Home Digital Marketing Time and Material vs. Fixed Price: What Works for Your Project?

Time and Material vs. Fixed Price: What Works for Your Project?

Purchasing a pre-existing solution for your company isn’t always sufficient. It lacks the features you require or does not integrate properly with your technology stack. Or perhaps the available solutions on the market are very limited, and you want custom software.

You’ve decided to enlist the aid of a software development company because you don’t have the time or workforce to design this type of solution yourself. You’ve made a list of criteria for your solution, chosen a custom software development firm, and scheduled a meeting.

Time and Material vs. Fixed Price: What Works for Your Project?

Now comes the most important part: deciding on a cooperative model. The repercussions of selecting the wrong sort of contract for custom software development companies can be severe, ranging from being unable to change or replace features to receiving a rushed or incomplete product to exceeding your budget. Due to that, you must carefully consider the contract type that best suits your needs.

What is the Fixed Price Model?

Development companies develop a project quotation for a fixed-price project that outlines the whole scope of work and the cost and dates for completion. The fixed-price contract naturally corresponds to the Waterfall project technique, in which each stage is completed after the preceding one has been completed. The cost is paid in installments as the project progresses, with the payment plan being determined by the milestones and duration of the project.

Advantages of Fixed Price

  • Transparency in terms of budget and timeframe

You know upfront how much you’ll have to spend and when you will complete the project. If you have a stringent budget and strict deadlines, the predictability of a fixed pricing contract is beneficial (say, in governmental projects).

  1. Clarity about the project’s goals

You have a detailed understanding of what your software will be capable of right at the start of the project, giving you time to incorporate it into your overall mobile app development company strategy (for example, estimating its impact on custom software agency processes, preparing a plan for software adoption, and integrating it into your employees’ workflows).

  1. Little effort is put forth by management

At the planning stage, your involvement is the most vital. After the project starts, you may free up your resources and focus on scope compliance checks, which are much easier to conduct when you have a detailed specification and timeline.

Disadvantages of Fixed Price

  • The start of the project is taking its time. Creating one can take weeks or even a month because a complete software specification is a need for a fixed-price project, depending on the software complexity.
  1. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to make changes. Any adjustments you might want to make later in the project (for example, due to market conditions or your business plan) would necessitate separate negotiation and payment, which could cause the project to stall.
  2. The inability to test the software before delivery. Although you can monitor the custom software development team’s progress, you won’t be able to see the software in action until the last stage of development, so you can make sure it meets your requirements. And resolving any anomalies at the end would be a costly procedure: in some situations, a lengthy adjustment to a testing method can result in a completely new project.

What is the Time and Materials Model (T&M)?

A time and materials contract charges you for the actual time spent on development, multiplied by the hourly rate of each outsourced FortySeven47 software professionals https://fortyseven47.com/ participating.

Agile projects are those that are based on the time and material paradigm. In most cases, a vendor will send you monthly invoices with reports to offer you a clear picture of the work they’ve done.

Advantages of Time and Material

  1. Adaptability

You concur on a project roadmap with a supplier and set associated milestones, but the scope of work remains fluid and can be altered as needed. You may make informed decisions about the next stages of development based on the results of previous ones (end-user feedback) and market trends analysis.

  1. Fast project launch

Because software specification does not need to be as precise as a fixed price project, the planning step is shorter, allowing you to begin actual work on software development sooner.

  1. Continual quality control

T&M-based development is paired with continuous testing to ensure that desired changes and new features are implemented correctly, allowing custom software to be fine-tuned throughout numerous project iterations.

Disadvantages of Time and Material

  • The budget and deadlines are unknown

The final cost may exceed the budgeted amount. The same may be said about release dates. Measuring a team’s progress with KPIs that assist, predict and plan the scope of work more precisely over time is one method to add some clarity (such as FortySeven team velocity, lead time, and cycle time).

  1. Management efforts have been increased

Although the T&M model allows you to control the deliverables, you’ll still need to set aside enough time to interact with a FortySeven IT professional and provide timely feedback to maintain a consistent development pace.


Both forms of cooperation models have benefits and drawbacks; thus, they are best suited to different projects. A Fixed-Price contract is an excellent option if you have a small project with precise guidelines or are confident that no adjustments will be required.

You’ll know how much the job will cost ahead of time, and your product will be done on time. However, it would be best if you were prepared for unforeseen complications or errors that may cause you to miss the deadline, incur additional fees, or leave you with an incomplete project.

Time and Material contracts might be a better option for bigger or longer-term projects. It lets you have more freedom and control over the product creation process while staying on budget. However, because there is no exact ultimate price or timeline, you must keep track of costs and project progress.

T&M also depends on constant communication between the team of the software development companies and the custom software developer, so you’ll be in many meetings.