With many different approaches available, how can you choose the software development methodology that best aligns with your project? Many factors are involved in making an informed decision – from the size of your team and the defined goals to the project finance and deadlines.
To facilitate your decision-making process, we provide you with an overview of the Top 4 Software Development Methodologies.
The waterfall methodology relies on a strong structure and plenty of documentation to support its rigid and linear quality. The linearity refers to the sequence of the phases. A new phase cannot begin if the previous one is not 100% complete. As for its rigidness, this model does not allow to go back to a stage in the process and modify it.
Advantages: The simple structure of this model makes it easy to understand and manage – making it perfect for project managers with less experience and teams that are often altered. The linearity of the structure is also suitable for smaller projects, with clear objectives and defined requirements.
Drawbacks: The lack of flexibility of the model, does not support long-term and complex projects.
Unlike the waterfall development, the agile methodology provides an innovative and flexible approach to software development.
Using this method, the development is divided into short sprints. By the end of each sprint, the teams deliver a working version of the software, which is released in iterations. This allows the teams to scan the released software for bugs and defects and fix them as soon as they appear.
Advantages: This model favours efficiency by fixing issues in the early stages of development. Relying on direct communication, larger teams can collaborate on the same project more effectively.
Drawbacks: In order to utilise the benefits of agile development, your team consist of skilled developers with experience in the methodology. It is also difficult to introduce new team members once the project is up and running. The lack of documentation will make it harder to get up to speed.
The DevOps methodology does not focus solely on development, it also encompasses practices supporting the organisational culture.
This methodology that supports the collaboration and improves the integration between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). By bringing together the teams that write the code and deploy it, this model leaves less room for mistakes during the process of development and quality assurance.
Advantages: By using this model, the deployment of new, high-quality and reliable products can be done more rapidly.
Drawbacks: Even though the DevOps method significantly reduces the time of the development process, some industries have specific testing regulations. These regulations may require extensive testing of the product, before allowing it to continue on to the operations phase.
Lean development is the best choice of methodology for when your project finance is limited, and you do not have much time to work with.
Besides working around the limited project finance and time restrictions, the lean methodology also focuses on improved quality and productivity. This model is based on a detailed analysis of the project before it even starts. By conducting this analysis, it will be easier to eliminate problematic areas, where time and/or money may be wasted.
Advantages: Lean development is suitable for delivering products with reduced resources, but with high levels of quality and customer satisfaction.
Drawbacks: Since it relies heavily on the planning and examination of the project, every detail needs to be documented. Otherwise, if there is even a slight slip up the whole development will be a subject to errors.