The custom software development industry is thriving. Custom-made software means you get what you need, the way you want it; no more, no less.
With an industry worth billions of dollars! Choosing a software development methodology is all about the process that engineers adopt while developing a software application.
Companies may choose different developed methodologies for various reasons. Each method differs in its approach, culture, and even structure of the team involved. The main reason is to ensure quality in the software produced, making it easier to stay on track and ensuring that developers work towards a common goal of creating an efficient product.
Let’s take a look at some of the top custom software development methodologies.
Agile Development Model
The agile development model is an iterative and incremental framework for developing software. This means that the approach to building a piece of software takes place in successive stages, known as sprints.
Each step yields a product that satisfies more and more functional requirements of the original idea. There is no final “version 1.0.” The goal is continuous improvement and adaptation.
The agile model is not a specific set of code but a way to develop it. This flexible approach encourages developers to think outside the box to solve problems without being too bogged down by planning details that may or may not be relevant when the final product is complete.
In an agile model, developers work closely with users to create applications that meet their needs in all project phases. The agile development model is sometimes called “lightweight” because it involves two weeks sprints. The result is usually a quick delivery time and less wasted effort.
Advantages of Agile
- On-Time Delivery: Agile development ensures timely product delivery with high quality, which is better than traditional software development methodologies such as the Waterfall model.
- High Customer Satisfaction: The product developed through agile has fewer bugs & issues and can be used directly to get real-time feedback.
- Complete Product in Smaller Iterations: In Agile development, the product is built through numerous iterations. This mode compels developers to write quality code and not go for shortcuts to meet the release date of the final product.
- Low Cost & Risk: Overall cost of the project is low as there are fewer risks involved. Moreover, the development cost per iteration is also less due to the high productivity achieved by Agile developers.
- Easy Communication: Regular meetings, demonstrations & iterations ensure that all the stakeholders are constantly aware of the current status of the product & can provide valuable feedback for further enhancement in the final product.
- Inadequate Documentation: There is less documentation in Agile development & sometimes this could pose problems while taking the product to the next level of enhancement due to lack of enough information related to the project. Documentation is an integral part of any software development methodology, and less documented applications take more time during the next upgrade phase.
- Limited Testing: In the Agile methodology, testing is carried out in iterations. This could lead to minor issues while taking the product from one stage to another & risk losing stakeholders’ confidence.
- Less Predictability: In Agile development, many decisions are left to developers, leading to issues if they change their minds while implementing the product. There is no centralized decision making & this may lead to huge chaos in the future.
The traditional waterfall method involves small or medium-sized projects with a one-time release at the end of four phases: requirements analysis, design, implementation and testing, maintenance.
As an alternative to being iterative or incremental, waterfall development proceeds sequentially from start to finish using only documentation generated upfront by business analysts and designers.
In this way, little information is discovered through trial and error as the process moves forward. This very controlled approach affords developers less freedom to change or introduce new ideas along the way but allows for better planning of each stage before proceeding.
As with most development models, Waterfall has been criticized for being too rigid or linear as many projects have iterative requirements. As a result, a variant of Waterfall called the “Sashimi Model” was introduced to accommodate more iterative requirements.
Advantages of Waterfall
- Easy to manage – the Waterfall model is linear, reducing the amount of risk involved in development. Stakeholders can easily understand how work will progress.
- Time containment – the linear nature of the methodology allows time constraints to be accounted for during planning stages, ensuring deadlines are met.
- A clear audit trail – with each stage of development complete, it is easier to make sure the next stage begins when needed.
During the project, the stages are well defined, and milestones are well-understood, making it efficient!
Disadvantages of Waterfall
- Long-term and continuous initiatives are not recommended.
- For sophisticated and object-oriented projects, this is not a good model.
- The Waterfall model doesn’t involve users until late in the development process, meaning they can’t influence what is created until much later. As a result, it could lead to a mismatch between desired and actual outcomes.
It is a variation of the waterfall model that incorporates testing at each stage of the development process. It’s also known as the Verification and Validation model, and it’s built on the testing phase being linked to each development stage.
It means that the testing phase is inextricably linked to the development of each step. Only once the preceding phase has been completed and tested successfully can the following phase begin. It’s a waterfall strategy, but it compensates for its worst flaw: a lack of testing.
The spiral model is similar to the V-shaped approach in that it involves several iterations of short development cycles but does not prescribe a particular order within them.
It focuses on identifying risks early on that can be changed or improved upon later since these are prioritized over functionalities with critical business impact. All different types of project risks are evaluated throughout each cycle, including technical, schedule, cost, and scope-related issues.
Like agile methods, this process is iterative, with flexible goals depending on lessons learned during each iteration before moving forward towards completion. The benefits to this method are twofold: specifying requirements upfront has less risk of failure should changes arise post-production, and minimal preparation allows developers to work more freely without being hindered by pre-defined details.
Advantages of Spiral
- The process of cost estimation is simple.
- Early on, risks are reduced to a minimum.
- Process of development that is extremely rigorous.
Disadvantages of Spiral
- It is not suitable for projects with a limited budget.
- Multiple phases necessitate extensive documentation.
Wrapping it up!
Software developers have many modern software development methodologies to choose from. So how do you know which one is the best fit for your software development company? Several considerations go into determining the proper methodology, but we’ve mentioned the top and best methodologies one can opt for without a second thought!