When entering a development project, the right model of cooperation between you and the contractor is paramount to the success and satisfaction of both parties involved. Generally, contract models come down to two main types: Fixed Price Contracts, where the agreed-upon price remains consistent throughout the project, and Time and Material Contracts (T&M), which we’ll delve into in this article.

how does the time and materials contract work?

Defining Time and Material Contracts

Time and Material (T&M) contracts operate on a straightforward premise: payment is determined based on the contractor’s hourly rate plus the cost of materials used throughout the project. The settlement occurs after a defined period, often monthly, based on the labor hours spent and the materials utilized.

Key Features of T&M Contracts:

  • Swift project commencement,
  • Easy modifications during the project,
  • Accelerated delivery of results.

Although T&M contracts offer several advantages, they also demand a strong commitment and competence from the Product Owner, especially in regular budget control.

Why Opt for Time and Material vs. Fixed Price Contract?

Engaging in a development project often presents a pivotal choice between a Time and Material (T&M) contract and a Fixed-Price Contract. This decision significantly impacts the course and the outcomes of your project. Choosing the right contract type hinges on your project’s specific demands. T&M contracts may offer a more collaborative, transparent, and flexible approach, especially for complex or evolving projects.

Flexibility in T&M Contract

Unlike Fixed-Price Contract models, T&M allows for much easier adjustments during development. This type of contract does not require a complete project specification from the outset. After each sprint, typically lasting two weeks, the completed portion of the application is tested and analyzed. With the accumulating knowledge, the project’s scope can be recalibrated, accommodating new features or changes in market realities. This flexibility makes T&M an attractive contract model for more complex or evolving construction projects.

Cost Efficiency with Time and Material Contracts

In a Fixed-Price Contract, a buffer is usually allocated to cover unexpected issues, inflating the total price. However, with a T&M contract, you only cover the hourly wage of the contractors and the material costs, eliminating extra charges.

Quality Control and Transparency

T&M contracts boast high transparency, enabling easy progress tracking on project management platforms like JIRA or Trello. Implementing Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) further enhances the visibility of daily changes in a demo form.

Timelines and Communication in T&M Contracts

While T&M offers better control over project cost and quality, predicting a precise release date can be challenging. The model necessitates daily communication and analysis, requiring a strong engagement from the Product Owner to verify the results after each sprint and ensure the project stays on track.

Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is often a valuable step offered by a good T&M contractor. An MVP allows for swift data collection on user experience, quick error rectification, and significantly reduces the time to complete the project.

Contract Termination Clause

Should the output fall short of your expectations, a T&M contract provides an easier pathway to change contractors. Every T&M contract should include termination clauses that smooth out the transition, safeguarding your interests.


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The Essence of T&M Contracts

The collaborative nature of T&M Contracts fosters a stronger business partnership, crucial in building long-term relations with trustworthy technology partners. At Applover, we prioritize an individualized approach, offering expert advice on contract models to suit your unique project needs. We understand the essence of quality cooperation, ensuring your project’s success from inception to completion.