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Top 7 Software Development Methodologies With Pros and Cons [2022]

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You can adopt several approaches to develop software. Some of these methodologies rely on sequential steps, while others use customer demands as a foundation. No matter what you choose, a software development methodology is crucial to shape your development lifecycle and streamline workflow.

Our team at Reintech conducted research, so here are 7 software development methodologies you can use for your development tasks. You can combine the best of these methods and create your unique strategy.

1. Agile Development

Development agencies are now looking for ways to respond quickly to market demands. The agile development method allows businesses to take an iterative approach to project management. It implements a series of principles and guidelines to develop and market quality products faster.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the goal of agile methodology is to:

Define and deliver features faster

Generate quick and measurable ROI

Agile development needs close communication with the client and optimum collaboration. Only then can you build software that aligns with the end user’s needs.

The agile methodology is now highly popular and has given rise to related software development approaches.

Pros

Offers more flexibility

Faster time to market

Reduces waster

Cons

Devoid of a strict structure

Optimum communication required

2. Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming or XP is built on top of the agile framework. It brings twelve primary principles to guide software development. The principles include small releases, simple design, pair programming, continuous integration, and other beneficial approaches.

XP is ideal for businesses that handle continuously evolving software requirements. It can also cut down risks brought in by deadlines and the use of new technologies. The approach is also suitable for small teams to work productively and improve efficiency.

XP principles have undergone some change over time. Businesses can choose the principles that align with their needs to make the most of extreme programming.

Pros

Saves time and costs

Less documentation

Ideal for developing custom-centric products

Cons

Needs high commitment

Too many meetings

3. Scrum Development Method

Scrum is an agile methodology to develop quality software. It is best when you have a cross-functional team working on the project. The approach allows teams to create a hypothesis based on how they predict a feature to work. Then they can put their hypothesis into action and gain an understanding from their experience.

Based on that, they can improve future workflows.

Additionally, scrum encourages working in short sprints of up to 4 weeks. The project needs the involvement of a scrum master to manage the project along with communication with the client.

Pros

Easily identify and fix bugs

Complete visibility into the development process

Shorts sprints for faster delivery

Cons

Needs a cultural shift

Not ideal for limited budgets

4. Prototype Development

Prototype development makes way for creating a reliable product. Developers focus on the most essential features and develop a working version of the final app. The process helps in the validation of requirements and gives clients a quick snapshot of their products.

Additionally, a prototype can help you establish your minimum viable product or MVP. It also allows for the early identification of bugs before the final product is built.

Best of all, software engineers can take advantage of rapid prototyping to quickly develop prototypes. They can leverage several tools that enable them to create working models with important functions.

Pros

Achieve customer satisfaction

Build with fewer resources

Reduces the risk of failure

Cons

Developer bears the cost

Less room for modifications

5. Kanban Development Methodology

The Kanban model is a great approach for development teams to maximize efficiency. It can also visualize workflow and keep track of all the work in progress.

Kanban is Japanese for “visual signal” and was made famous by Toyota. It helps manage projects using simple tracking methodologies. You just need a board with some sticky notes to implement this methodology and group your workflows under three columns:

To do

In progress

Completed

Kanban is also an agile methodology that is easy to understand and implement. It improves collaboration and helps everyone stay on the same page. Additionally, everyone can also be aware of bottlenecks in the development process and work to overcome them.

Pros

Very easy to implement

Limited responsibilities

Provides value to the customer

Cons

Less structured

Not suitable for complex projects

7. Feature Driven Development

Feature driven development or FDD is a less common development framework. However, it is highly suitable for complex, multi-faceted, and long-term projects.

FDD relies on five steps to build top-notch products. The main aspect is the development of the feature list for your app. Once you establish the features you need, you can get down to planning on how to develop each one.

FDD is both an incremental and iterative process. It is also great for development agencies that work with object-oriented programming and languages like Ruby. So, it is a suitable choice if you hire Ruby developers to work for your project.

Therefore, you can use FDD when you hire a Ruby developer to join your team. Additionally, FDD maintains adequate documentation to share knowledge and information.

Pros

Quick deliverables

Improves collaboration

Implement industry best practices

Cons

Needs experienced developers

Unsuitable for small projects

8. Waterfall Development

Waterfall development is the oldest approach to developing software. It is really simple and establishes specific sequential steps to achieve your workflow. You start with conventional steps like planning, design, testing, maintenance, and so on.

The waterfall approach is highly rigid and offers minimum flexibility. As a result, you need careful planning to achieve success with waterfall development. You cannot step back and undo your errors once you progress from one stage to the next one.

As a result, this model is not very popular anymore. It is useful only for straightforward and less complex projects.

Pros

Very simple to understand

Track progress easily

A structured approach to development

Cons

Highly rigid

Does not focus on feedback

Final Thoughts

Businesses should choose software development methodologies after careful analysis of requirements. Involve all the team members and work to reduce any resistance to change. The agile methods need the maximum cultural shift, so take your time with implementations. Additionally, maintain optimum communication to keep all team members and stakeholders on the same page.