Here are some of the unplanned “development” costs that I have come across in my experience:
1) Change of requirements: If your developers are not agile, you will end up making a lot of costly changes. Follow an agile process with minimum features coming out of each sprint, so you & your target customers can catch early fixes. The later the changes come the costlier they get.
2) Poor estimations: A lot of the times, developers will underestimate the extent and complexity of the issue they are solving. This leads to additional hours that hurt your overall cost. One way to avoid this is to avoid dodgy outsourcing companies who advertise cheap hourly rates and make their profits by exaggerating the number of hours. Also having fixed hours contract plans for each feature can help here.
3) Miscommunication: Send as much detailed requirements as possible and then schedule a meeting with the developers before they start their work. Make them convey what they understand about requirements to remove any doubts.
4) Inefficient process: Different companies have different cultures. Some just don’t have a process in place for anything. Having efficient systems and processes enables to team to perform efficiently and effectively.
5) Marketing: Either its online or offline marketing, your app has a lower probability of making it big in this competitive landscape unless there is sufficient marketing fuel for take off.
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