Pay What You Get is a remuneration model for software development contracts, which was co-developed by the author and IT entrepreneur Stefan Roock. What's characteristic of this remuneration model: The contractor (Software Development Company) suggests the scope for the next sprint (=product increment) and adds a price tag to the development costs. The client in turn determines the ROI of this sprint and then decides whether to place an order for the suggested sprint or not. It is a somewhat uncommon approach in contract design, however, the idea behind it is worth your attention:

On the one hand, numerous studies show that the features developed at the end of a software development project (=lowest prioritized in the backlog) usually generate only very little added value; so low that the ROI is basically negative. This procedure of an ROI evaluation along the entire project aims at avoiding such (bad) investments on the part of the client.

On the other hand, this procedure creates an incentive for the contractor to delve deeply into the client's business model and into the process landscape in order to understand how real added value can be created. If this understanding exists, it is all the easier to develop valuable content for the next sprint and thus ensure the continuation of a project.


The author is a manager in the software industry with international expertise: Authorized officer at one of the large consulting firms - Responsible for setting up an IT development center at the Bangalore offshore location - Director M&A at a software company in Berlin.