The basic formula for calculating the development costs is truly simple: the number of hours that are required for development multiplied with the hourly rate. Sounds simple, right? However, the devil is in the detail.
The main risks for exceeding budgets are within the development time estimation. That is where the discovery stage and extensive professional experience comes into play. By starting each project with an extensive discovery stage, the specific subtasks can be estimated on a granular level, which ultimately leads to a more precise cost estimation.
Besides that, also the hourly rates differ quite a lot as they heavily depend on an expert's competencies. Every app development project requires a few types of professionals with various experience levels:
- Back-end developers are responsible for building the structure of a software application and its core functionality.
- QA engineers focus on improving software development processes and preventing bugs in the application. In other words, they make sure the software development team is doing the right things the right way.
- Project manager plays the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and finalizing app development projects.
- Designers create the design drafts incorporating user journeys ultimately empowering your users to move through your application.
Combining or discarding some of these roles might seem tempting as not all of them appear to be essential. However, the development of an application is a complex and interdependent process where all components complement each other and the team. That means, it is important to recognize the necessary functions carefully prior to any cost-cutting decisions.
The individual hourly rate depends on many factors: team location, professional expertise and grade, onsite or remote type of work, and many more. Each factor has its own impact on the overall work and result. For instance, onsite developers seem to be easier to control while remote teams might offer a very competitive pricing without compromising stability and quality of code. The mandatory payments include office space rent, local taxes and obligatory insurance make a big contribution to the development cost while not necessarily adding up too much value to the project.