Software Development Methodology refers to the process and procedures used by software engineers and teams to create and support their applications. Each method has its strengths & weaknesses, and you should consider them before choosing the one that's right for your company or team. Here's how Statista lists the top Software Engineering Methodologies Before we begin our list of top methodologies, let us briefly recollect its definition and the different stages involved in SDLC. software product development So, do you know what a Software Development Methodology is? A software development methodology (or SDM) is like a framework for developing and maintaining software. They range from highly prescriptive methods like Agile and Scrum to highly generic ones like waterfall. The spectrum of options can make choosing a process tricky. However, selecting a methodology requires considering several factors, including your organization's culture, experience, skills, and requirements. The first stage of a software development life cycle involves planning and requires a project manager, who keeps track of all tasks and can predict how long it will take to complete each one. The initial planning stage also includes requirements analysis, where project managers collaborate with client staff to document what needs to be done. In addition, they look at costs for personnel and other resources. In stage two, developers translate requirements into actionable tasks. Testing begins in stages three and four once they have finished writing computer programs based on these goals. Developers usually handoff completed software projects to quality assurance teams in stage five. These specialists ensure that a program works as expected before handing it off to clients or company staff members who use it as part of their daily jobs. We've put together a list of our favorite methodologies below, including what makes them unique & how they work. 1. DevOps DevOps is an exciting hybrid between programming and project management. Although it's often associated with startups, it can work in large, established companies as well. DevOps practitioners are responsible for building a bridge between software developers and quality assurance teams to help ensure that new features or products are high quality before they're released to end-users. Source: Statista DevOps Evolution If you're interested in starting your enterprise one day, DevOps is a must-have skill set. To do well at your job, you'll need to be able to communicate across a variety of different roles and responsibilities effectively—you might have to review code or test a feature with business users every once in a while. Pros: Faster Marketing Time High Efficiency Enhances Support High Product Quality Enhanced team efficiency Cons: Significantly higher investment. Switching requires ample time. 2. Agile Agile software development is a methodology for delivering projects incrementally and iteratively. The main point of Agile is to deliver projects quickly by having a collaborative approach between team members. In addition, it incorporates many software development practices such as continuous integration and peer programming, test-driven development (TDD), pair programming, and other techniques that emphasize rapid feedback and self-organization. It allows quick reprioritization if necessary or required changes to stay on schedule. For example, if there's a feature that you want to include, but it's too expensive, Agile lets you address those problems early on in the process rather than at the end of your budget cycle or after deployment when an adjustment can take months or even years to make. Pros: High flexibility Faster software marketing Enhances collaboration Open to modifications Enhances UX Cons: Minimizes designing phase emphasis. Final software products sometimes differ in features & performance. 3. Kanban Source: Inflectra This methodology focuses on continuous improvement and is similar to Scrum. A Kanban board typically displays a timeline (using post-it notes or cards), and each card represents a single task that's not finished yet. Cards move along with you as you progress through your homework, and you can use them to indicate stages of completion, such as draft, under review, ready for testing, etc. When it comes to software development methodologies, Kanban gets seen as an agile alternative. Like Agile, it encourages shorter software development cycles known as sprints; however, there are different ways of implementing it. Pros: Easy to implement Highly adaptable Advance collaboration Minimizes cost Low overheads Cons: Incompatible with dynamic projects. Lack of consistent time frames. 4. Waterfall The waterfall approach is a sequential process that's straightforward and systematic. In software development, a typical waterfall process would begin with a planning phase, where a project's requirements are defined and analyzed to define an optimal solution. The next step is designed, followed by development and testing phases. Lastly, there's implementation and production support. This working method gives structure to larger projects but can be quite time-consuming as it involves many phases. Since the development team must complete each step before moving on to another step, any changes along the way requires a significant reworking of previous steps — ultimately delaying the delivery and increasing costs for all parties involved. Pros: Excellent Documentation Smooth integration of new employees Highly accurate development charges estimation Supports testing phase The final product matches the expectations Cons: Less flexible Longer delivery period 5. Scrum Scrum is a software methodology that helps teams work together more efficiently and achieve project goals. There are many different Scrum variants; however, they share common characteristics: roles, meetings, artifacts, and rules. Roles include product owner (PO), scrum master (SM), and team members (developers/testers). Artifacts have backlogs, sprint backlogs, epics, features lists, and tasks. Rules cover task ownership assignments as well as time management techniques such as burn-down charts. Pros: Easy elimination of errors Suitable for dynamic projects Convenient testing procedure Improves team motivation Flexible Cons: Strict governance Incompatible for a large team 6. Lean Source: Leanway At its core, Lean Methodology is all about moving towards perfection. But not in an absolute sense; instead, you strive to make your product as perfect as possible by continuously improving it through iteration. The idea behind lean is that you should only create what you need now. Developers should add additional functionality after evaluating how much benefit it will provide and regularly assess all functionalities. This concept ensures that you're not wasting time creating unnecessary features or maintaining unused code but also means there isn't a concrete roadmap for how your product should look at each stage of development. More than anything else, lean focuses on aligning team members, so they're working together efficiently and effectively towards one goal. Pros: Rapid development Reduced development cost High efficiency of the process Elimination of additional features Compact software product development Cons: Highly dependent on the team cohesiveness Lack of strategy Choosing the proper methodology, however, can be overwhelming because there are so many methodologies out there. We haven't discussed the criteria you should use to select your development methodology yet. Here Are Some Top Tips For Choosing A Software Development Methodology That Best Suits Your Project's Needs And Goals. It's essential to understand what methodologies are out there. But don't just read about them. Investigate them. There are many ways of doing so. Look at open-source projects. Investigate Your Options: Try to use different methods on your current project and see which one fits best. Talk to people from companies that have successfully used specific techniques or learned from renowned experts in any given field. All of these activities will help you create valuable insights into how you can apply specific methodologies successfully and where they might fail. What is your goal? If you're developing applications and websites, why do you need a specific methodology? Understanding what type of applications and projects you'll be working on in your new role will help dictate how organized and structured your development process should be. Define Your Goal: Be sure to weigh both short-term and long-term costs when choosing your software development methodology. Choose something that will be cost-effective over time—even if it means making some sacrifices at first. Assess Costs: Every project has its own specific needs, but setting deadlines is one of the best ways to keep your team moving forward. Even if you don't set an end date, creating milestones and timeframes will help you stay organized and focus on what's most important. Set A Schedule: Try to set deadlines based on each team member's availability, skillset, and whether or not they're working remotely. Some methodologies work better in some situations than others. If you're dedicated to a large-scale project with different stakeholder groups, Agile may be your best bet. It lets you move quickly to manage timelines and change requirements as needed. Look For Project & Methodology Compatibility: Similarly, if you're building consumer-facing apps, there's probably not much benefit to following an Agile/Scrum framework if it will add overhead to an already tricky workflow. Such a project may be better suited to Waterfall methodologies like RUP (Rational Unified Process) or SAP (Structured Analysis and Programming). Wrapping Up All software development methodologies have a distinct purpose. Though they all serve a similar purpose, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Regardless of which you choose, educate yourself on how to best implement it within your company and make adjustments when necessary. Identifying what works best for your business enterprise will help ensure your success in any industry. With diverse options available, it may be challenging to determine which is right for you. One size doesn't fit all. Conducting extensive research will go a really long way towards helping you find something that fits your needs. Happy coding! FAQs Q1: What additional factors should I consider while choosing a software methodology? While choosing a software methodology, look for the following factors: A1: Size of the development team Technology & Model Compatibility Software features and overall size Risks involved with the project Quality insurance Q2: Is SDLC regarded as a framework? While it can be helpful to think of SDLC as a framework, you shouldn't necessarily use that term. The framework carries specific connotations in programming language communities. Frameworks are usually built on top of existing languages, with limited capacity to run independently. A2: SDLC is not intended to function as an independent programming environment, so referring to it as a framework might lead people to assume too much about what it does or how it works. Also, there are already well-established frameworks in most programming environments; another reason why you should avoid framing SDLC as one itself. Other terms better describe what SDLC aims to be: toolkit or methodologies being among them. Q3: Which is the most critical stage in SDLC? The most crucial stage in SDLC is the Requirements stage. Reasonable requirements are critical to building good quality products. The first step of any project should be defining what needs to get built. A3: Also, making sure all stakeholders are on board with those decisions and communicated throughout the team. Not defining precise requirements can waste money on rework or end up with poor quality deliverables. At first, developers will have no idea what you want them to build, and they need to know what you need them to do. It also makes it easier for testers because they know what they need to test and how. If something goes missing or doesn't make sense, it can be flagged before any bugs occur.