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Understanding the Top Software Development Methodologies

Understanding the Top Software Development Methodologies
blog-author Nitin 20+ Years of Exp. Delivery Head
Avner Avner Technical Writer

There are many ways to develop a scalable, secure, and ergonomic digital product. Relevant software development methodologies can enable you to attain remarkable digital transformation.

However, to improve your chances of success, you should choose software development models and methodologies that suit your requirements.

Any business including yours is unique. Although you might have a set target audience, the funding, technical team, associates, and budget are variable factors. So, to get the best results, you need to be choosy about software and system development methodologies.

There are nearly 15 methodologies for software development. So, studying all the options can consume time and efforts.

In this blog, we will put forth the top six choices based on their popularity. Scroll ahead and get conversant with each of these software development strategies in depth.

What are Software Development Methodologies?

What are Software Development Methodologies?

First, let’s break down the term, ‘software development methodology.’

  • Software Development: The process of ideating, planning, developing, designing, and launching a digital product
  • Methodology: A system of methods or practices to do something

In simple terms, methodology is a plan or a set of principles to achieve a well-defined goal. So, software development methodologies are different strategies that help achieve the final output (a fully functioning software) efficiently.

Now, take a look at the graph below:

Breakdown of software development methodologies practiced worldwide in 2022

These numbers are from the reputed source, Statista.com.

Each of these names are prominent types of software development.

We are going to explain them in the following sections.

Software Development Methodology Popularity
DevOps 47%
Agile 37%
Kanban 34%
Lean 29%
Scrum 28%
Waterfall 26%

It is vital to note that these software development strategies can suit different businesses. For instance, although DevOps is more popular, your team can find Scrum a more suitable option for developing high-quality software.

So, as a company or a decision-maker, you should understand the meaning, pros, and utility of each of these software development methodologies. Before moving on to the software development methodologies comparison, it’s vital for you to know the prominent ones in depth.

Now, without any ado, let’s delve deep into understanding the most popular software and system development methodologies.

Why Adhere to a Software Development Methodology?

Simply put, software development methodologies are like blueprints. They provide proper structure and guidance throughout the entire development process. 

Here are the vital reasons to adopt one or more of these strategies:

  • Quality & Consistency: These methodologies promote best practices, leading to reliable, maintainable software
  • Teamwork & Clarity: Defined roles and processes improve communication and collaboration within teams
  • Reduced Risk: Software development methodologies help identify and address potential issues early, avoiding costly rework
  • Efficiency & Productivity: Streamlined processes lead to faster development, shorter time-to-market, and reduced costs

So, choosing the best-suited methodology can positively impact your project’s process, output, and team spirit.

The Top 6 Software Development Methodologies

Implementing a suitable methodology can lead to staggering success, whether a single software development project or a group of orders. Understand these software development strategies for improving your work output.

1. DevOps Deployment

DevOps Deployment

DevOps development strategy is one of the most well-known software development methodologies.

The term is a combination of two words – ‘development’ and ‘operations.’ This software development methodology example is a great option for organized and teams with many types of professionals.

In this methodology, developers and different IT teams collaborate to use relevant tools and practices. The collective efforts and integration of various individuals lead to an enhancement in the final software.

Here are the main elements of this strategy:

  • Seamless integration
  • Continuous delivery
  • Collaboration
  • Automation

Now, let’s understand DevOps deployment in simple terms.

You might have two different teams for developing software. These are – development and operations. When you implement DevOps, both teams work together as a single unit.

So, the development, design, quality assurance, and final launch become collaborative activities. Such software development methodologies tend to offer advantages on multiple fronts.

Benefits of DevOps Methodology
Accelerated time to market Boost in reliability
Decrease in lead time Continuous innovation

This software development strategy is well-suited for large development and IT teams. Also, if you intend to automate QA and testing, DevOps can be an ideal strategy.

Note: Since we mentioned QA as one of the main utilities, it can also help you understand quality assurance process improvements. To know more details, you can read our blog on QA Process Improvements.

2. Agile Software Development

Agile Software Development

Agile is one of the most popular and productive software development methodologies focusing on an iterative approach.

Instead of developing software or app as a whole, an IT team releases different functions at regular intervals. Such types of software development are distinct from the conventional ones.

You can conduct multiple testing and minimize risks with this methodology.

Here are some of main elements of agile software development:

  • Feature-driven development
  • Extreme programming
  • Incremental improvement
  • Crystal method in agile framework

These software development methodologies can positively impact the project’s output.

Here are some of the main advantages:

Benefits of Agile Methodology
Minimum defects in the software Adaptive approach
Continuous software supply Frequent interactions

You can implement the agile software development approach if your project has dynamic requirements. However, be ready for frequent interactions with the client and rapid changes in the code.

To attain success through the agile methodology, hire dedicated developers with vast professional experience.

3. Kanban Methodology

Kanban Methodology

Software development strategies like Kanban are well-known for their simplicity. These methodologies are easy to understand and implement.

Kanban falls under the agile framework. It includes the following main facets:

  • Task management flexibility
  • Continuous improvement
  • Enhanced workflow

Such software development models and methodologies focus on improving efficiency. It enhances the visibility and status of your digital project.

Kanban Project Management Framework

Take a look at the above image. It represents a simple Kanban board. In this methodology, you can divide columns based on current tasks, the ones in queue, and the completed ones.

Your developer, designer, or any professional can move the completed task from the left to the right column. This way, you clearly know the work in progress and portion of completed tasks. Such types of software development tactics introduce clarity, simplicity, and improve predictability.

Benefits of Kanban Methodology
Reduction in project risks Efficient management of distributed teams
Decrease in delays Increase in productivity

Kanban is a good choice especially if you have remote teams working on a project. You can gauge the progress of the tasks at a glance and communicate the same to your client. Also, such software development methodologies encourage full project transparency.

Implementing the Kanban methodology is simple and free of cost. You can use a tool like Trello and notice the difference.

4. Lean Development Methodology

Lean Development Methodology

Lean Software Development (LSD) focuses on the following two aspects:

  • Optimize development time
  • Maximize value to the client

Now, it is crucial to understand that the manufacturing sector inspires software and system development methodologies like Lean. In fact, Toyota was the one initiating this approach.

So, you need to relate terms like ‘eliminating waste,’ ‘building quality,’ and ‘creating knowledge’ with the IT sector.

We simplify the methodology in a straightforward tabular format.

Eliminating Waste Through Lean Software Development
Remove redundant code Don’t switch tasks
Prevent delays Complete feedback loop
Avoid partial work Reduce discussion time

In addition, building quality in such software development methodologies involve some specific parameters.

Building Quality Through Lean Software Development
Promote test-driven development Encourage incremental development
Reduce context switching Implement pair programming

LSD is one of the best software development strategies as it can bring a long-term change. Take a look at the main advantages of this development tactic.

Benefits of Lean Methodology
Fewer wastages Cost-effectiveness
Quick software deployment Rise in employee motivation

Lean methodology is beneficial when building a minimum viable product (MVP). Knowing that you can implement this strategy for any type of project is vital. However, ensure that the team starts the project from scratch.

5. Scrum Development

Scrum Development

This is one of the easiest software development methodologies that fall under the agile principle. Basically, scrum is a framework.

It focuses on the following aspects:

  • Productivity
  • Self-organization
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

When implementing scrum, your team works in short blocks (sprints). These blocks range from two to four weeks. Each sprint has a starting point and a final goal. So, your team has a well-defined target that improves the agility of the entire software development cycle.

There are three roles in the scrum software development strategy:

  • Product owner: This individual represents the end customer. A product owner (PO) focuses on ROI, vision, and benefits of the software
  • Scrum master: This professional leads the team and acts as a bridge between the PO and developers
  • Scrum team: Group of professionals with thorough technical knowledge who work on the actual project and strive hard to meet the requirements

Several benefits testify to the importance of scrum as one of the most reliable software development methodologies.

Benefits of Scrum Development Methodology
High development flexibility Decrease in risks and flaws
Reduction in time to market High chances of customer satisfaction

It is vital to understand that you cannot modify a sprint in this technique. If you want to work on software with distinct deliverables, implementing such development models and methodologies can be profitable.

6. Waterfall Development Method

Waterfall Development Method

Complete one stage and move on to the next. Does this approach sound familiar?

If the answer is yes, you already know about waterfall development. This is one of the more traditional software development methodologies.

Here are the general steps in this strategy:

  • Understanding client requirements
  • Designing road map and architecture
  • Developing software through coding
  • Quality assurance and testing
  • Verifying fulfillment of all end goals
  • Launching the software in the market
  • Maintaining fluency through updates and support

Such software development strategies have a linear nature. They offer less flexibility but do have their own set of advantages.

Benefits of Waterfall Development Methodology
Easy to understand and manage Fewer chances for miscommunication
Good option for less-experienced staff Best fit for small projects as well

Overall, the waterfall is one of the conventional types of software development approaches. It is well-suited for projects that have a clear scope. However, it is rigid and doesn’t include feedback at different stages.

So, this strategy can seem unsuitable if you have a complex software development project with dynamic requirements. Hiring dedicated developers can improve the speed of development with this methodology.

Which Software Development Methodology Should You Choose?

The following table can help you decide the most suitable methodology for your project. So, just scroll ahead.

Methodology Description Suitability
DevOps This methodology focuses on collaboration between development and operations teams to automate tasks and deliver software faster Best for startups and digital agencies. Highly suitable for teams with a strong DevOps culture, i.e., seeking automation and efficiency
Agile An iterative and incremental approach to development, with short cycles and continuous feedback from stakeholders Good for startups, product development firms, and digital agencies handling fast-paced projects. Apt for working with shifting requirements, i.e., seeking flexibility and responsiveness
Kanban Visual workflow management system that focuses on a continuous flow of work and limiting work in progress (WIP) An amazing strategy for medium and large-scale enterprises. (Teams with a lean mindset, i.e., focus on improving workflow efficiency). Good for predictable workloads
Lean Eliminates waste and optimizes processes to deliver value to customers quickly and efficiently Best for startups and digital agencies. It is suitable for teams seeking to eliminate waste and improve efficiency. A relevant strategy for teams with a culture of continuous improvement
Scrum Framework for agile development that uses short sprints, daily stand-up meetings, and scrum boards to manage work A good strategy for startups, product development firms, and medium scale enterprises. (Projects with a need for rapid delivery). Suitable for teams seeking to improve communication and collaboration
Waterfall Traditional, sequential approach to development where each phase (e.g., requirements, design, development, testing) is completed before moving on to the next Excellent strategy for large scale enterprises. (Large, intricate projects with well-defined requirements). Apt for teams requiring a high degree of control and predictability

To Wrap Up

As a business, you have the liberty to implement different software development methodologies. You can try distinct strategies on a project basis. Or you can establish a general working style for establishing a standardized approach.

In any case, choosing software development strategies that produce good results is critical. With several models in the market, it can be difficult to shortlist the best ones. So, we utilized statistics, experience, and research to suggest the top six software development models and methodologies.

DevOps, Agile, Kanban, Lean, Scrum, and Waterfall are tried-and-tested techniques to produce good results. Notably, businesses with different requirements can try implementing any of these options to suit their needs.

Ensure that you understand the fundamentals of each potential methodology. This way, your team can capitalize on the positives and develop stunning software.

Also, if you want more guidance on the topic or have any unique software development requirements, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is software development methodology?

In simple words, software development methodology is a set of principles that focus on using relevant tools, techniques, and approaches to profoundly build fool-proof software that meets client expectations.

2. What is agile methodology in software development?

Agile is one of the best and most well-known software development methodologies focusing on breaking a project into distinct phases. These phases or blocks (also called sprints) enable faster release of different features at regular intervals.

3. What are the different phases of SDLC?

A Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) has seven main phases – planning, analysis, design, coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance. You can cover all these stages in a customized manner by choosing apt software development strategies.

4. What are some challenges while choosing software development methodologies?

Factors like project complexity, customization, overhead costs, team coordination, and time constraints can prove challenging while adopting new software development strategies. Ensure you consult a reliable IT vendor to implement the most suitable model for developing your digital product.

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