Software Development Methodologies: The Comprehensive Guide To Know It Entirely

Top Software Development Methodologies

Building software solutions, be it a mobile app, website, or enterprise-grade software is an organized process where everything is done one after another. However, there is no single way to build successful applications from conceptualization and designing to development and deployment. Different development methodologies work with different formats and approach depending on the project type, timeline, and scope.

Various businesses use different software development methodologies based on the project’s nature and requirements. For instance, businesses with dogmatic fix everything in stone, and businesses with a pragmatic approach choose the things that work at the moment. Let’s understand first software development methodologies.

What is a software development methodology?

Software development methodology determines the series of processes that occur during software development. Every methodology sets the norm for all the software development phases wherein the information is passed in a specific way. The codified communication describes the life cycle of software development phases. All in all, the methodologies help in maximizing efficiency, mastering collaboration, and reducing waste.

Many different software development processes have evolved over the years. Selecting the right one depends upon the team developing the software and the requirements of the software. Therefore, while building a software development team one should know about their experience and expertise while interviewing.

The early stages of software development are overwhelming as businesses need to decide which methodology to leverage for easier project management and bring phenomenal results to the table. Let’s discuss various software development methodologies (Along with their pros and cons) that are highly recommended by a bespoke software development company to get build a solution that meets your business objectives.

Scrum methodology for software development

Scrum methodology involves the product owner, scrum master, and development team to build second-to-none software. The product backlog is created by the product owner where software requirements are transformed into easy-to-understand user stories. The sprints are designed that includes the user stories that need to be completed within the timeframe in a pre-set order of their priority.

Later, the development team starts working on the sprints and moves the cards based on their status such as cards in the ‘to-do’ list, ‘in-progress’ list, ‘to-verify’ list, and ‘done’ list. Daily stand-up meetings of 15 minutes are essential wherein the scrum master is involved but don’t interfere with technical aspects. When the team is unable to complete the tasks or is over-burden, the scrum master communicates the same with the product owner to make things workable.

Scrum methodology involves 5 phases for effective project management and successful product development that are:

  • Initiation
  • Planning and estimation
  • Implementation
  • Review and retrospection
  • Release

The iterative development methodology delivers value to the business client with higher flexibility, adaptability, and faster development.

Kanban methodology

Kanban methodology is leveraged for efficient project management and keeping track of all the tasks. The enhanced workflow makes the project understandable at a glance. The Kanban method is about Kanban board that helps in visualizing projects in a graphical format by depicting the current tasks, to-do tasks, and completed tasks. It makes it easier for the new developers to quickly understand the project status and join the board.

The software development using Kanban method is possible in 5 easy steps that are:

  • Visualize current workflow
  • Apply work-in-process limits
  • Make explicit policies
  • Manage the flow
  • Iterate to optimize

The methodology works best for the projects where task priorities changes on the fly as Kanban facilitates adding or modifying tasks at any stage.

Waterfall software development process

Waterfall Process for Software Development

The waterfall software development process is one of the oldest methods of developing software. The waterfall process is also known as the classic life-cycle model of the linear sequential process. In the waterfall method, the custom software developers need to follow every step sequentially before they move on to the other step. Many people see the waterfall method as a plan-driven process to complete projects.

This is why the process is called the waterfall process, as every section flows into the next section. In practice, some phases do overlap slightly as feedback and information are passed between the phases.

The following are the different phases of the waterfall process.

  • Planning
  • Understanding requirements
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance/Updates

The waterfall method is best suited for teams having rigid structures and documentation needs. Due to its rigid structure, the waterfall software development process is suitable only for those projects where the goal and technology stack is unlikely to change drastically. Many government organizations that require intricate planning and documentation find the waterfall process better for developing software.

Those companies who would like to be more dynamic with their process of software development would not find the waterfall development process suitable for their needs. The lack of flexibility is the most significant drawback of the waterfall process. With the waterfall development methodology, it isn’t possible to build the MVP and make changes along the way.

Agile software development process

Agile Development Method

The Agile software development process opts for an iterative and dynamic approach towards software development. As opposed to the rigid sequential flow of the waterfall method, in Agile, the effective software teams work together in sprints of 2 weeks to 2 months and release usable software solutions. The idea is to get customer feedback and make the necessary changes based on that.

The Agile methodology revolves around releasing often and moving fast to respond to the users’ needs. Agile is not concerned about whether the original plan is followed or not.

The advantage of Agile is that one does not need a detailed list of objectives before starting the work. The idea is to start moving in a direction and improvise along the way.

Take a case: A team of remote developers decides to inculcate a set of new features into the software. Adopting the Agile methodology (rather than trying to include all the features into the software) the developers would try to build a bit of software that is both useful and usable in short sprints. Agile software development methodology ensures a robust feedback loop in the software development approach to adapt and react quickly to the needs of the customers.

Here are the Agile software development Phases.

  • Building a product backlog
  • Building a sprint backlog
  • Designing and developing the sprint
  • Release the sprint
  • Feedback
  • Planning for next sprint

Agile methodology is super-focused on the user’s needs. The dynamic nature of the Agile methodology makes it a favorite amongst startups and technology companies. This is because these companies need to continuously test for new products or make changes to existing ones. Agile reduces the risks that software development companies face.

With Agile, the companies can move faster and test various theories without putting too much at stake on a major release that could fail. With Agile, it is easy to track bugs or roll back to a previous stable version if something does not go according to the plan.

The disadvantage of following the Agile methodology is that the projects can easily run over their initial stipulated time frame due to its dynamic nature. This fact means that Agile might not prove to be the best choice for companies with tight deadlines to meet.

The dynamic nature of Agile also means that the remote dedicated developers often need to make changes to the code, which requires additional resources. Hence Agile is not for risk-averse or resource-strapped teams. The Agile process requires dedicated resources like a Scrum master to ensure that the process goes on smoothly.

Using Agile and Scrum requires a sound understanding of the underlying processes without which the project can easily derail.

Incremental and Iterative software development process

Incremental and Iterative Software Development Process

The incremental and iterative software development processes fall somewhere in the middle between the rigid structure of a waterfall methodology and the dynamic approach of the Agile methodology.

The incremental software development process

In an incremental software development process, the idea is to break down the product development process into small manageable portions called increments. Every increment builds on the previous version of the software product. The incremental process is like building an MVP, where only the core features are built first. Then other features are included depending on the feedback of the users.

Incremental software development phases one should know;

  • Increment planning
  • Specifications
  • Development
  • Validation
  • Repeat for each version

The iterative software development process

In an iterative software development methodology, every release consists of all the planned features.

Steps of the Iterative process:

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing

The incremental and iterative software development processes are suitable for teams with clear requirements but with more flexibility than the waterfall method.

The iterative and incremental software development processes are great for building large projects with well-defined scopes and for teams with very low-risk tolerance levels.

While the incremental process helps validate the business case, the iterative approach provides the users an early look at the full product features, which helps the developers get better feedback.

Both incremental and iterative software development processes provide the developers a better idea regarding what the users want. This helps software development companies save a lot of time and money spent waiting until the end of the development cycle to find out the faults with the code.

When we try to add structure to a flexible approach, issues creep in. We have seen that the goals, procedures, or technologies of a company often change over time, making the previous iterations of the software obsolete. Thus, the iterative and incremental software development processes are not for companies with long-term technology plans.

Both iterative and incremental process models require experienced software developers to do decent planning and architecture building during the early stages. This fact makes both these processes challenging to follow for teams who expect many changes in the product during the development process.

Difference between Incremental, Iterative, and Agile

Upon reading the Agile, incremental and iterative software development processes, it seems that all three are the same. However, there are a few key differences between the three.

While every increment builds a complete feature in the incremental approach, the dedicated software developers build only small parts of all the features in the iterative process.

Agile, on the other hand, combines aspects of both approaches. In each Agile sprint, you build a small portion of each feature, one at a time, and then gradually add functionality and new features over time.

The V-Shaped software development process

V-Shaped Software Development Process

The V-shaped software development process removes a flaw from the waterfall method. In the waterfall methodology, the dedicated software programmers wait for the entire code to finish and then test the code. This creates issues many times as it becomes complicated for the dedicated developers to test and debug the entire code at once. While in the V-shaped software development process, testing is done at every stage of the process which makes it easy for testers as well as developers to search and find errors and bugs in the program.

The phases of the V-shaped software development process are;

  • Requirement understanding
  • Specification Building
  • Design
  • Development
  • Unit-level testing
  • Integration testing
  • System testing
  • Acceptance testing

The V-shaped software development process is ideal for small projects that have a tight scope of work. The major benefit of a V-shaped software development process is that it provides many opportunities to the hired developers to test the code along the way.

The flaw with the V-shaped development process is that, early input and feedback are required from the users. Without this, there is still a risk of building incorrect software.

The spiral model in the software development process

The spiral software development process combines the dynamic nature of Agile processes and focuses on testing the V-shaped process. Once a plan is in place for a specific iteration or milestone in the spiral software development process, the next step would be to identify excessive-risk areas. When the developers want to add a feature that isn’t a part of the original plan, they need to validate its features.

The professional software developers would need to build a prototype that will be sent to the users for their feedback. In the spiral development process, the scope expands after each milestone is completed.

Phases of spiral software development model consist of:

  • Planning
  • Risk assessment
  • Development and validation
  • Evaluation of the results
  • Planning for the next spiral

The idea behind the spiral method for software product development is to reduce risks. Hence the spiral software development method is great for projects in which the software developers cannot take more risks. The spiral software development process can prove to be a correct choice when the project requires a high level of documentation and validation.

There is a considerable amount of time and cost associated with the spiral methodology. This is the reason why the spiral software development model is not used often. The project managers use the spiral software development process to show the developers how to think critically about an iterative approach.

Lean methodology for software development

Lean methodology originated from the manufacturing industry to optimize assembly lines and production lines to minimize waste and increase customer value.

Later, lean methodology becomes a go-to option for software development to get build an application with basic features quickly. That’s why it’s also termed an MVP strategy to quickly launch and iterate the product based on users’ feedback.

The lean methodology life cycle involves 4 phases that ensure the desired outcome:

  • Product vision and user story creation
  • Collaborative development
  • Target market validation
  • Release and iterate

This development methodology is known for diminishing budget, defect, and programming efforts by 30%. The agile iterations make the pre-planning of specifications a skippable step and user stories make it easy for the team to communicate and collaborate. Also, short iterations improve the capacity to accommodate unexpected changes in the software.

DevOps Method for Project Development

The DevOps development methodology blends software development and information technology operations from development to deployment. The methodology aims for removing all the impediments that hinders the communication and collaboration between the development, testing, and operations team.

Businesses are increasingly opting for DevOps methodology to ensure high-quality deployment, in addition to successful development.

DevOps lifecycle comprises 8 phases for efficient deliveries that are:

  • Planning
  • Development
  • Integration
  • Testing
  • Releasing
  • Deployment
  • Operate
  • Monitoring

It’s an automated development approach that follows a continuous approach, which results in reduced defects, diminished build time, shorten development cycle, easy tracking, and environment stabilization.

How to choose the best software development methodology?

All the software development methodologies are good in their place and add unique values to the business projects. No one can predict any one of them as better or worse. This is where the selection process becomes difficult.

As a business owner, you can pick up the best methodology after asking a few questions to yourself. They are-

  • Does this method fulfill business project goals?
  • Does this method beneficial with the growing size and complexity of the project?
  • Does this method work with the project’s tech stack?
  • Does this method suitable for project size and nature?

The answer to all questions signals you which methodology is ideal for your project and you can hire remote developers that have tried their hands on the methodology.

Conclusion

The software development guide helps businesses to get started easily from software development methodology and SDLC to software development cost estimation. In this blog, we have dug deeper into software development methodologies that play a vital in ensuring the software gets developed to the notch. Various methodologies have the same phases but the way they are implemented is different.

The leading software company recommends the best methodologies based on the software project needs. They never stick to one methodology regardless of the project’s nature. The complete details about software development methodologies provided in this guide will help you choose the right methodology for the best outcomes.

If you have more queries or confusion, get connected with our business consultant for fact-driven solutions and answers.

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