The goal of most software development companies and their clients is software production at the lowest cost, with the best quality, in the shortest time. Proper planning and management of the development process with the right methodology is important to achieve such a goal.

There are lots of software development methodologies which propose different ways to achieve the desired result at a fair cost and short delivery time. These methodologies set up the framework that structures planning, controlling, and developing information systems.

Software Development Life Cycle

This article is a spotlight for the popular software development methodologies, their advantages and disadvantages. Below is a comprehensive list of the methodologies employed today in most software development companies.

  1. Agile Software Development
  2. Scrum Development
  3. FDD: Feature Driven Development
  4. Lean Development
  5. XP: Extreme Programming
  6. Waterfall Model
  7. Prototype Model
  8. RAD: Rapid Application Development
  9. Dynamic Systems Development Model
  10. Spiral Model
  11. JAD: Joint Application Development
  12. Rational Unified Process Methodology

Reading Time: ~15 min

Software Development Methodologies: a Comparison of Pros & Cons

What drives the choice of a software development methodology? This choice is always relative to the requirements of a project. In addition to this, project type and size, the skills of team members, financial resources and preferences are also valuable considerations.

Let’s take a look at our top list of methodologies and see why software development companies opt for these approaches.

1

Agile Software Development

Agile development is one of the most popular approaches in the IT world today. Besides that, numerous software production methodologies are based on agile principles. However, they slightly differ. Keep pace, some of them we will describe in this article.

Software Development Methodologies: Agile

By itself, the agile software development approach is mainly focused on a finished product with collaborative efforts. It involves short-term software development cycles called iterations. Each iteration is well organized and similar to a mini software project usually lasting from one to four weeks.

The iterations contain tasks such as adding new functionalities, requirements analyzing and planning, designing, coding, testing, and documenting. As the number of iterations increases, the development team reassesses the project and prioritize the backlog. It is a good practice that helps to ensure the product release and have a better version at the end of every iteration.

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Learn more: How to Ruin Your Mobile App with Agile in 8 Easy Steps

2

Scrum Development

Scrum is the most famous Agile software development process framework. It is empirical in nature and can be applied to any fast-changing or priority emerging requirements.

Software Development Methodologies: Scrum

In scrum iterations are named sprints. As a software development process, it kicks off with a brief planning for each sprint, followed by daily scrum meetings that highlights the project progress, and ends with a final review.

Scrum methodology is ideal for managing projects with not well defined requirements and feedback from the client. Teamwork, transparency, and regular status updates allows to speed up the progress of the project.

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3

Feature Driven Development

This is another iterative methodology but in combination with object modelling. It is effective for large team projects. The first step in this method is reviewing the scope of the system. After the review, next is the creation of domain models in details for every feature, and then the scope of the system is reviewed all over again.

Software Development Methodologies: Feature Driven Development

The merging of all the domain models leads to an overall single model. Software development with this method involves five processes which are: developing the complete model, making the list of features, planning, designing, and building by feature.

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4

Lean Development

Software Development Methodologies: Lean Development

The Lean methodology is focused on the development of low budget software that is change-tolerant. Adapted from lean manufacturing, it maximizes resources by developing software with one-third the trio of funds, human efforts, and production time. The workflow of lean is minimal, and all forms of excesses such as meetings, documentation, and so on are cut.

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5

Extreme Programming

Extreme Programming or XP also refers to agile methodology. The main aim of this model is to create a fully-functional product and cut the cost of software non-essentialities. It is a perfect fit for complex projects with fixed deadlines and not clearly determined requirements. Continuous planning and testing are one of the core principles here.

Software Development Methodologies: Extreme Programming

Extreme programming is most suitable for creating software in an unstable environment. This method gives the provision for developers to deliver a final product at a lower cost. At the same time, it is time-consuming with a lot of human effort due to the frequent meetings, test-driven approach, and pair programming.

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6

Waterfall Model

With its introduction in 1970 by Dr. Winston W. Royce, the waterfall is the most traditional methodology in the IT industry. It is a classic approach and a very popular version of the system development life cycle in software engineering. The project goals are pre-defined for each development phase.

Software Development Methodologies: Waterfall Model

It is linear in nature with all projects progressing in stages. The completion of one stage precedes the other. This methodology is rigid because once a stage is complete, no reversible changes can be made based on new requirements.

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7

Prototype Model

The strength of prototype methodology is that it caters for all the lapses of the software engineering process. According to this model, developers initially make a prototype of the software solution. They visualize how it will run and prove its function to investors or clients.

Software Development Methodologies: Prototype Model

The developers subsequently make all the needed modifications in readiness for developing the final application. This approach gives room for understanding the requirements of software development and conducting useful business analysis.

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8

Rapid Application Development

Rapid application development, as the name implies, delivers speedy results with high quality. This method is complemented by the participation of active users in the development process.

Software Development Methodologies: Rapid Application Development

Software product development is made faster and of great quality by using focus groups to gather requirements, prototyping, user testing, reusing software components, continuous reviews, and informal communications.

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9

Dynamic Systems Development Model

In comparison with the rapid application development, the dynamic systems development model possesses similar features. The main principle of this model is that perfect software is achievable through a constant changing process.

Software Development Methodologies: Dynamic Systems Development

Iterative in nature, it is goal-oriented with other major characteristics like flexibility, lightness, and continuous development. With a focus on user involvement, this method aims at the development and provision of software models based on a specified budget and deadline.

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10

Spiral Model

The Spiral lifecycle model seems highly sophisticated. It functions by the early identification and reduction of risks in a project. Beginning on a small scale, it encompasses risks exploration and the provision of plans to eliminate such risks.

Software Development Methodologies: Spiral Model

It then indicates if the next level of spiral iteration can begin. In contrast to the waterfall model, the spiral method enables the developer to make changes in the code or design even in the testing stage. It is suitable for most kinds of projects but requires good management.

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11

Joint Application Development

The Joint application development methodology is most suitable for business software solutions. However, it can be effective for all kinds of development projects.

Software Development Methodologies: Joint Application Development

The development and design stages of software production involve interactive workshops. In these workshops sessions, the software system is defined by the developers and end-user or client.

With special attention on the user stories and use cases, it’s a popular methodology for automating a growing business. Due to the user precipitation in all the stages of production, it’s a favorite for high client satisfaction.

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12

Rational Unified Process

Based on object-oriented and web-enabled program development, the rational unified process methodology is considered as a modern approach. It functions by splitting the process flow into four different parts. These parts are namely analysis and design, business modeling, deployment, and implementation.

Software Development Methodologies: Rational Unified Process

Developers are facilitated with specific tools such as templates, guidelines, and sequential processes with examples for all the stages in the software development process. This approach constantly monitors the quality of software created and controls applied changes.

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Thinking of the Best Methodology for Your Software Project

From industry experience, all the Software development methodologies are more functional with certain project types. Different types of complexities in a project will demand different experts and level of experience in the method of choice.

Considering that no method is a hundred percent perfect, developers must analyze all the pros and cons. Another set of factors to consider with great importance are budget, project scope, available resources, time frame, and preference.

Velvetech’s has always been a pacesetter in software production by applying the most effective development methodologies in different project types. Contact us today and kick-start your project with capable project managers, and a team of developers with resonating skills, and experience.

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