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Different Engagement Models in Web Development

Using websites for searching something or checking your emails has become part of daily chores these days; but have we ever thought how these websites are developed? Although these shiny, catchy websites may look very simple, their development is a costly and time consuming affair. If you possess necessary skills, you may build a website on your own. However, with the growing content and features, you may need a helping hand or an expert to assist you. The obvious choices are to hire a firm or a developer to develop your website. As with other contracting jobs, this engagement also calls for careful study and determination of engagement contracts or models with their pros and cons.

There is no single governing principal as to which engagement model would work in a particular situation. Business strategies as well as client/consultant firms’ operating models often drive the decision on engagement models. Let’s review some of the common engagement models that are often employed by various businesses:

Engagement Models

Web Development

Dedicated Offshore Resources:

In this type, the resources you hire are dedicated to work on your project. This enables you to employ most experienced and highly skilled resources without having to worry about hiring them on-site and looking after all the related formalities are done. The main advantage with this model is the freedom that you get to change decisions related to team strength and other related areas. This option is at your disposal, whenever you feel the need to step in. You are only required to provide fundamental supplies to initiate. This model is generally used for medium to long term assignments.

Fixed Price:

As the name suggests, contract is awarded for a fixed cost in fixed price model. This is the ultimate model to use when you know the estimated cost before investing, as fixed cost implies low risk. Be sure to define the exact scope and take an extra effort to carefully draft your RFP (Request for Proposal). Scope creep in later stages could severely hamper your budget.

Time and Material:

In cases where the requirements cannot be completely defined upfront and requirements could change over the course of time; it is advisable to use this model. This model is best suited for complex projects. The total expenditure will vary depending on the work, resources and time consumed in the execution of project. However, bear in mind the fact that you may need to shell out extra bucks for every scope change.

Milestone Based Billing:

This model helps to reduce the large project risks and reinforce milestone monitoring. Long term and remotely developed projects are the ideal candidates to deploy this model. Payments are usually predefined in accordance with the accomplishment of milestones. Better visibility of progress aids you in minimizing risks.

The development firms will use various strategies while offering their services and thus use different models. Knowing the underlying differences and understanding the nature of the project helps you to make the appropriate decision for a model selection.

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