App Development, Thought Leaders

How to Share Responsibility Between Vendor and Client in Software Development

June 28, 2019

by Camilo Paez

Senior Technical Product Manager, Foonkie Monkey

Make sure you communicate effectively with your client to assure them that the software development project is progressing. Delivering the project on time and within budget helps create a lasting relationship between vendor and client. 

Companies that offer software development services must understand how to satisfy clients, estimate costs for projects, and collaborate with client teams.  

Using these skills, agencies can accurately evaluate the quality of a software development company, which can suffer due to the challenging process of getting the software working. 

Company culture plays a large part in creating an environment that other clients want to be a part of and the company’s reputation.

Companies can struggle to meet expectations because of the difficulty in communication across software development processes, which frustrates clients. 

With the help of Agile methodologies, software development companies have grown to balance project responsibilities between client and vendor. 

This article will demonstrate the power of communicating effectively and sharing responsibility within a given project and how to change the reputation of software development. 

The Perception of Software Development 

People don’t have the best perception regarding software development success. Many businesses are unhappy with how long software development takes and how most projects seem to go over budget. 

Most projects seem to go overbudget


The above chart by Standish Group shows that only 23% of projects were developed on time and within budget between 2017 and 2018. Over half of projects (58%) either went over budget or exceeded the agreed upon timeline.

Meanwhile, 19% of projects were simply not finished.

Agile methodologies have improved the software development process, making it easier for software development teams to communicate and collaborate.

How to Help Our Clients Feel Real Confidence

You had a great team, tried your best at planning and completed your client’s project. Unfortunately, however, the project did not meet the deadline and your client went over budget. It can be difficult to tell your client that you need more time and you have to bill more hours.

You feel as though you are sacrificing client satisfaction and their confidence in you as a developer.

Conversely, in this situation, your client feels as though she or he has been given all the responsibility of handling the project. The client has to spend more money and wait for the finished product instead of receiving exactly what she or he paid for.  

In this case, it is only fair for the developer to share the responsibility, rather than to just give justifications for the situation.  

For example, here at Foonkie Monkey, we created a shared responsibility policy where if tasks are not done on time and in budget, our rates decrease by 50% until all required tasks are complete.

The main goals of implementing this responsibility policy are:

  • To incentivize your discovery team – IT consultants, architects, project managers – to have a better and more detailed planning process to give the most accurate estimates. 
  • To help our clients understand that their project is ours as well and that they are supported by our team every step of the way.

By creating a feeling of comradery and urgency, your team will be more motivated to finish a project quickly and efficiently. 

How Do You Deliver A Project on Time and Within Budget?

Since agile methodologies have become popular, small projects tend to have a better chance of success than large projects. 

Below, the graphic shows how small projects have a 76% success rate while large projects only have a 10% success rate.  

76% success rate while large projects only have a 10% success rate


To develop a large project, a very detailed and iterative discovery stage must be implemented. The objective of using Agile methodology is to reduce the main issues in the development process including: 

  • Uncertainty
  • Product vision
  • Priorities
  • Complexity of requirements
  • Communication

During the discovery and planning stages of the development process, businesses must identify the main priorities and the minimum requirements to generate an MVP. The MVP should have a clear vision and include detailed requirements about what the end product is.

A fluent and continuous communication process is needed during the execution.

This way, the client feels a real agile product is being developed and has a clear vision and priorities of the project for the next stages. 

Finally, at the end of a planning process, it is a good idea to offer a preventive clause with extra hours in case there are more requirements that have been identified during the execution.

With this clause, the client has already included these expenses in the initial budget.

Share Responsibility with Your Client for a Successful Partnership

Help your client develop their project by sharing the responsibility and vision of the product. With this quality assurance, all members of the team will do their best to accomplish each task. 

The success of any project is not only measured in hours of work but in accomplishing goals together

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