You will sometimes exceed the initial budget you set for your project. An example of this is someone who spent time and money building a platform using WordPress, only to end up choosing another system software. If they had hired a senior developer for 2 hours, they could have saved a lot of time. To help you avoid similar situations, we’re here to explain the process you can follow to fix budget drains.
- Is your Technical Requirements Document Burning Your Cash?
A Technical Requirements Document is a document that you write and share with your developer at the beginning of a project. It details every aspect of the software leaving no room for assumptions or ambiguity, which also helps your developer give you a proper quotation accordingly. The clearer your technical requirements are, the better you avoid unexpected changes at later stages that will cost you more money.
Once this document is ready and your developer informs you it’s going to cost more than you expected, here’s what you should do:
- Remove all bells and whistles and focus on your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You need to focus on launching your project.
- Stop adjusting features mid-development. Always stick to what you agreed on with your developer, because any change during development requires your developer to restructure the whole code, which will cost you more money.
- Get more expensive features done manually as a start.
Once you get a quotation, ask for an hourly breakdown that specifies the time to be spent building each feature. At this point of the project, it’s better not to automate all features because automation costs money. For example, generating and sending reports to clients can be done by an assistant instead of being automated. Although this is a main feature, you cannot afford to automate it at this point.
- Is your Pricing Agreement the problem?
- Fixed price projects: Those are charged a flat fee that includes all features.
- Hourly priced projects: Those are priced on an hourly rate of 50$/ for example, for 100 hours to complete the project.
On paper, both have basically the same value. However, there’s a difference you need to be aware of:
A developer hired on a fixed price basis will try to finish the project as fast as possible to get paid the soonest, whereas developers paid on an hourly rate will take their time to make more money. If you ask the latter for changes, they will agree, but will be delaying the launching of your project and getting you to pay more than expected.
It is advised you hire developers on a fixed price to also maintain a fixed scope.
- Are you having to pay Extra to Fix Bugs?
A bug is when something is not working as it is intended to. For example, a software that should be sending an email but is not doing so is a bug.
However, if you want your software to have the ability to send an email and you did not mention this in your technical requirements document, then this is considered a feature change and you will have to pay extra for that.
Is it their mistake or yours?
What usually happens is that technical requirements are unclear. For example, you ask for “the ability to add context to your system”, thinking you want to be able to import a CSV file, while your developer only gives you an interface to add them manually. Mention exactly what you want in your technical requirements to avoid assumptions.
Fire anyone who isn’t testing their code for quality
Any developer who isn’t testing their code for quality is doing mediocre work. They either do not value you as a high-level client, or they aren’t getting paid much. The second option probably means you negotiated their initial price, and it’s something you should never do. Negotiating their price will affect their work quality.
To know whether the price is right, and your technical requirement is clear, ask each developer to give you an hourly breakdown sheet, and compare them. You know there is a discrepancy when one asks for 50 hours to create the ability to add context and the other asks for 200 hours.
One will usually be giving you more features than the other, which means your technical requirements document is unclear. There should be no more than 10% difference between the total number of hours suggested by both developers.
- Are Your Expectations in Place?
There are always extra charges that come up during the development phase of your project for the following reasons:
- Once you start visualizing the website or application, you will want to change parts of it. Those minor changes will cost you additional charges for the designer and the developer.
- You might forget to mention certain requirements in your technical document.
- Third party fees like software licenses, transaction fees, etc.
Always assume you will pay 20% extra charges for development.
Those are simple tactics that you can use to fix budget drains, but you can find the whole strategy inside the course. Check out the online course and get access to all the supporting documents and templates needed to help you go through the development of your project with maximum efficiency.