There are situations and projects that call for flexibility from all stakeholders involved during the software development process. Budget and time restrictions may act as a catalyst for a more advantageous deal than a standard fixed-price approach.
Time & Material (T&M) is one of the different engagement models that is becoming more and more popular because it gives you more control over the development process and cost rather than having to make educated guesses about future costs and a high likelihood of additional expensive changes.
What is a Time and Material Model?
If there is no comprehensive vision for the finished product and its implementation details, and if it is impossible to break it down into multiple smaller stages, the time and material model is utilized. This option is completely adjustable and can employ an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly rate for the amount of work, tasks, resources, materials, or other costs that were incurred during the development process.
There is an option to specify further the pricing distribution, such as whether the rate is fixed for all resources working on the project or whether it varies depending on the skill set required to complete the assignment. The client might discuss the project budget’s upper limit in advance to avoid the unchecked price increase of support initiatives.
Of course, it seems too wonderful to be true because there are no perfect customer-provider relationships. It all comes down to time and protocol. The clients bear a lot of the obligation in this kind of pricing strategy. The promptness, competence, and accuracy with which the clients give project requirements determine the project delivery time.
The project’s time and cost efficiency are significantly influenced by communication and consensus. If the customer gives vague instructions or incomplete specifications, it will increase the cost and delay the delivery. A project’s success depends on constant oversight and coordinated efforts.
How to apply the time and material model?
The client must be confident in precise time management in order to utilize the Time & Material model. Clients must be given an easy and convenient way to track and manage this time, money, and material since they only pay for the hours and related expenses spent on the project. Different software is employed for this purpose, ranging from spreadsheets to specialized online apps.
Where can you use the time and material model?
You should think about the T&M model if at least one of the following scenarios applies to your project:
- You don’t have specific or pre-defined requirements and specifications
- You have a constant flow of tasks or changes, but they are scattered and can’t be predicted beforehand.
- Your project scope is unknown of the implementation of it spreads over a long period of time, like months or even years.
- You and your team require higher flexibility.
- You often have to change requests during the development process
- You want more direct control over the process.
So, what do you think? From these situations, do you also think you need a T&M model for product development?