Fixed Price Model – everything you need to know

Fixed Price Model – everything you need to know
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The Fixed Price Model is one of the commonly used pricing and project management approaches in the software industry. It is an approach used by most of the top software development companies for projects with predictable costs, enabling clients and software development companies to establish pricing agreements in advance. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the key aspects of the Fixed Price Model, including its benefits, limitations, and real-world use cases.
By the end of this article, you will gain a thorough understanding of the Fixed Price Model and its implications for successful project execution, whether you are embarking on a software development endeavor, a construction project, or seeking consulting services. So, without further ado, let's dive right in!

What is the Fixed Price Model?

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The Fixed Price Model is a popular pricing and project management approach used in software development outsourcing in which a fixed price for a project is agreed upon before its execution. This requires the software development company to identify all possible costs of the project and determine a fixed price that is then communicated to the client. This model offers clarity and predictability in terms of cost and scope, ensuring that both clients and service providers have a clear understanding of the project right from the start.

Key Features of the Fixed Price Model

These are some of the core features of the fixed-price model

Project Scoping and Specification

When using this model, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the scope and specifications of the projects. This will typically require defining the project's objectives, deliverables, and requirements in detail. Having these details ensure that both the client and the service provider have a shared understanding of the project's scope, allowing for accurate cost and timeline estimations.

Cost Estimation and Fixed Pricing

After determining the project scope and specifications, the software development company needs to come up with an estimated cost based on the required resources, time, and effort. The fixed price is then agreed upon between the client and the service provider. It is important to note that this fixed price remains constant throughout the project, regardless of any fluctuations in resource usage or effort required. So, it is crucial to consider such fluctuations when coming up with the price.

Client-Provider Agreement

After agreeing on the project deliverables, timeline and price, the client and the software development provider need to sign a formal software development outsourcing contract. The contract must outline the project scope, deliverables, timelines, and the fixed price. It serves as a contractual framework that governs the project's execution and ensures that both parties are aligned on the terms and conditions of the engagement.

Benefits of the Fixed Price Model

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These are some of the reasons you may consider using the fixed price model.

Cost Predictability and Budgeting for Clients

One of the primary benefits of the Fixed Price Model is providing cost predictability for clients. With a fixed price agreed upon at the beginning of the project, clients can accurately plan and budget their financial resources. Since the client has a clear understanding of the project's total cost, it eliminates the risk of unexpected expenses or budget overruns. It also allows the software service provider to execute the project, knowing that the price will not change along the way.

Financial Planning for Both Clients and Service Providers

The Fixed Price Model facilitates financial planning for both clients and service providers. Since the price is already agreed upon, the client can allocate their resourcing with confidence, knowing the exact cost of the project and avoiding any potential financial surprises. On the hand, the software development service provider Service providers can also plan their resources and finances accordingly, as they have a clear understanding of the expected revenue from the fixed price agreement. This financial visibility and planning help both parties to manage their resources and investments efficiently.

Detailed Project Scoping and Requirement Gathering

Since both the client and service provider know that the price will be fixed, it compels clients and service providers to invest time and effort in understanding the project requirements upfront. This process reduces ambiguity and misunderstandings, resulting in a more accurate estimation of the project's cost and effort required. This approach also ensures better alignment between the client's expectations and the service provider's understanding, setting a solid foundation for successful project execution and the possibility of a long-term relationship.

Increased transparency

By adopting this model, the client gains greater visibility into the project's costs and progress, which fosters transparency and reduces uncertainty. Clients, especially those engaging with a vendor for the first time, often find it easier to trust when the price of the project is clearly defined upfront. Knowing the fixed price ahead of time establishes a sense of trust, as clients can accurately plan their budget and have a clear understanding of what to expect when they pay a specific amount.

Limitations of the Fixed Price Model

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Despite the many benefits, the fixed price model has a couple of limitations that you may need to know before adopting it.

Additional Charges for Scope Changes or Modifications

One of the limitations of the Fixed Price Model is that any changes or modifications to the project scope may result in additional charges. Such deviations from the original agreement may require separate negotiation and adjustment of the price. Ultimately, this will lead to potential complexities and conflicts between the client and service provider if there are frequent or significant scope changes throughout the project. That’s why it is crucial to invest enough time in determining and assessing the project, requirements, and estimated costs. This model should also be used for projects that the software provider is already familiar with.

Lack of Flexibility for Evolving Requirements

It is common for some requirements of a software project to change during the execution of the project. Since the Fixed Price Model is less flexible when it comes to accommodating evolving or changing project requirements, any changes in the requirements may require reevaluation of the scope, timeline, and cost, potentially causing delays or disruptions in the project. That’s why this model is not ideal for projects with dynamic or evolving requirements.

Unsuitability for Complex or Uncertain Projects

The Fixed Price Model may not be suitable for projects that are complex or have high levels of uncertainty. With such projects, requirements are not fully known or subject to significant change, making this model less ideal. Complex and uncertain projects require using more flexible models, such as the Time and Materials Model.

Considerations for Successful Implementation

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Before implementing this project and pricing model, here are a few things you must carefully consider for successful implementation.

A clear understanding of project scope and deliverables

Both the client and the software development service provider must have a clear understanding of the project scope and deliverables. This clarity helps in accurately estimating the project's cost and ensuring that the final outcomes meet the client's expectations. If there is anything that is not clear, it is crucial to seek clarification before signing the agreement. It is okay to request more time to ensure that all requirements and deliverables are taken care of when estimating the price.

Detailed project specification and documentation

The software service provider needs to come up with a comprehensive project specification and documentation before determining the costs. This includes documenting the project requirements, functionalities, technical specifications, and any other relevant details. Having these details in place minimizes ambiguity and provides a reference point throughout the project, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings or disputes. The client should also look at it before signing the project agreement.

Effective communication and collaboration between parties

There needs to be a clear communication channel put in place to ensure effective and regular communication and collaboration. The client and software provider must agree on the most convenient and reliable platform for communication. This helps both parties in maintaining transparency, managing expectations, and resolving any issues that may arise during the execution of the project.

Risk management and contingency planning

Before signing the software development outsourcing contract, it is crucial to Identify potential risks, assess their impact on the project, and develop mitigation strategies are key components of successful implementation. Anticipating and planning for potential challenges or changes in project scope can help minimize disruptions and misunderstandings if things don’t go as planned.

Real-world examples and use cases of the Fixed Price Model

The Fixed Price Model can be used for building custom websites and mobile applications, especially for small businesses. Such projects are usually small enough, making it easy for the client to identify and clearly communicate the requirements to the development team, specifying the number of pages, desired features, and design preferences.
With these details, the development team can estimate the project's cost and presents the client with a fixed price. When both parties agree on the requirements and terms of execution, the development team proceeds with the website or mobile app development, ensuring that the specified requirements are met within the established timelines and fixed price agreement.


In summary, the Fixed Price Model is a widely adopted approach in various industries, particularly in software development for project-based tasks. It offers valuable benefits such as cost predictability, clear budgeting, transparency and improved project planning and execution. However, it is essential to note that this model is most suitable for simpler projects with predictable requirements that are less likely to undergo significant changes during development.
Examples of such projects include the building of basic websites or the development of mobile apps using familiar frameworks. Considering the nature of the project and its specific requirements is crucial when deciding whether to use the Fixed Price Model or explore alternative pricing models that may best suit the project at hand.
When you outsource software development companies like FVST, they will guide you on the best model to use based on the project at hand. FVST collaborates with clients to agree on the best pricing model that suits their project.

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Written by

Peeter Tomberg
Peeter Tomberg

On a mission to level up Engineering