Traditionally, all business relationships begin with lower levels of trust between the parties. We have had our past experiences to be wary of open ended and ambiguous contracts when working with service providers. For many things this is appropriate. However, for complex systems development, fixed cost has two major shortfalls. It will take more time and it will cost more money.

We all know that the longer things take the more money they will cost, so insisting on a fixed price does nothing to save you money. You might have someone to blame for the schedule delay, but is that really the most important thing? When trying to launch a product the one thing you don’t have the luxury of, is time.

We have been successful employing time and materials contracts for development for years. We believe that it does several things that benefit the project, the customer, and ourselves.

Product Benefits

  • Reduced tracking overhead. We proceed through the project as quickly as possible without delays caused by scope and cost discussions.
  • Right resources at right time. Prototyping is a prime example.
  • Creativity. We are free to be creative and explore improvements at any time.

Customer Benefits

  • Closer working relationships. Everyone involved is free to incorporate new ideas.
  • Reduced overhead tracking. We update you weekly. This is also important to develop the relationship and trust .
  • Speed. This is the fastest way to get to product completion because no development goes entirely as planned.

Ultimately we can all agree that the process of developing a new product is difficult and fraught with change. Why then would we want to have a contractual relationship that does not allow for this? It just does not make sense.

Therefore, time and materials is appropriate for creative work like medical product development. This is not to say that we should not have budgets and schedules.

On the contrary, these are necessary for all projects. However, if you decide that a change in direction is warranted, we must be able to pivot quickly without spending days, weeks or months renegotiating contracts, and losing momentum.