The entire software development life cycle (SDLC) varies from business to business, because there are several methodologies developers can leverage for devising, planning, developing and testing software. But choosing the right development methodology will depend on your resources, infrastructures, tools and technologies and significantly on your clients specific requirements for the project. Also, a software development methodology can simplify the processes in the development life cycle, hence making it much easier for both developers and testers to understand the next step required. This can increase the collaborative effectiveness among teams and help in reducing time to market as well as expenses.
What Is Software Development Methodology?
The software development methodology is a highly structured process that is utilised by project managers during the complete SDLC of a project. The aim of the methodology is to create the most efficient and effective outcome within the allotted time and budget. For this a combination of design philosophies and pragmatic realism that is essential to realise the best possible outcome is leveraged. With the advancement in technologies, tools and software development practices throughout the years, several innovative software development methodologies were introduced to capitalise on these trends and market requirements. Because the project managers specify the process in the development methodology, it allows multiple developers to work together more efficiently on large scale projects that require advanced technological integrations. Also, it gives the client a brief idea on how the project will be carried on and the different resources that will be implemented to deliver the final product.
Today, almost all software development companies employ a development methodology to increase the efficiency of the SDLC and to integrate agile and DevOps methods. But the most confusing question that still rises is “Which type of software development methodology is right for my business” or “Which software development methodology can provide the best outcome for the project”. Since there are several software development methodologies, finding the right one for the project can be crucial and quite challenging.
However, choosing the best out of the lot significantly depends on your team structure, software requirements, and client or business goals.
Different Types Of Software Development Methodologies
When it comes to software development services, developers are spoilt for choices because of the multiple programming languages, tools, technologies, cloud based platforms, and methodologies available. Since most of the time clients only choose the programming languages or technologies required, the selection of methodology is all based on the leisure of the developers. This can make it even more confusing for them since they might not be aware of which methodology is perfect for the current project. Therefore, let us make it much easier for developers by explaining the different types of software development methodologies, its pros, cons and what type of project it is best suitable for.
Agile Development Methodology
Agile methodology is one of the most common software development methodologies. It emphasises more on the different methods and processes required to satisfy clients rather than focussing on documentation and rigid procedures. The agile methodology is an iterative model that implements several tests throughout the software development life cycle. It also focuses on bringing together developers, testers and clients to ensure that the development is performed faster with continuous feedback from customers.
- Software will have minimal defects due to the continuous testing.
- There will be more clarity among developers, testers and clients.
- Since clients are included in the process, their suggestions and changes in the project can be easily addressed.
- There will be a significant improvement on the final product’s quality.
- Since there is very little documentation, there can be a problem in the future.
- The continuous focus on client discussions and suggestions, can be time-consuming.
Best suitable for projects with fast-changing requirements.
Waterfall Development Methodology
The waterfall development methodology is one of the oldest yet still widely used methodology by software developers. It is still widely accepted because it is a simple, linear process where each software development stage is arranged into sequential, cascading processes.
Similar to a waterfall, the direction of this methodology also flows in one direction. Which means there is no going back on the processes that are implemented in this approach. This makes it a non-flexible method that should be avoided for software development projects that have rapidly-changing requirements.
- It is easy to understand even for new developers.
- All specifications and deliverables are detailed out before the development begins.
- The projects have a higher chance to go off target because there is no customer feedback included in the early stages.
- Since testing is only performed at the end of the software development, it makes bug fixes expensive and challenging.
- It is non-flexible therefore client changes and suggestions will be difficult to incorporate.
Projects with clearly-defined scope and predictable outcomes.
The Rapid Application Development (RAD) methodology prioritises on getting software solutions built in a faster time to market without compromising on the quality. The RAD model focuses on initially building prototypes with the given customer demands and then testing them out with the customer. This is performed through multiple development and QA analysis with the help of test automation services until the customer is happy with the final results. Therefore, by leveraging the RAD models, software developers will have a higher possibility of successful product release within the stipulated timeline.
- Reduce risks through continuous customer feedback.
- Increased customer satisfaction.
- Reduces time-to-market and other unwanted expenses.
- Will be completely dependent on the customers’ responses.
- Requires highly-skilled and proficient software developers.
Businesses that have a team of experienced developers and highly responsive customers who are equally involved in the project.
Nowadays as more businesses are adopting a digital first strategy, it is imperative to meet the time to market demands with high-quality apps to stay ahead of competitors. The software development methodology is the most initial part of the entire development life cycle and in order to ensure that the project cycle is efficient and meets time constraints, this initial phase must be prioritised. Without a proper software development methodology, there are high chances that the project can end up in chaos with developers and testers unaware of what should be done next.