12 Popular Software Development Methodologies to Know

September 17, 2021
software development methodologies

The information technology industry has undergone a tremendous shift, thanks to the software market. With new methodologies and new technologies coming up, software development is no more the same as it was a couple of decades ago. Today, organizations are well aware that the output of the software is completely dependent upon the methodology that has been followed to develop the software.

Different types of software development methodologies

Before we delve into the different types, it is important to know what exactly these methodologies are. In simple terms, software development methodologies are a set of activities or tasks executed in phases to develop software. There are certain assumptions taken into consideration, however, towards the end of the process, these assumptions are ironed out to make the end product as per the requirement. The objective of these methodologies is to improve the overall SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).

Here are the top 12 software development methodologies to be wary of. Some of them might be legacy processes that are followed for ages, but with modifications as per the requirement of modern customers.

  1. Agile Development

    The main objective of this methodology is to have a fully functional product. Hence, there are a lot of corrections or “change requests” considered in advance, based on what a customer expects, and these corrections are factored into the development of the software.

  1. Waterfall Development

    While agile has various components working in parallel, this is exactly the opposite it. The entire process is completely sequential. This means that a new stage or a step can only be initiated once the previous step is completed in totality. Also, once a stage is completed, there is no way the technical team can go back to the previous stage.

  1. Extreme Programming

    This methodology works well with projects that are unstable in nature. This means that in projects where you need to involve customers at every stage, extreme programming is the right fit. It delivers a quality solution because it is developed based on the dynamic requirement of the customer followed by continuous feedback.

  1. Lean Development

    Ideally suited for projects that are value-driven. If the project has elements that are not important, it is taken off and the focus is only on elements that are important for the project. The primary objective of this methodology is to avoid any losses in terms of time or money.

  1. Prototype Model

    Prototype methodology is built on the waterfall model, with an excessive focus on feedback from customers. Based on initial requirements, the developers create a sample or a scaled-down version of the final product. It helps customers to get a fair idea of the final product and if there are any changes to be made, it can be done at an early stage.

  1. Dynamic Systems Model

    This model works on two very critical parameters – a defined budget and a strict timeline. The objective is to deliver software that is developed within a defined timeline, without any extensions, and not going beyond the allocated cost.

  1. Feature Driven Development

    Features are mainly associated with feedback coming from users. The entire project is built around features and there are many iterations involved in this methodology. The idea is to give a thrust to the functionality of the software.

  1. Rational Unified Process

    The entire process is split into four major blocks. Each block has all six elements of software development viz: modeling, requirement gathering, analysis & design, implementation, testing, and roll out. Again, the objective is to develop the software within a defined time frame and ensuring that it doesn’t go beyond the defined budget.

  1. Spiral Model

    In case there are any potential risks in the project, the spiral model helps in eliminating any at a very early stage of the project. The development method starts small and gradually scales up to a large one. It is a combination of the waterfall approach with iterations.

  1. Joint Application Development

    In this methodology, there is a constant interaction between end-users, developers, and designers. There are sessions in the form of workshops that are conducted to help in the development process. There are different players such as mediators, experts, facilitators, developers, and users who participate in these workshop sessions. The objective here is to get rid of any sort of errors at a very early stage of the development cycle.

(Also Read: Application Development Challenges)

  1. Scrum Development

    For all result-oriented projects, the scrum development methodology is the most effective one. The entire project is divided into multiple sprints. All action items for each sprint are defined in advance and then they are discussed subsequently, once the time period is completed. Due to sprint methodology, problems are detected very early resulting in immediate resolution.

  1. Rapid Application Development

    As the name indicates, the objective of this methodology is to achieve results in a faster time. To accomplish this, the methodology harnesses other development methodologies. The methodology helps in the quick release of prototype models and subsequent iterations. The idea here is to accommodate those adjustments and develop the software faster and ensuring that it is fully functional.

Final Thoughts

The selection of the development methodology is completely dependent upon the requirement of the customer. Irrespective of any development methodology, it is important to invest time in defining the objectives of each software development project.  There is no fool-proof method for developing software. Developers have to work around the benefits and drawbacks that each methodology brings to the table.

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