11 Top Software Development Methodologies and Their Pros & Cons August 12, 2021March 26, 2021 Software development methodologies are nothing but different product organization methods for your software development workflow.All methodologies have numerous strengths and limitations and work differently in different situations. Therefore, to effectively handle your specific software development project, you need to choose the right software development methodology that will provide smooth development.To help you analyze which one suits your project requirements most, we have compiled the 11 most commonly used software methodologies to develop custom software products. So, let’s get started.ContentsWhat is Software Development Methodology?11 Best Software Development Methodologies in 2021Agile Software Development MethodologyDevOps Deployment MethodologyWaterfall Development MethodRapid Application DevelopmentFeature-Driven Development (FDD)Scrum MethodExtreme ProgrammingLean Development MethodPrototype MethodologySpiral ModelJoint Application Development MethodologyFAQsConclusionWhat is Software Development Methodology?The software development methodology is a process framework that the team of software engineers follows to develop applications that satisfy changing requirements, timelines, and user stories to lower the failure rate. It is a collection of roles, rules, and best practices about how to develop and create apps.It definitely does not entail the use of any technical elements but involves careful planning for the software development lifecycle.11 Best Software Development Methodologies in 2021From the versatile software development methodologies list, let’s start with the most popular method to look for in 2021.Agile Software Development MethodologyAgile software development is a technique used to design a process of disciplined software management that often enables the development project to shift regularly. This approach for software development is a systematic structure for conducting different projects in software engineering.Agile separates work into distinct phases called sprints. Each sprint lasts a few weeks, during which a list of deliverables is pursued by team members. The agile development team members check the task, along with the Scrum master, as the sprint finishes.If you’re looking for a framework for agile development that can help you deal with the volatile marketplace dominated by consumers, then you can definitely consider implementing the philosophy of Agile software development.Pros & Cons: ProsConsHighly adaptive approachLow riskDirect communication and high transparencyFrequent releases and feedback collectionEarly release of a working productEarly detection of defects and fixed for a fraction of the costGreat customer satisfactionNot ideal for beginners and inexperienced developersLacks documentation efficiencyNeed extensive training to understand project processNeed constant attention, otherwise, the agile development project can lose the trackDevOps Deployment MethodologyDevOps is not only a methodology for development but rather a series of activities that sustain an organizational culture. The deployment of DevOps focuses on operational reform that strengthens coordination between the divisions responsible for various parts of the development life cycle, such as development, quality assurance, and operations.So, if you’re the founder of a technology startup and looking for a quicker way to build apps or one of the project managers who are more effective for a series of program testing procedures, then DevOps may be what the organization wants.Pros & Cons: ProsConsRapid and continuous delivery of working softwareDeploy new processes, systems, and applications easilyFewer chances for mistakes as the software development team is working closelyImproves the customer experienceContinuous integrationReliability with increasing changesCollaborative platformAccountability and ownershipMinimizes disruptionDevOps demands culture changeRequire a lot of human interactionRequire extensive testingNeed high skilled developersWaterfall Development MethodThe waterfall method is a rigid linear model consisting of sequential phases based on multiple targets (requirements, design, execution, verification, maintenance). Each step must be 100 percent completed before the next step can start. It means, no reversible modifications can be made in the waterfall development for any requirements.As the cycles are long and are very inflexible, this model is also known as a heavyweight technique. The waterfall method does not accept change but it consists of special features to make it unique.The waterfall method is mostly used by plan-driven teams who have a very good view of the nature of the project. However, with the versatility and mobility of more modern methodologies, development teams who do not work in a gap can generally find better outcomes with the Waterfall model.Pros & Cons: ProsConsEasy to understand and straightforwardBest for a small team size of businessSimple enough to manage the project processSaves a lot of timeEasy testing and analysisFixed deadline for each projectFaster deliveryCan not go back to change or modifyThe waterfall approach can not handle large risksNot suitable for large software engineering projectsHard to measure the outcome before the deliveryStuck on deciding the right methodology for your product software?We have an expert team to guide you.Consult With Us Rapid Application DevelopmentRapid Application Development (RAD) is an efficient technique that promises much faster development and outcomes of better product quality than those obtained by other software development methodologies. It is designed in such a manner that a software developer will conveniently take full advantage of it. The key aim of this approach is to speed up the whole process of software development.There are four steps in the rapid application development methodology: planning, user design, building, and switchover. The processes of user design and development repeat until the user agrees that all requirements are fulfilled by the product.If your market priorities are well-defined and limited, then you should go for Rapid Application Development (RAD).Pros & Cons:ProsConsEasy to understandReduced riskFewer effortsMinimizes the errors in the system development processEasy to collect feedback from customers for improvementDelivers the high functionalityProved to be the best for small to medium size projectsNo ideal for low budgetsDemands highly skilled developersNot suitable for large software engineering projectsHard to track the progress and problemsWorks on modularized systemHighly dependent on the performance of the teamFeature-Driven Development (FDD)Feature Driven Development is an iterative approach for software development designed for large teams using object-oriented programming operating on a project.FDD has five phases and out of which the first is to build an overall model. After that, create a list of features and then schedule each feature accordingly. The final two phases will take up much of the time, plan by feature and create by feature. Status monitoring is recommended at each stage and helps monitor improvement, consequences, and potential mistakes.For a development organization transitioning from a phase-based development approach to an iterative approach, this type of model is perfect. Pros & Cons:ProsConsRapid system developmentMultiple teams can work simultaneouslyEasy to obtain repeatable successIt follows software development industry-recognized practicesProvides greater output with 5 step software development procedureNot suitable for smaller projectsNot ideal for an individual developerNo documentationSuccess depends on the leaders and main project managerScrum MethodThe Scrum development methodology can be used in virtually all project forms. As a phase of software development, it starts with a brief plan for each sprint, followed by regular scrum meetings that demonstrate the success of the project, and concludes with final analysis.The technique of Scrum is suitable for conducting tasks with customer input and specifications that are not clearly described. Using this approach that makes a sequence of prototypes in a single go, software development companies can speed up app development.The Scrum approach is most suitable for the management of projects with customer input and specifications that are not clearly defined. Teamwork, openness, and frequent status reports allow the success of the project to be accelerated.Pros & Cons:ProsConsFrequent releaseFrequent meetings and sessions that enhance productivityExtremely flexible approachCustomer feedback and review process collection is easy and fastDelivers quality productErrors can easily be identifiedEasy to cope with changesDocumentation is not compulsory due to its flexible natureNot ideal for junior or mid-level developersNeed constant communicationScales poorly for large teamsFrequent team composition changes make it hard to determine the productivityExtreme ProgrammingAnother agile methodology that focuses on the development of higher-build quality applications using best software development practices in software development is Extreme Programming (XP). Extreme Programming methodology encourages occasional launches in quick production sprints and, as in most Agile strategies, it facilitates improvement when appropriate.In particular, extreme programming (XP) methodology embraces a series of principles rather than steps, including simplicity (developing software on what is needed, nothing more); collaboration (teams need to cooperate on development tools and function together); consistent feedback; and consideration.This approach provides developers with the provision to provide a finished product at a reduced investment cost. Around the same time, due to the daily sessions, test-driven methodology, and pair programming, a lot of human activity end up slowing down the delivery pipeline. Pros & Cons: ProsConsCost-effectiveHigh focus on planning and task schedulingGreat for small as well as large teamsEffective risk managementHigh transparencyWorks best in an unstable environmentEmphasize customer involvementEasy to develop high-quality softwareRequires frequent meetingsToo many development process changesThe future outcome is uncertainDemands 100% dedicationLean Development MethodThe lean model emphasizes the development of easily manageable applications as a technological progression. This exquisitely crafted technique of development is more purposefully integrated than any other form of agile methodology.This approach is designed to develop the software one-third of the time, with a relatively small budget and a much smaller volume of the essential workflow. This is done by removing everything that does not contribute many benefits to the process of test-driven development.Lean is a software development workflow technique and a mindset at once, integrating industrial space concepts and standards and extending them widely to a number of sectors, including software development.Pros & Cons: ProsConsThe speedy software development processEfficient budget controlBest for early-stage startupsEasily eliminate the wasteImproves decision-making abilityDelivers high-quality productGreater flexibilityHighly depends on the project development team involvementNot effective, if there’s no right business analyst in the teamCan easily lose focus due to excessive flexibilityReady to build an app for your business but don’t know what methodology to apply?Our software developers can help.Hire Us Prototype MethodologyThe Prototype approach is the phase of product development that requires developers to create only the prototype of the app product to show its features to consumers. They envision how it will work and show to investors or customers its purpose.In order to build the final mobile application, the developers subsequently make all the requisite adjustments in preparation. This technique provides space for the comprehension of software development criteria and the execution of valuable market research.The strongest attribute of this approach for software development is that it addresses a multitude of problems that sometimes arise in a typical waterfall life cycle model.Pros & Cons: ProsConsEarly identification of risksEasy business requirements documentation gathering and planningReduced riskClear idea about the project processBetter communicationAn effective approach to demonstrate the product to a clientHigh project management costExcessive client involvement affects the processNot ideal for projects where too many modifications requiredSpiral ModelThe spiral model is the combination of Agile and waterfall methodology that mostly focus on early risk detection and mitigation.The developers start on a small scale, then explore the project risks, make a risk management strategy, and eventually determine whether to take the next phase in the project to do the next iteration of the spiral. Performance of any Spiral Lifecycle Model depends on the project’s efficient, diligent, and competent management.The spiral approach helps the developer to make improvements in the code or design even in the testing stage, in comparison to the waterfall model. It is appropriate for almost all types of projects, however effective management is needed.Pros & Cons:ProsConsFewer risk factorsWorks best for large scale projectsEasy cost estimationEasy access to additional functionalityDevelops quality productsNot appropriate for low-risk projectsCostly ModelIf risk analysis is not conducted properly, the project may get damagedJoint Application Development MethodologyJoint application development is a technique for the development of standards and user interfaces in which end-users, stakeholders, and engineers hold intensive off-site sessions to hammer out and finalize software applications. The goal of this approach is to include the customer in an application’s design and creation.With a series of interactive seminars, JAD sessions quickly achieve end goals. Instead of technological information systems, the key purpose of this dynamic systems development model is to fix the business issue. Initially, this approach was developed for computer-based applications but has been successfully used for all sorts of development processes.Pros & Cons:ProsConsCollaboration between company and client reduces risksFavorable assistanceProvides a forum to explore multiple pointsImproved system qualityInformation system is produced in a short span of timeTakes a lot of time to deliver the productDemands high skilled engineersDifferent points of viewLet’s develop a software product using the most suitable method for your business profits.Contact Us Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is meant by a software development methodology?Software development methodologies are a process or sequence of processes used in the development of software. It is intended to explain how the software development cycle should be for your project.What are SDLC methodologies? Agile Waterfall Iterative Spiral Kanban DevOpsWhat is the most famous software development methodology?Agile, Scrum, Rapid application development methodology, and Waterfall are among the most famous and popular software development methodologies for the different kinds of developments.ConclusionTechnology has paved the way for unique inventions, and software development workflows are no different. The key thing is that it deals with a number of complexities, involving expert handling. The latest technologies in software system developtment have defined methodologies that work on such platforms, giving them the ability to operate.Thus, before choosing any of these development methods for your software development projects, you must have knowledge of all these methodologies. However, it is highly recommended to contact a competent software development firm for improved results. All the best!Subscribe2Author BioRakesh PatelDesignation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O TechnologiesMr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311. × Hold on… Don’t miss a chance!!!30 min free consultation with our technical expert.Click Here to Book Your Free Consultation ×Join our subscribers' list now! Get top insights and news on latest technologies and trends right to your inbox.