Which Methodology Is Best for Web Development?
If you decide to hire an IT company to develop your web app, you will most likely need to interact with the team, discuss your project requirements with them, monitor how the work is done and check the results. Thus one of the important steps to be taken before starting any engagement is to decide on the software development methodology. There are several software development methodologies to choose from depending on the project goals, requirements, size, timeline, team members involved, project management tools used, etc. In this article, we will cover the most popular approaches for web app development.
Waterfall is the most conventional software development methodology. In fact, it has been one of the most popular approaches for web development projects for several decades due to its plan-driven approach.
The Waterfall approach requires a lot of structure and documentation. The process is divided into several stages that form a sequence:
The first stage is critical and requires a complete understanding of the project’s demands and scope by both the developers and the product owners.
Waterfall lacks flexibility which means that every phase should be fully completed before moving forward to the next stage. Once any modifications are needed or any errors are detected during the course of the project, Waterfall will require a full restart. As a result, projects managed under the Waterfall method might require much more time. On the other hand, it is great for ensuring that all deliverables meet expectations and it allows for easily measuring the progress since you see the full scope of the project in advance.
Waterfall methodology is mostly used for web development projects with a clear and predefined scope, with a fixed timeframe for project completion and few iterations or revisions.
Agile is another methodology widely used for web app development projects. The Agile method is often used for the projects with no definite requirements and limited short timeframes.
The key characteristics of the Agile methodology are the following:
There’s no pre-planning of the entire project, so the tasks are accomplished in an adaptive manner. The teams’ efforts are concentrated on small tasks that require urgent attention. Agile approach also supports quick modifications in the project’s scope and direction based on the market changes.
Agile is better suited to manage complex web development projects that involve variability. It allows teams to develop in short iterations that have a specified timeframe and deliverables but don’t have a specific order.
Scrum shares Agile’s fundamental philosophy that development teams should collaborate daily and intensively. Scrum uses an iterative approach to web development where the team is a key. This approach requires self-management and self-organization which means that it will be a good fit for smaller projects with experienced and organized team members.
Scrum combines the flexibility and iterative practices of the modern-day Agile method and the discipline and structure of more conventional methodologies. End goals are broken into smaller ones and the teams are supposed to use fixed-length iterations (typically they are two-week-long) to develop software and present it to the client. Meetings are crucial here and during each iteration, teams conduct daily meetings to track progress and get feedback. Such iterative approach allows quick changes and increases effectiveness for complex projects.
Extreme Programming (XP) is one more Agile framework that aims to produce high-quality web apps and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. Just like many other Agile methodologies, XP is focused on regular releases in short iterations, enabling change when needed.
XP is more than just a sequence of steps to manage web development projects – it adheres to a set of values that are supposed to help teams work more efficiently. These values include:
This approach implies that the development team should first understand the project’s needs well enough to give the client feedback about the technical aspects of how the problem can be solved.
XP was designed to help development teams adjust to the fast-changing requirements. So, this approach will suit small teams working on a new system, especially when a client sets tight deadlines for a project.
Lean is more than just a workflow methodology – it’s a mindset too. Originating from manufacturing, as a way to optimize the production line to minimize waste and maximize value to the customer, lean approach is widely used in various spheres, including web application development.
Lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources involved. Lean’s basic principles are the following:
Waste is defined as anything capable of impairing code quality, hindering time and effort, and reducing the delivered business value. These may be issues like excessive code or functionality, development delays, vague requirements, and insufficient testing. The Lean methodology focuses on eliminating these issues, learning the required technologies, and identifying the real needs of the project.
With a variety of methodologies for web development applicable to a different set of projects, developers have lots of options to build software that works flawlessly. Every approach has its own peculiarities and there is no silver bullet as the development process of each particular project might depend on several factors.
SCAND web development team will be glad to help you choose the right methodology to deliver your project fast and on budget. Our 20+ years’ experience in developing web projects allows us to suggest the best methodology that fits our customer expectations. Feel free to contact us with your project details.