The model of cooperation between the development supplier and the customer should be appropriately adapted to the nature of the product, and in fact, it is crucial for the satisfaction of both sides during the creation of it. Currently, there are two most popular models of contracts: Fixed Price – where the agreed-upon price for the job is basically unchanged throughout the project, and T&M (Time and Materials) – which specifics will be explained in this article.
What is T&M?
The Time & Materials model is based on the fact that payment is made according to the team’s previously agreed rates for the work day. Settlement is made after each set period (most often a month), depending on how many hours the developers spent working on your project, as well as for the materials involved (such as licenses). In such an arrangement, you have the ability to control project costs and flexibly modify initial project assumptions.
The key features of T&M are:
- quick start of the project
- the free ability for modifications
- faster delivery of results
It is important to remember that while there are many advantages of the Time & Materials method, it also requires a lot of commitment and competence on the side of the Product Owner, as well as the need for regular budget control.
Why can a project billed according to T&M take less time?
Under the Time and Materials model, work on a project can start faster, as there is no need to wait for a documented specification. This is one of the biggest advantages of this form of billing.
What is the flexibility of the T&M model?
With settlement forms that have a constant price and scope, it is very difficult to make any changes during the development process. Using the T&M model, modifying expectations is much simpler, since they are not specified at the beginning of the development project. After a two-week sprint, the finished part of the application is tested and analyzed. With increasing knowledge of the product, the range of the project can be adjusted. So if new preferences or needs arise to add new features, the scope can be quickly expanded. As you can see, this is a suitable type of contract for projects that are more complex and require developed solutions, because the T&M model allows splitting the work into assessable stages and customization to the changing realities of the market.
No additional costs
With the Fixed Price model, the opportunity that something will go wrong is often taken into consideration and a certain buffer of money is set aside for possible mistakes. With the T&M model, you only pay for work days and materials, so there are no additional costs included.
In the settlement method, T&M is characterized by high transparency in the creation of the product. Progress can be easily tracked on project management platforms such as JIRA or Trello. It’s also worth using CI/CO (continuous integration and continuous discovery) – a product that shows changes to the product each day in a demo form.
Difficulty with a time control
Although there is more control over the project with T&M, it is difficult to clearly specify a release date. The flexibility of the development creation process in T&M has a lot of advantages, but predicting the timing of the product is not one of them.
Certainly, T&M requires a strong commitment from the Product Owner, who will be able to control the progress of the work and, who will have the authority to verify the results of each sprint. The T&M model requires daily communication and analysis of product status. Thanks to this, it is possible to develop effective and innovative solutions, which are often hard to predict at the beginning of the cooperation. A good T&M partner should offer to prepare an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), which allows you to quickly collect data on user experience. What’s more, an MVP allows you to react quickly to possible errors and significantly reduces development time, so it’s worth taking advantage of this solution no matter what budget you have.
Canceling the contract
If the product doesn’t satisfy your expectations, in a Time and Materials contract, you can always change suppliers to complete it. Each T&M contract includes termination policies that streamline the entire process.
Do you want to find out more about T&M?Talk to us!
T&M, through its specifics of the Product Owner’s direct participation in the creation of the application, certainly builds a stronger business partnership than other types of contracts. The right technology partner you can trust is nowadays at a premium, which is why building long-term partnerships often brings a lot of satisfaction and benefits for both parties. At Applover, we take care of an individual approach to each client and always advise on the best solutions for a given product, because we know how important quality cooperation is.