Top 4 Software Development Methodologies: Which One to Pick?

Software development teams often use different permutations and combinations of methods, approaches, and tools to drive software development towards success. Selecting the correct software development methodology to manage the development lifecycle is critical to reducing waste, maximizing efficiency, and streamlining the software development process. And to determine the suitable method, organizations largely depend on factors like goals, team size, and unique requirements of the software development project. 

But to decide which approach is most suitable for the task at hand, it’s vital to understand the most widely used software development methodologies and their pros and cons. Let’s explore these top 4 methods through this post. 

1. Agile Software Development Methodology

The agile approach develops the software in short sprints or small iterations wherein each iteration adds mini-increments of the new functionality. This incremental development allows room for frequent alterations, which means you can fix defects found early in development. 

Agile development aims to improve efficiency by correcting differences in time before they turn into significant problems. Furthermore, development teams use this method to minimize the risk of bugs, cost overruns, and sudden changes in software requirements.  

Pros of Agile Development Methodology

  • The adaptive approach of Agile development addresses changing client requirements.
  • Rapid delivery of software leading to customer satisfaction. 
  • Direct and clear communication maintains project clarity, leaving no scope for guesswork. 
  • Robust collaboration between teams builds successful products.
  • Scalable schedules and costs.
  • Focuses on users, allowing them to monitor and select project features.

Cons of Agile Development Methodology

  • Rely on real-time communication rather than on necessary documentation. Hence, you may need to add extra steps to document the details if necessary. 
  • Asks for users’ time commitment and intense labor from developers to ensure the project meets the planned expectations.
  • It may not work in the case of significant software deliverables as it’s hard to access the effort required at the beginning of the development life cycle.

2. DevOps Deployment Methodology

As the name suggests, DevOps is a methodology that focuses on promoting collaboration and communication between “Development” and “Operations” teams throughout the software development lifecycle. Both the departments work together as a single team, and their combined efforts lead to faster development of software, improved efficiency, and product quality. 

Pros of DevOps Deployment Methodology

  • Significantly reduces time to market.
  • Lowers the failure rate of the new releases.
  • Collaborative results in faster processing, rapid deliveries, and quality products.
  • Boost employee productivity and efficiency.
  • Quality products improve customer satisfaction.

Cons of DevOps Deployment Methodology

  •  Some customers may not require continuous updates to systems.
  •  It may not be feasible for industries that need testing before stepping onto operations.
  •  Adopting a cultural shift may not be easy for organizations.

3. Scrum Development Methodology

The Scrum software development model implements the agile approach where teams should collaborate heavily and daily. In this approach, daily planning meetings take place to track progress and ensure everyone is on the same page. Here, the software is developed in iterative cycles wherein end goals are broken down into smaller goals right from the beginning, and work is showcased often. This incremental method also promotes rapid changes and development. The sprint process repeats with the development team iterating depending on the stakeholder’s feedback. 

Pros of Scrum Development Methodology

  • Periodic deliveries leave scope for continuous improvement.
  • Grants a high degree of autonomy and empowerment to the team members.
  • Short sprints and constant feedback make it easy to cope with changes.
  • Each team member’s effort and productivity are tracked with daily scrum meetings.
  • Software releases in iterations allow users to see the product early.

Cons of Scrum Development Methodology

  • The Scrum framework is not suitable for large teams.
  • High-cost overruns.
  • The absence of a definite end date leads to scope creep.
  • High chances of success with experienced team members only.
  • Daily meetings may frustrate team members.
  • Team member attrition affects the overall project negatively.                

4. Waterfall Methodology

It is a rigid linear software development method that includes sequential phases like requirements, design, implementation, verification, and maintenance. This approach offers no flexibility, which means should there be any changes required to be made towards the end stage, the Waterfall model calls for a complete restart. There’s no looking back to modify the project or direction. Each phase needs to be finished first before the next step can begin. 

Pros of Waterfall Methodology

  • The linear nature of the waterfall method makes it easy to manage for beginners.
  • Each stage has its deliverables and review process.
  • Ideal for large teams that have a clear understanding of the project scope.
  • Easy to measure progress as the project’s full scope is understood in advance.

Cons of Waterfall Methodology

  • Slow and costly due to rigid structure.
  • Not suitable for projects that ask for regular modifications and maintenance.
  • No room for client feedback during the development phase.
  • Plenty of documentation consumes a significant amount of time for developers and testers. 
  • Suitable for projects with clear and well-defined requirements. 

Wrap Up

All of the above software development methodologies have different merits and demerits. However, the end goal of all these approaches is to streamline the software development process and deliver the maximum business value. Can’t decide which software development approach to adopt for your next project? Consult a leading offshore software development company like Capital Numbers. We will help determine the best software development model for your organization. For details, contact us now!


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