software development methodologies

Software Development Methodologies

In software development, there are several methodologies developers can use for devising, planning, producing and testing software.

Agile Software Development 

The Agile Software development method is often used as an umbrella term to label any methodology that is agile in nature, meaning instead of proceeding in a linear and sequential fashion, development and testing activities occur simultaneously and cyclically. It’s flexible. You can move from one phase to the next without worrying that the previous phase isn’t perfect or complete.

Application development is separated into sprints that produce a succession of releases that each improves upon the previous release. With the agile model, the goal is to move quickly and to fail fast — create your first release, test it, fix it, and create your next release fast! An iteration might not add enough functionality to warrant a market release, but the goal is to have an available release (with minimal bugs) at the end of each iteration. Multiple iterations might be required to release a product or new features.

Waterfall Model

 The waterfall approach is the oldest and is a traditional methodology that’s not very common in software development anymore. Waterfall software development is characterized by a very straightforward approach that follows a rigid series of steps. Each phase must be completed one by one, and there is no going back to a previous step. Though it is easy to manage, delays in one phase can affect the whole project timeline. Moreover, once a phase is completed, there is little room for amendments until the project reaches the maintenance phase. The phases include:

  • Requirement
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Verification
  • Maintenance


The V-Model software design methodology is built on the same principles as the Waterfall methodology but add a testing phase at the end of each development phase. This testing phase is also known as the validation and verification phase which is where the name the V-model derives from. The V-Model is one of the most inflexible yet thorough of the various SDLC testing methodologies. Each phase of the model must be completed before the next one begins.

Spiral software development model

The Spiral SDLC methodology is one of the most flexible options and is usually employed in large-scale projects. The thing that sets this methodology apart from most others is that it focusses on managing risk through multiple iterations of the software development process.  Each iteration of the four phases starts to identify development risks and the best ways to avoid them.

When viewed as a diagram, the spiral model looks like a coil with many loops. The number of loops varies based on each project and is often designated by the project manager. Each loop of the spiral is a phase in the software development process.


DevOps gets its name from combining “development” and “operations,” which are two departments that normally work independently of each other. As a methodology, DevOps focuses on establishing collaboration between these traditionally divided teams throughout the software development life cycle. Combining their practices can lead to improved efficiency, faster development of software and greater product quality.

Scrum Methodology

The Scrum development methodology can be used in virtually all project forms. As a phase of software development, it starts with a brief plan for each sprint, followed by regular scrum meetings that demonstrate the success of the project, and concludes with final analysis. The technique of Scrum is suitable for conducting tasks with customer input and specifications that are not clearly described. Using this approach that makes a sequence of prototypes in a single go, software development companies can speed up app development.

Lean Development 

Lean development is born out of the lean manufacturing principles by Toyota. It focuses on minimizing wastage and increasing productivity. With the guiding principles, developers avoid non-productive activities while delivering quality in their tasks. The Toyota-inspired methodology also emphasizes continuous learning and deferment of decision. It empowers teams to keep an open mind during the course of development and consider all factors before finalizing a decision. 


The prototype methodology combines the iterative system with a trial-and-error approach. In this methodology, the developers build a prototype, test it and refine it until it reaches an acceptable level of functionality to demonstrate to the client. Based on feedback, the developers can make any necessary modifications when producing the actual software application.

Rapid application development

The primary aims of rapid application development, or RAD, are quick iterations and rapid releases of prototypes. There’s less focus on following a rigid plan and more focus on collecting and implementing feedback from users. RAD allows for increased flexibility, as the developers can adjust their requirements in response to feedback, and the collaborative nature of the methodology may lead to greater client satisfaction.

Feature-Driven Development (FDD) Methodology

Feature Driven Development Methodology is an iterative approach for software development designed for large teams using object-oriented programming operating on a project. FDD has five phases and out of which the first is to build an overall model. After that, create a list of features and then schedule each feature accordingly. The final two phases will take up much of the time, plan by feature and create by feature. Status monitoring is recommended at each stage and helps monitor improvement, consequences, and potential mistakes.

Extreme programming

Extreme programming, or XP, focuses on frequent releases of software versions within short time frames, allowing the developers to incorporate new requirements as needed with each version. This methodology relies on regular feedback and open communication with the client to establish these requirements. XP helps ensure all the members of the development team are aware of the project goals and can align their efforts.

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