How to choose the right engagement model?

When working with an external development partner, deciding on an effective engagement model can be a challenging task for the project owners; they need to adopt one that would help them best accomplish their business goals and fit their budget and timelines. And there are other factors such as trust, strengths and weaknesses of the internal and partner teams.

Here are a few things to consider.

  • Type of Project – Whether your project is complex greenfield or relatively straightforward, being developed on a known paradigm.
  • Budget and Timelines– Do you have a budget and timelines set in stone? Or can it be flexible based on emerging requirements?
  • Scope – Is the scope very well defined and documented? Do the detailed specifications need to be created at the onset? Or do you wish to keep the scope flexible and build the features iteratively?
  • Resourcing and Project Management – What skills do you or your in-house team already possess? What kind of collaboration are you seeking from the development partner? Will you be a hands-on manager or will you monitor the project development while avoiding direct communication?

At Focalworks, we keep things simple. 

Right Processes 

We leverage our experience of working with diverse products and business teams to help you converge on the best-fit development process. We adopt a development maturity model that can ensure the best outcome for you, considering any existing pragmatic constraints.

Right Technology

We are driven by technology and the magic that happens when you use the right tools the right way. While we have our favourite technologies, if you are already committed to a specific tech stack, we help you get the most out of it.

Right People

We are experienced techies and passionately committed to ensuring high customer satisfaction. The team always aligns to your objectives and works towards your big picture. And we are honest about what’s feasible and what’s not.

A right engagement model is crucial for a successful collaboration between the client and the development partner. There’s no one-size-fits-all all. So, we help you ascertain the right one based on your unique context. And we provide the flexibility you need to get the most out of your development initiative.

Fixed PriceTime & MaterialMonthly Retainer
Works well for projects where:Works well for projects where:Works well for projects where:
Requirements can / need to be fully scoped out and articulatedRequirements are relatively ad-hoc or cannot be fully scoped or anticipatedRequirements are not fully scoped out and ongoing discovery is expected
Discoveries are ongoing and emergent, so a discovery phase or pre-development scoping is not very feasibleThe risk of the adverse impact of late discoveries is highRisk of the adverse impact of late discoveries is high
A longer pre-development discovery phase is feasibleThe project size is medium to largeThere’s a strong motivation to build a strategic development alliance
Overheads of tight scope management are acceptable
Budget constraints are sacrosanct and take priority over all other parameters
Deliverables are usually small but need to be addressed quicklyDeliverables are usually small but need to be addressed quickly
Table i: Flexible Engagement Models

In Conclusion

Selecting the best engagement model for your project will be completely dependent on your project requirements. Depending on the nature of the project, you must choose the right model for you. Each one has distinct characteristics. You will be able to identify which model is riskless for your project by weighing all the benefits and drawbacks. So consider all the variables that will have an impact on your decision and you will surely make a reasoned judgment.


Are you still looking for a Tech Development Partner who can help you accomplish your objectives quickly and effectively with flexible engagement models? Connect with us at Focalworks to learn more about our technology and works, kindly visit our work.

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How to choose the right engagement model?