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Top Software Development Methodologies

When a business launches a software development project, contracting with the right software development company is only half the battle. It’s also essential to consider a variety of factors that will affect the project’s success. These factors include an engagement model, project size, frequency of changing requirements, a desirable level of development team involvement, required resources, allocated budget, and much more. Most of these issues can be effectively addressed with a software development methodology that suits the development project.

There are various software development methodologies and it’s easy to get confused when choosing the right one for a particular project. In this article, we’ll review different types of methodologies in software development and explain when to choose each to make a software development project a success.

What Is Software Development Methodology?

A software development methodology is a set of strategies, approaches, and techniques that helps development teams efficiently manage application creation processes. IT methodologies predefine the working style and the project framework, addressing such issues as:

  • Which features should be selected first for the implementation in the current application version?
  • What should be included in the MVP?
  • What should developers do to implement the chosen features?
  • When will the final software version be released?
  • Who works on what?
  • How should project resources be used for building the application?
  • What software testing should be done?

When a software development team has a certain plan of action and set procedures they should follow, this contributes to the development projects in many ways, including:

  • budget risk minimization – the costs rarely change throughout the overall project development process;
  • compliance with the deadlines – the team has a clear understanding of the timeline and major milestones and are able to adjust their work scopes to the schedule;
  • minimization of bureaucracy – well-established procedures reduce the number of administrative talks that add no value to the project;
  • workflow efficiency – each team member is at their place and know what to do next or who to refer to in case of any unexpected circumstances;
  • further improvement of the development practices – as the project is over, the development team undertakes a number of steps to evaluate their performance to improve it in the upcoming projects.

Top Software Development Methodologies

Software development methodologies can be divided into more popular and less popular, however, it doesn’t mean that one type is better than the other. There isn’t such a thing as one size fits all and the selection of the best software development methodology depends on the project requirements.

Here are the top 4 software methodologies which are currently the most used for the development of various types of solutions, including web, mobile, desktop applications, and many others.

Agile Development Methodology

Agile is an innovative and very flexible software development methodology. It relies on the idea of evolutionary product development through short cycles called iterations.

One iteration usually lasts from one week to one month. During one iteration the software development team should build a piece of code or functionality and add it to the overall product. The working progress as well as feature implementation is discussed during regular meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Such a software development approach works great on projects with frequently changing requirements or where user/customer feedback is essential for a successful application release. It allows to fully adjust the developed product to the business and user requirements, effectively avoid critical and major bugs due to often held testing procedures, and minimize any cost issues.

DevOps Deployment Methodology

DevOps is a compound term that involves Dev – software development and Ops – IT operations. The main idea of the method is to combine the two sides of the application building – the software development and the improvement of the development processes into one.

In DevOps, the development teams build applications in iterations and at the same time focus on process automation, data transparency, and quick feedback. This allows them to accelerate product delivery while also preserving its high quality, reliability, and consistency.

Waterfall Development Method

Waterfall is a long-standing software development technique. It remains relevant for building applications that have specified requirements at the beginning. These can be the digital solutions for the healthcare industry, energy and utilities, complex engineering systems, and other domains that demand precise and detailed documentation elaboration before launching the development project.

When implementing the Waterfall methodology, the development team gradually moves from one stage to another without the possibility to make any changes in requirements at the previous steps. Therefore, the documentation, timelines, resources, team structure, and budget should be defined in advance.

Rapid Application Development

Rapid application development (RAD) is another software engineering methodology that is aimed at providing fast time to market for the requested product while preserving its high-quality, and close match to the user and customer demands.

When working with RAD, the developer team quickly creates an application prototype and presents it to the public, gathers valuable feedback, and refines the prototype. The team repeats the prototyping and presenting activities until the solution satisfies all the requirements. After that, the team develops the entire application based on the enhanced prototype.

The method allows to minimize risks related to product development, release, and promotion as well as ensures high compliance with user demands. RAD suits best for small and medium-sized projects for which time is crucial.

How to Choose Software Development Methodology

Each of the presented methodologies has its strengths and weaknesses and suits various development projects. Here is a quick table that will help you consider which one to choose for your application.

Conclusion

Custom software development is a rather complex process that requires much time and budget. Therefore, businesses aiming at developing their own digital solutions have to consider a wide range of aspects to keep their projects within the budget and timeframe.

A carefully chosen methodology can help businesses and their development teams effectively approach the development process. SCAND uses various methodologies when creating custom software solutions. This allows our development teams to obtain remarkable project results, create outstanding products, and save up customers’ budgets and time.

Author Bio

Victoria Puzhevich Lead Business Development Specialist
Victoria has over 15 years of experience in IT, keeping track of the current and future trends in the sphere, sharing expert advice and relevant industry experience.