One of the essential aspects that makes software development progress towards its final goal is efficient project management. Project management directs, drives, and advances your software development towards success. When you find the right software development methodology for the project you’re working on, this will effectively carry out your project management. Here we look at the 4 top software development methodologies that you need to understand before you choose one for your unique project.
1. Waterfall Methodology
Waterfall methodology is considered the ‘traditional’ software development, consisting of a linear model with sequential phases. When you group each task or phase one at a time, you will need to meet each specific goal before moving on to the next stage, but there is no backtracking to the previous phases. A Spiral methodology is an extension of Waterfall methodology that adds rapid prototyping to reduce risk and accommodate larger scale projects.
- The phases (generally described as Requirements, Design, Implementation, Verification, Maintenance) are easy to understand and manage.
- Ideal for less experienced teams and managers as confusion is minimized.
- The simple rigid model keeps things clear and easy to test.
- It saves a significant amount of time.
- Only focuses on precise needs.
- It does not work well for maintenance software development projects or long-term projects.
- No way to know the outcome of the project beforehand.
2. Rapid Application Development Methodology
Rapid Application Development methodology is the ideal way to take maximum advantage of the development software with minimal investment costs. RAD is a condensed model that allows quick adjustments to fast track results. The four stages of RAD methodology are requirements planning, user design, construction, and cutover, but you repeat the user design and construction phases until you meet the project requirements.
- Most useful for projects with well-defined objectives and user group.
- Best for small to medium-sized, time-sensitive projects.
- Makes development process more effortless by developing high-quality projects faster.
- It takes the feedback from clients for specific improvements and results.
- Stable team with experienced developers needed to make this methodology work.
- It requires highly skilled developers to engineer with complex issues.
- It does not work for small budgets.
3. Agile Methodology
The agile methodology develops software in small increments to minimize the risk or bugs and mistakes. There are many variations including Scrum, Crystal, Extreme Programming (XP), and Feature-Driven Development (FDD). By working in increments in these small-time frames (called iterations), Agile methodology improves efficiency by finding problems and fixing them early on in development.
- Model adapts to changes quickly.
- Direct and regular communication maintains clarity about the project and goals.
- Defects and differences in expectation are found early on, so they can be corrected before they become significant problems.
- Focusing on the details and losing sight of the ‘big picture’ may cause the project to go off-track.
- Real-time communication requires a massive commitment to users and colossal labor investment from developers.
- May not work for larger organizations (a hybrid approach with another methodology can be useful).
4. DevOps Deployment Methodology
DevOps Deployment methodology promotes a more exceptional communication and collaboration between IT and development operations for improving time to market, failure rate, lead time, and reliability.
- Significantly reduces time to market.
- It improves customer satisfaction and product quality.
- Boosts productivity and efficiency of employees.
- May require continuous updates to systems which customers don’t want.
- DevOps may not work for some industries that need testing before moving onto operations.
- When working with departments, some undetected issues may slip through.
Related Content: How DevOps Can Change Your Development Process for Good
Choosing the right software development methodology is critical to the success and efficiency of your project. By working with an experienced and knowledgeable project manager can help you find the right methodology for your project.