7 Software Development Methodologies – DEV Community

August 25, 2022

What is software development methodology?

To understand the types of development models that exist, it is important to first learn the basics of project development. Software development methodology refers to the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) development model, which focuses on organizing profitable yet efficient project development processes from ideation and planning to develop, test and launch software. In other words, it is called application development life cycle which adopts different formats, approaches and techniques and helps:

  1. Efficiently organize work processes
  2. Eliminate project development time
  3. Reduce the cost required for software development
  4. Follow the creative process
  5. Provides a set of standards for effective communication
  6. Improve final product quality and more

Types of software development methods

As you know, there are different types of software development methodologies aimed at improving SDLC. However, after reviewing them, you may discover that there is no absolute winner – for each particular case the strategy will be different depending on project characteristics, requirements, goals key, essential features, etc. Therefore, a detailed comparison of software development methods can simplify the choice and help you determine the best winner for each individual application development project.

Agile Software Development Methodology

The main focus of this methodology is on the project/product itself. It therefore presupposes various ongoing modifications based on user and customer feedback, as well as internal changes related to the work of engineers. On the one hand, Agile software development methodology has no rigid framework. On the other hand, the software development process is divided into short time cells, thus delivering real results and really quick profits.

Main advantage

  • Problems are discovered and resolved at an early stage
  • Plans are more flexible and adapt more easily to different project changes
  • Eliminate time from project delivery
  • Improve communication with customers and their close involvement at every stage of the software development process
  • High quality of the final product
  • Mainly suitable for small and young companies, more flexible and open to active communication

Possible disadvantages

  • Lack of understanding of solution specifics prior to implementation
  • High risk of ignoring project documents and requirements
  • Insufficient predictability in terms of budgets, marketing plans, sales, etc.
  • Request immediate feedback for problems and real-time feedback
  • Easy to get lost in the details and get in the way of the project

Waterfall Development Methodology

This methodology is rigorous and linear. A new step can only be started if the previous step has already been completed. In other words, each stage gradually flows into the next. Also, there is no going back to the previous step. This approach is easy to understand because it presupposes a strict sequence of tasks to be performed. Waterfall software development methodology is often considered a classic representation of software development.

Main advantage

  • All processes are easy to understand
  • Increased discipline and better respect for deadlines
  • All phases of test cases are planned in advance
  • No financial risk thanks to high precision in planning
  • The results are very predictable, as they meet all the requirements and criteria outlined in the project documentation, so companies get exactly what they want to grow.

Possible disadvantages

  • The planning phase can be too difficult to organize the whole process
  • Low flexibility and inability to make changes once software development has begun
  • Immediate changes to the project can result in additional costs that are often very high
  • Longer delivery time
  • Low for long or ongoing projects

Extreme programming methods

A perfect approach for unstable projects, as it involves the client as much as possible. In addition, it requires high flexibility. The extreme programming approach is said to improve the quality of the software due to its ability to adapt to dynamically changing needs. Above all, constant feedback and communication are key to creating a productive and happy team environment.

Main advantage

  • Strong customer engagement leads to high quality products
  • Stable end product through continuous software testing
  • Pair programming eliminates possible errors during software development
  • High degree of flexibility and ability to make changes immediately
  • The code remains clear and complete
  • Don’t rush to meet deadlines – developers work at their own pace

Possible disadvantages

  • Effectiveness depends a lot on the people involved
  • Ambiguous and unknown future results
  • The customer must always be involved in the software development process
  • Relatively long and expensive investments
  • Too difficult for small groups, as they may not have all the necessary skills and knowledge

Lean development

Value for the customer is the essential central element that the entire approach revolves around. If something is worth doing, it should be done immediately; otherwise, it must be removed. Lean software development methodology focuses heavily on loss reduction. This is why the whole project is thoroughly checked first to avoid losing time or money. Since value is central, feedback itself plays an important role, so that actions are taken quickly.

Main advantage

  • Perfect for a low-budget and time-constrained project
  • The team focuses on assigning tasks as required
  • Delivers rapid delivery by eliminating waste and unnecessary processes
  • Easily extensible – great for large projects, unlike most other software development methods
  • Eliminate tasks allowing more time for core processes and implementation of high-value features in the final product
  • Improved teamwork allows to focus on meaningful and impactful work with a greater sense of purpose

Possible disadvantages

  • Success depends a lot on the ability of a team to work
  • Low experience and lack of expertise may not work if the team works independently
  • Cutting too much can lead to a loss of focus on the project
  • Risk of delays due to certain bottlenecks or low levels of resources
  • Requires excellent documentation to ensure all aspects are developed correctly

Dynamic system development methodology

The feature is considered a kind of user feedback. Planning, design and construction are all feature-based. This approach involves iterating to improve functionality and deal with different complexity. Feature-driven development aims to organize the work of a large number of teams in a large organization.

Main advantage

  • Mainly suitable for large-scale, long-term and ongoing projects
  • Provide a detailed understanding of the project scope, key objectives and context
  • Breaking feature sets into smaller pieces and releasing iteratively frequently, reducing the risk of bugs and allowing delivery of specific features in a shorter timeframe
  • Use predefined standards to simplify the development process
  • Allows any developer with the right experience and expertise to handle the jobs
  • Based on a user-centered approach, where results depend on user opinions

Possible disadvantages

  • Not applicable for small organizations and for small projects
  • Requires some experienced developers to monitor the process
  • Difficult to ensure strict deadlines
  • No written documentation is provided to customers, only communication between developers during the project release cycle
  • Focus more on individual code ownership than on shared group model

Scrum development

Easy to understand and effective when it comes to results. The course of work is divided into sprints. All assignments for each sprint are predefined and then discussed after this period. With this approach, it is easy to get an early response to problems that arise and, therefore, to address them immediately. The Scrum software development methodology is by far the most flexible. For this reason, it easily handles projects with changing requirements.

Main advantage

  • All steps and processes are clear and transparent
  • Lighting control goes hand in hand with constant updates to keep the team on their toes
  • Deleting project errors and problems just got a whole lot easier
  • Get high customer engagement
  • Allows for regular progress updates, provided at regular meetings
  • Customers can track different project processes and measure development performance

Possible disadvantages

  • The costs and time involved can often be uncertain
  • No delay in product delivery
  • Large projects cannot be managed with this approach
  • Only seasoned professionals who regularly complete quests can participate, no beginner needed
  • The testing team has to perform regression testing after every sprint, which is one of the most notable difficulties of this approach.

Rapid App Development

It is clear from the name that the main goal of this method is to achieve quick results. To do this, it relies on other development methodologies. It focuses on rapid prototype releases and iterations. As a result, quick feedback is received, errors are eliminated, and the desired results are achieved. The more flexible and adaptable it is, the better. The main goal is to tune the software so that it is designed and operated efficiently and quickly. Rapid application development methodology consists of 5 phases: rapid analysis and design, prototyping cycle, testing and implementation.

Main advantage

  • Customers are encouraged to rate quickly and continuously provide feedback for improvement
  • Allows you to easily change key functions while the software is in beta
  • Minimize risk from the early stages of development
  • Reduce development time by setting project completion deadlines
  • Focus primarily on solving business problems that matter to the end user
  • Adopting the use of automated tools makes prototyping much easier and faster

Possible disadvantages

  • Not suitable for small projects
  • Requires highly specialized developers and strong cross-team collaboration
  • The steps are not strictly defined, affecting the overall structure of the project
  • Relatively high development costs
  • All requirements must be defined before starting the development process

Gratitude for perusing my article till end. I hope you realized something unique today. If you enjoyed this article then please share to your buddies and if you have suggestions or thoughts to share with me then please write in the comment box.

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