When a business decides to build an app, one of the first questions they’ll consider is, “How much will it cost me?”

App cost calculators abound online, as well as articles seeking to help businesses estimate price based on certain features and needs. How helpful are those resources, though?

Our friends at Clutch, a B2B research firm based in Washington, DC, looked to survey data to find answers to the app cost question. They surveyed 102 app development companies from around the world and asked them to estimate the cost of different stages of the app development process for one project completed in the past year.

Clutch sought out our very own Co-Founder and CEO, Dom Tancredi, for further expert analysis on the data results.

Discovery Stage

One the primary takeaways of the piece are the importance of a pre-research or discovery stage when it comes to app development.

App development is an intricate process, and estimating cost without fully understanding desires and needs is a recipe for disappointment.

The discovery stage seeks to clarify details, schedule work, research market competition, and build prototypes, among other activities. All of these activities give a business and their app development company a defined idea of the skills and labor needed to make the app.

Dom discussed how Dom & Tom approach this stage:

“We usually do a one-sprint discovery to gather project requirements, determine who the users are, share the project constraints and then ultimately come out with a project plan and product backlog,” he said. “The project plan includes a project schedule, risk assumptions, and product timeline which we break out into feature sprints.”

By planning out the app thoroughly before any production, Dom & Tom minimizes differing expectations and streamlines the project’s work.

Furthermore, Dom spoke of the strength of sprint methodology, which is inherent in Dom & Tom’s process.

“Sprints are two weeks,” he explained. “This is enough time to determine enough work product that is of value, and catch any underlying issues (dependencies, feedback, high-order solution implementation).”

For Dom & Tom, sprint methodology is the ideal timeline for app development: “A sprint framework is the core mental model that provides a consistent, quality product flow for team members and stakeholders,” said Dom.

Do Your Homework

Ultimately, if a business wants an honest and accurate price estimate for anything but the smallest of app development projects, they will need to engage a firm and likely participate in the discovery stage.

“Rates are fluid. Value is determined by market and need,” said Dom.

Rather than seeking the cheapest option, Dom recommends you seek out the best: “My recommendation is to spend money on good agencies because you want to keep good agencies alive.”

Spending money on good agencies means research, though. You shouldn’t strike up a relationship with the first agency you come across.

“Do your homework for their reputations,” asserted Dom. “The business is personal no matter who you’re working with. Tom and I believe in the values of “Do Good. Be Good.” If the app is important to you, then figure out what you want to build and who you will have that lifelong relationship with.”

Check out Clutch’s full survey here and to talk to us about your app contact us today!

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