a need for concern.

Remember about communication and validation

Even if you’ve got the most skilled and reliable outsourced team in the world, it doesn’t release you from being engaged, active, and helpful. The more information you will provide the remote team with, the fewer doubts, questions, and misunderstandings will appear. Try to maintain constant communication and frequent feedback, so your mobile software development partner will verify if the process moves in the right direction. Fruitful IT outsourcing cooperation is based on a clear division of responsibilities and understandable goals. Work them out with your contractor, stick with them, and verify the progress of achieving them. If you are in the position of not having a great depth of technical knowledge, the service providers should have already identified this and it should be their priority to educate you on what and why certain actions have been taken.

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How can you save the project’s budget?

Of course, implementing all these tips when you outsource mobile software development will not give you one hundred percent certainty that you won't overspend but it will help you to keep the budget in check. If you consider all the mentioned issues in your approach to running the project with a remote team, you will avoid lots of common problems that are possible to predict. Nevertheless, always keep in mind that even in the best-planned IT projects there might show the necessity of making changes. All you’re able to do is avoiding what you can avoid and preparing for what you can predict.

Looking for a reliable partner in mobile software development? Check why Merix is a good match!

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