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Methodologies for Software Development: Understanding and Choosing

By Arooj Shakeel
July 17, 2023

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Not surprisingly, selecting a software development methodology has gained popularity over time since, without the proper methods, even modest projects will fail. It is a formalized method of communication that explains the “how” of the software life cycle. 

However, selecting the best methodology to manage a project can occasionally be difficult because not every method will work effectively with every type of organization.

By outlining its benefits, drawbacks, and stages in this post, we want to assist you in making the optimal software development approach choice.


What do methodologies for software development mean? Why are these important?

The mixture of well-organized procedures to use when working on a development project is known as a software development methodology. 

To explain the life cycle of any piece of software, you might even use the terms systematic method or specified way.

In addition, software development techniques provide guidelines for how developers or development teams should collaborate and communicate information, including written materials, verbal exchanges, and even hand-drawn diagrams.

Developers that do not use a software development method face a significant chance of misunderstandings with clients and team members and make plenty of blunders. All of this eventually results in missed deadlines and subpar output.

Following a development method, on the other hand, improves team organization by giving each member a defined road map and set of duties.


Detailed examination of leading software development methodologies


There are several software development approaches, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some most used methods,


  1. Agile

One of the most widely used software development approaches recently is agile. Agile takes a different approach than traditional and linear techniques and supports developers rather than imposing strict rules.

Agile divides projects into shorter milestones, each of which takes one to four weeks to accomplish. 

Effective communication is also used by programmers, who continually look for user feedback and make adjustments to the software.



  • Minimal bugs as a result of ongoing feedback.
  • Team members can address any changes to the project swiftly and without delaying timeframes, thanks to effective communication.
  • Enhancing overall product quality.


Lower priority is given to documentation.


  1. Waterfall Methodology 

Despite being decades old, the Waterfall development process is still in use today. It is a straightforward process since it divides the job into manageable chunks and sets them up in a linear, sequential order. 

Its name comes from how it progresses through each step of project development, like a cascade.

The waterfall is well-liked since it’s simple to comprehend for inexperienced teams and new engineers. Before going on to the next level while employing waterfall, developers must finish the previous one. 

The developers cannot return to a stage after finishing it.



  • The linear procedure makes it simple to comprehend.
  • Each level is well stated; thus, misunderstandings are less likely.


  • Only at the very end is the project tested.
  • This model’s reduced flexibility makes it unsuitable for complex tasks.


  1. Prototype

Instead of creating the entire software, the prototype approach enables developers to work on prototypes of the finished product. 

Customer input is then gathered using the prototype, which aids in enhancing the quality of the final product.

The project goes through several versions of its prototype before choosing the final version, which the customer approves, as a result of the ongoing feedback loop from the customers. 

Because it enables evaluation and execution of the product idea before the start of actual development, the prototype model is well-liked.



  • Appropriate for spotting problems early, before growth starts.
  • Before beginning actual development, teams can assess whether the consumer is pleased with the product idea.
  • Promotes thorough information.


  • In certain circumstances, having several prototypes and doing continuous testing delays the process.


  1. Lean 

Lean development boosts productivity by applying the Toyota Production System’s lean manufacturing concepts. Its guiding principles let developers forego pointless chores and concentrate instead on creating the actual result.

By having all the information at hand before making any judgments, the lean methodology also enables developers to do so. 

This Toyota-inspired technique attempts to create an effective system that incorporates good team communication to find and address any process bottlenecks.



  • Reduces waste by eliminating unnecessary procedures and paperwork.
  • Lean practices minimize the price of development.
  • The project’s timeline is shortened via efficient development.


  • Overwhelming for those with less experience.


5. Rapid Application Development (RAD)

The RAD process, which was first introduced in 1991, focuses on finishing project development as quickly as possible without sacrificing delivery quality.

The project requirements, prototyping, testing, and implementation phases comprise the RAD framework’s four main processes. 

Like the prototype paradigm, rapid application development (RAD) focuses on gathering project requirements and creating prototypes to guarantee client satisfaction before the start of actual development.



  • Prototyping guarantees that the project meets the consumer’s needs by soliciting input from them.
  • Regular criticism also lowers dangers.
  • Decreases the amount of time needed for development



  • Needs seasoned developers.


6. Development methodology for DevOps

The DevOps approach serves as a collection of appropriate methods for businesses. Effective communication between various teams working on multiple stages of the development cycle, such as development, quality assurance, and operations, is possible.



  • Time to market is improved.
  • Reduces the likelihood of new releases failing.
  • Highly trustworthy Enhances client happiness and product quality.


  • A project may need extensive testing before it can begin operations in some sectors.
  • Several departments must use the same environment to prevent production problems.


  1. Extreme Programming (XP)

The Agile development procedures are the foundation of Extreme Programming, or XP, which focuses on creating high-quality software while following industry best practices.

With its emphasis on straightforward development, efficient communication, and reliable feedback, XP enables many releases quickly.



  • It shortens the time to market.
  • Successful communication.
  • Comments from the Flexible client.


  • Significant consumer participation is necessary.


  1. Dynamic Systems Development 

The Dynamic Systems Model and RAD are comparable since both emphasize timely project completion and customer satisfaction. 

The business and feasibility research, the functional model, the design and build, and the implementation are its four iterative design phases.

Client input is continuously considered and applied throughout the process, lowering the chance that the customer won’t like the final output. 

Detailed documentation is also part of this development technique.



  • An iterative process makes sure the project complies with the fundamental criteria.
  • Increases the developers’ capacity for time management and financial restraint.
  • Effective customer and developer communication.


  • Training users and developers may be costly.
  • Insufficient for lesser teams,


  1. Develop using Scrum

One of the most adaptable approaches is the Scrum development process. 

Based on the agile philosophy, three essential roles are product owner, scrum master, and development team.

The product owner’s responsibility is to solicit feedback from the client and make sure the development team complies with their requests. 

The scrum master ensures that everyone in the team converses with the Scrum methodology.



  • Cost-effective.
  • Successful communication.
  • Short iterations provide rapid issue resolution.
  • Daily gatherings guarantee frequent inspections.



  • Similar skill levels are needed from each team member.
  • Extends the time required for development.


  1. Features Driven Development (FDD)

The development requirements are dissected into an understandable list of features using feature-driven development (FDD). Each element is planned, designed, and constructed separately by the developers. 

As a result, the developers have better control over the project’s timeframe because each feature takes just two weeks.

FDD, which is also based on Agile, aims to streamline the process to avoid misunderstanding, which frequently results in expensive reworks.


  • Divides jobs into smaller, easier-to-complete components.
  • Permits simultaneous collaboration amongst several persons on a project without complication.


  • Not appropriate for little projects.


Advisable Consistency 

Every project your development team does may seem like an excellent opportunity to try a new technique, but this isn’t always a good idea. 

Your development team won’t be able to benefit from the comfort and efficiency that come from using the same process over time without consistency.

The use of hybrid techniques, which combine what development teams believe to be the most significant aspects of many processes to create something bespoke and distinctive, is also frequently bragged about. 

In the end, this yields the same outcomes as using no technique, losing both the structure and consistency of a well-established approach and any community support.

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