HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO DEVELOP AN APP: DETAILED FEATURE BREAKDOWN "How much does it cost to make an app?" is the first question the development team gets from startups and established businesses willing to build mobile projects. Knowing the cost of app development is essential for estimating an adequate budget and planning to spend.
2022-05-29 14:58:52 shacdock.com

"How much does it cost to make an app?" is the first question the development team gets from startups and established businesses willing to build mobile projects. Knowing the cost of app development is essential for estimating an adequate budget and planning to spend. 

Mobile application development costs may vary from $20,000 to $500,000, depending on the business functionality. But functionality is not the only price-forming factor. 

This article will explain what mobile app development costs consist of and how you can impact your app costs. We'll also explain the difference between Managed Services, Dedicated and Extended Team, and the concept of project management triangle, which is essential to understand what lies behind the estimation of mobile app development costs.

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Some people think that mobile app development costs equal the number of hours one developer spends on coding. Such an approach is far from reality. 

Apart from code, mobile app development project requires the following specialists: 

  • Business analysts and project managers create the project backlog with tasks
  • Solution architect designs the overall architecture of the project's back end components
  • Quality assurance managers make the checklists for the project functionality to ensure the functionality works without error
  • Designers work on the project layout, prototype, and complete design

All of the described roles require qualified specialists who charge a reasonable price for their work. Moreover, your project might require more than one developer. Therefore, work hours constitute a big part of your mobile app cost.

One example is in developing a logistics mobile app with several integrations, such as a warehouse database, online payment gateway, and booking functionality. Let's imagine your development team has two months to complete a working project's functionality. 

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To meet your deadlines, the project manager will dedicate a team of three back-end developers and two front-end developers to your project under a managed service model, which will increase the cost of your project. Thus, the cooperation model is another factor that impacts the final project app costs. 

Let's look at the three cooperation models we use at The APP Solutions and try to find out which of them will suit your project and bode well for future app costs.

What Affects Mobile Application Costs: The Cooperation Model

The cooperation model in software development defines the client and the team's responsibilities. At The APP Solutions, we cooperate with the client under the following models: 

Extended Team

An extended team means we provide you with professionals while you manage all processes. This will suit when you need to augment your existing team with our professionals. This working model works best for projects with established management and app development process. 

The extended team will inherit the existing structure and report directly to you or your responsible manager. 

Dedicated Team 

A dedicated team business model includes shared responsibilities between the client and the development team. It works best for outsourcing business functions such as Development and Quality Assurance. 

The dedicated team includes a Project Manager who is taking care of the Systems development life cycle (SDLC) Methodology and process, facilitating the dedicated team's integration with your in-house development teams.

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Managed Services

Under this model, The APP Solutions team manages all product development processes while giving you the freedom to develop your business. We are responsible for hiring extra specialists for creating complex projects and providing technical support after the product launch. 

Apart from a Development and QA specialist, your project may require a Product Manager, UI/UX designers, Business Analytics, and System Analytics. 

But how do cooperation models impact app development costs?

The more responsibilities you give to your developers and the more extensive the project scope you need to implement, the more developers will work on your project. Thus, the higher the app cost to create your app. 

The app development cost also depends on three constraints that form a project management triangle. Let's see what those constraints are. 

What Affects Mobile Application Costs: Project management triangle 

The project management triangle is a model of the constraints of project management, known as the time, finance, and project scope. 


Let's take a look at them one by one. 

  • Time constraint refers to the amount of time available to complete a project
  • Cost constraint refers to the budgeted amount available for the project
  • Scope constraint refers to what must be done to produce the project's result

How do those constraints impact the project costs?

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The three constraints are often competing constraints:

  • Increased scope typically means increased time and increased cost
  • A tight time constraint could mean increased costs and reduced scope
  • A tight budget could mean high time and reduced size

Another approach to project management is considering the three constraints as finance, time, and human resources. 

If you need to finish a job in a shorter time you can throw more people at the problem, which will raise the project's cost, unless by doing this task quicker, we will reduce costs elsewhere in the project by an equal amount.

Developers can complete a project faster if you increase the app development budget or cut scope. Similarly, if you increase the scope, the development team will require equivalent increases in funding and schedule. 

In this way, if you cut the budget without adjusting the schedule or scope it will lead to lower quality, illustrating the proverb "Good, fast, cheap. Choose two."

But if you need to launch a project within tight deadlines and minimal

app development

budget, consider building its MVP, which means Minimum Viable Project. The project's MVP comes with minimum functionality to validate your business idea without ballooning app development costs.