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How to keep the cost down for your software project

We have previously written about the difficulties of estimating the cost of a software project and also discussed various factors that drive up the price. Software development is a complex process, but – you get what you pay for. However, there are some things you should consider to keep the cost of your solution down.

How to keep the cost down: Before the project starts

Planning and clearly defining things before development begins is crucial to avoid discovering problems and making misprioritizations down the line, which can complicate the work and lead to increased costs. At Meta Bytes, we usually start our projects with a pre-study that focuses on a needs analysis, investigating technical feasibility and a risk analysis.  

Conduct a needs analysis

Identifying and analyzing the specific project needs is crucial. It's also important to look at the solution's requirements, focusing largely on understanding business needs and what users want and need.

When we conduct a needs analysis, we gain a solid understanding of both your business and the software you want to build. We ensure that we prioritize the most critical features for the project's success and handle the rest as potential add-ons to be performed later (if there's room in your budget, of course). A good understanding of the project and your business provides us with a solid foundation so that we know what to expect.  

Identify technical challenges

It's essential to conduct a technical evaluation before the development work begins, as there may be various aspects to consider in different phases. This may include compatibility issues with other systems or insufficient infrastructure.

If we're already aware of any potential technical challenges that may cause issues on the road ahead, we can account for them from the start and plan our work accordingly.  

You can read more about needs analysis and technical evaluation here and why it so important to succeed with your software project.

Perform a risk assessment

It's not uncommon for unforeseen events to lead to cause problems with your budget. Therefore, it's essential to try to identify potential risks in advance. This way, we can develop strategies for how to handle them before they occur. If it's not entirely possible to avoid the problems, we've at least planned – and budgeted – to solve them.

How to keep the cost down: During the project

Manage new insights appropriately

When new insights and ideas for additional features emerge, it's important to handle them wisely to prevent costs from spiraling out of control. This may involve reprioritizing, where some features are deselected to make room for new, more valuable additions. An agile approach facilitates this process, as we have regular prioritization meetings where we constantly discuss existing ideas and new opportunities within the intended scope.  


To continuously discuss and have an ongoing dialogue is a category on its own when it comes to keeping a budget intact. Once the project has started, it's crucial for all parties involved to communicate clearly, regularly, and effectively. It's essential for feedback to reach developers as early as possible to avoid having to backtrack and redo something that affects other functions – which would require even more reworking.

In our projects, we typically work in short sprints, meaning that we have regular meetings with our clients to inform them of the latest updates in their project.

Identifying needs, technical challenges, and risks in advance, as well as maintaining communication and well-considered prioritization throughout the project, are crucial aspects when it comes to keeping a software project budget intact. These aspects are something we at Meta Bytes focus heavily on in our client projects, to ensure that we deliver the best value to our clients.  

Fixed price or estimate in software development

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