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What affects the cost of software development?


Software scope

The components of software development 

The process 

Our approach

Final thoughts

In today’s market that promotes innovative solutions, custom software is more valuable than ever. It facilitates responding faster to users’ needs, gaining an advantage over competitors, and improving the internal processes.

When creating bespoke solutions, every project is preceded by a thorough analysis of the client’s business goals and needs. This information is later used to make the digital product user-friendly and provide the best user experience. However, as it’s the case with every product that brings value, it also has its worth.

You’re on the right path – the idea that has a chance to revolutionize the market, a business plan and investors. Now, it’s time to find your software vendor that best fits your requirements. When you finally decided to outsource the project, you check their reviews on pages such as Clutch and browse through the portfolio. Then, you start to wonder – what’s really included in the cost of software development?

And that’s the topic of this article. However, if you want to know more about finding the right software house, check out 3 steps to choosing a software development company.

How is the software cost calculated? What are its components? In other words, what affects this cost? What’s the software scope? Let’s answer these and some more questions.

Software scope

We can’t stress this enough, but a well-defined scope gives you an excellent start to precise cost estimation. It serves as a foundation and a guide for everybody involved in the project. Thanks to this, the team is aware of how much work the digital product requires.

Software scope involves various stages that intertwine with each other, and together, they form a full process. These stages are research, planning, design, development, testing and deployment. And later on, product maintenance, further development, or scaling are also necessary for digital projects as they require it due to the ever-changing market.

The components of software development 

Many factors define the digital product’s cost. Let’s see what affects it in terms of coding and other factors that your software vendor may include in the overall cost. The basis on which software houses make the estimation involve non-functional requirements, deadlines and budget. Let’s take a closer look at them. 

  • Scope of work

As I mentioned before, defining a scope should be the first thing you do because it shows you and your team how big is the project. In most cases, the more extensive the project, the more costly it is.

  • Deadline

It’s also a vital factor in determining the overall cost. You should keep in mind that if you want to release the product fast, the software vendor will probably raise the price.

  • Budget

This factor has an impact on the product’s functionalities. That’s why it’s so essential for us to know your limit. In this way, we can adapt our work to your resources while still bringing value to the market. One way of coming out of the situation where there’s a tight budget is building an MVP.

  • Continuous development

It encompasses all the actions after launching the product – adding new features, scaling, maintenance.

  • Software house’s size & reputation

The position of your software vendor on the market may also change the final price of the service. Why? Because along with that comes the team’s expertise, which means that they’ll probably provide you with all the necessary services. Thanks to this, you’ll have everything done in one place. 

  • External libraries and plugins

Everything that a digital product needs to work and adds value to its end-users. That means all the features, integrating the app with other services such as Facebook or Google.

  • The degree of the project’s complexity

Depending on how complicated the project is, the price may vary. First of all, more senior developers will have to work there if the project is advanced. Moreover, due to its complexity, it has to undergo more prolonged safety review procedures.

  • The vendor’s country

It’s no secret that the cost of services varies from country to country. Luckily, some websites can help you with comparing the prices.

  • Your involvement in the project

It may surprise you, but your engagement in the process also impacts the costs. For example, if you provide the team with useful materials from the market and competitor research, it brings down the costs.

The process 

Ideally, there would be a workshop during which we define the scope of the project. Next, our UX/UI designer prepares low-fi wireframes, which we’re able to test on the end-users and gather feedback. This information is later used when implementing adjustments to the digital product and creating the design. Once all the screens are done, it’s time for development and then launching the product. When the app or website is on the market, we, again and again, gather the feedback and make all the necessary adjustments to fulfil the users’ needs. And then, there’s the product’s scalability. However, the process changes depending on the project, so there’s no one set pattern as to how it looks like.

And of course, this description is general and doesn’t include all the details of the process. So, if you want to know more, check out our guide about outsourcing or read How designer-developer cooperation changed the way we think about projects. These two articles will give you a better perspective on the software development stages and teamwork.

Our approach

At Gorrion, we value transparency in every aspect of the cooperation. That’s why we explain the costs’ origin and what is happening with the product at a given moment.

Read our article about software development pricing models to know more about our way of doing things.

Moreover, we educate clients, explain the process and tasks that we perform. When it comes to communication, we adjust the detail of information to the specific clients, their knowledge and the time they can give us.

Workshopresearchtesting and MVP are parts of the full cycle product development and bring many benefits to the cooperation. Thanks to them, we’re able to validate the digital product, understand the client’s business along with the market, and adjust the app to the end-users.

Also, during the product discovery workshop, we carry out various methods that aim to clarify the scope of the project, its requirements, and the risk connected with it. By doing the priority matrix, we can distinguish those things that bring the most value but are done with the lowest effort. From this so-called “quick wins”, we should start every project, as it enables us to release on the market in a short amount of time a digital product that fits the users’ needs.

Thanks to such techniques, we focus on the core of the digital product. We can cut the unnecessary functionalities that aren’t crucial to the app or website. Hence we’re saving the client’s time and money. 

Final thoughts

Understanding where the costs come from makes a huge difference in choosing your software vendor. Now that you know what the price includes, I hope we’ve made the process a little bit easier.

One way or another, if you have any questions concerning your project or idea, contact us. Send a message or book a meeting with me – I’ll be happy to help and tell you more about the process. 


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