Top 7 Software Development Methodologies in 2022

May 30, 2022
Top 7 Software Development Methodologies in 2022

When was the last time you found yourself in front of a whiteboard, contemplating an idea or drawing a map of how your plan will go?

If you're a developer with a project on hand, you know that mapping out a blueprint on a whiteboard may just not be enough. For an effective plan and proper results, the workflow or the framework needs to be thorough and should work best with your team.

These workflows or frameworks are called software development methodologies, in a developer’s world. It goes beyond the technical aspect and involves collaboration, communication and planning across teams to ensure the efficient release of a software product or project.

If you’re new to the world of software development or someone willing to switch their blueprint for a new project, here's a list of the top 7 software development methodologies that can boost the productivity of your organization or team.

Top 7 software methodologies to consider in 2022 and beyond

1. DevOps methodology

To understand DevOps better, let's break down the term. Dev or development is combined with information technology operations or ops, throughout the entire production and deployment life cycle. The goal of DevOps is to ensure maintenance of faster development, and deployment throughout the cycle, followed by receiving and integrating feedback from various ends.

Adoption of DevOps

There are various stages to adopting the DevOps process, compared to any traditional software development life cycle. DevOps emphasizes automation, collaboration, development and other factors. The various stages of implementing DevOps include,

a. Continuous development- In this stage, the software is built continuously using different tools and across different stages. Due to the tools, coding and automation used, the software is developed with fewer errors and bugs

b. Continuous integration- a process where the software is screened for fewer errors and bugs, and integration with modules, add one, libraries and so on is done to make the software complex

c. Continuous testing- a stage dedicated to different forms of testing such as systems, security, integrity, and performance among others. This is done to ensure fewer errors in the production environment

d. Continuous deployment- this stage is also known as continuous delivery as software is continuously deployed in production and is modified according to customer feedback

e. Continuous operations- in this step, manual intervention is replaced by automation by leveraging infrastructure as a code and other servers, scripts and coding to upgrade functionalities of the software

f. Continuous monitoring- this is the final stage where post-deployment, the software is monitored continuously, ensuring that there is very little downtime or issues with the software. DevOps services ensure that the investment and the effort from all these stages help maximize the performance of the software.

Pros and Cons of DevOps model

Pros Cons
1. Streamlines the cycle of development and operations to boost collaboration1. Specific expertise is required, which may not be available immediately among in house team members
2. Manual handling is very minimal due to the extensive use of automation 2. Rapid development can lead to security outfalls, hence security is important at every step
3. DevSecOps offers enhanced security and there is an improvement in overall quality due to the continuous testing model 3. DevOps is an organizational change and requires a change of mindset which can be time-consuming

2. Rapid application development

Deemed to suit smaller projects, rapid application development focuses on speed, smaller teams, and effective communication. The model is suited to fit the customer's requirement at a particular time and developmental methods to create the same.

Adoption of Rapid Application Development

The adoption of RAD focuses on reducing the duration of planning and emphasizing prototypes and development. For an organization opting for Rapid application development services, using the right blend of tools and automation are two crucial aspects of the process. The four main stages of adoption of Rapid Application Development include,

a. Planning the requirements

Rather than starting with the prototype or a blueprint, the RAD model requires a deeper discussion of the requirements of the software users as well as the team members. The requirements of the project, goals, and approvals for each stage are considered within the thorough communication process.

b. Prototype, refine, and test

This is part of development where the user design is built through customizable software development. A constant cycle of testing and refining based on customer expectations is done such that the prototype meets customer needs and is free from bugs and errors. A satisfactory design is obtained through constant tweaking and redesigning.

c. Rapid construction

This stage moves on from the design phase and involves the construction of the working model based on feedback from all ends. Program and application development, coding, and unit and system testing are done by the development team along with suggestions and changes along the process.

d. Cutover

This phase involves the launch or deployment where the finished product is checked in the new environment and is tested and monitored for any bugs or errors.

Pros and cons of rapid application development

Pros Cons
The requirements can be changed anytime based on feedbackRequires strong team collaboration
Emphasis is on the reduction of development speed, rather than on producing a perfect working modelBetter suited for smaller teams and smaller projects
The duration between changes and feedback is less, allowing proper modifications before the release of the product Prototypes can only be progressed further post-testing and feedback incorporation

3. Agile software development

Agile methodology is a flexible, collaborative model that streamlines the development process. It focuses on product testing and documentation at all aspects of the cycle with a focus on responding to any changes required by the customer, for the end product to have desired features and be customer-oriented at its best. It consists of a loop process rather than linear, where each step is repeated until the desired outcome for that particular step is reached.

Adoption of Agile methodology

The agile software development cycle allows reflection throughout the process, continuous input, and space for improvement. The cycle can be broken down into 5 stages namely,

a. Concept- includes the information required to map out the requirements, duration, and target audience of the project

b. Inception- involves team recruitment and division of work into sprints. Each sprint is assigned to a particular set of developers and has a designated deadline

c. Construction- This relies on development, testing, and continuous feedback across development cycles with the ultimate goal of having a working product at the end of this stage

d. Release and production- the release of the product and maintaining ongoing support as long as the software is available to the client

e. Retirement- This activity includes all steps required to remove the product from the production environment when the software is outdated or has to be removed

Pros and cons of agile development methodology

1. Agile development is open to modifications and discovery at any stage of the life cycle 1. As the project changes frequently, there can be a lack of documentation during the development process
2. The End product is more efficient compared to other development lifecycles2. The process is cumbersome and takes a longer duration which may not be ideal for projects with tight deadlines
3. The method of breaking down tasks and deadlines for each task may work better based on the projects 3. The team's consistency plays an important role as any weak links can lead to delays in a slower process

4. Waterfall development

The classic waterfall model is a linear structure based on phases. The next phase is not taken upon until the completion of the previous phase. It forms a sequential flow as the phases do not overlap and loop.

Adoption of the waterfall model

a. Feasibility- the financial and technical aspect of the project or study is debated to check if the method and results of the project would be feasible

b. Analysis of requirements and specifications- all the requirements regarding the software and specifications such as documents between the provider and the customer settled during this phase

c. Design- the customer requirements are then considered by the development team to convert into a coding language

d. Coding and unit testing- the design is translated to code and each unit is tested post-coding

e. Integration and system testing- this is done after the testing of each unit and is done in three stages, where it is tested by the team, the customers, and overall testing to accept or reject the final model

f. Maintenance- a crucial part of the cycle, in this stage, error correction, enhancing functionalities and adaptability with different software environments are aspects taken care of by the development team

Pros and cons of waterfall development methodology

Pros Cons
1. Rigid and well-maintained phases of the project due to intensive testing1. The development methodology is traditional and leaves very less room for change
2. Clear documentation and goal orientation for the team to work towards 2. Suited for projects that have a set goal or product with minimal changes
3. Each phase of the project is subjected to a specific timescale which makes management easier3. Client feedback is not integrated into the mid-process of the development life cycle

5. Lean development

Also known as the minimum viable product strategy, lean software development is focused on eliminating waste, and delivering the product that ultimately satisfies customer requirements.

Adoption of lean development model

The lean development methodology involves boosting efficiency across all departments and eliminating waste at every stage of the process, from individual and department to the entire organization. The application of the lean development model occurs in these steps,

a. Eliminate waste- under lean philosophy, unnecessary code, quality issues, bugs, and so on form bottlenecks that need to be identified at each stage and eliminated

b. Quality- including quality through pair programming and test-driven development is a part of lean methodology

c. Knowledge hub and amplification of learning- team rapport plays a crucial role as any new form of knowledge or development is shared across all the members of the development team

d. Experiment- features are incorporated late into the development process to facilitate experimentation and learning

e. Fast delivery- lean development follows a feedback post-deployment model, where the product is released faster, feedback is gained and modifications are done. This can be strenuous in the case of complex products

f. Respect and optimization- The lean model depends on productive communication and on optimization of the lean value stream to make it as effective as possible with an efficient examination of the process from start to end

Pros and cons of lean development

Pros Cons
1. A streamlined approach that reduces wastage and costs 1. The team is the most crucial aspect and there is a need for effective communication
2. The development team has the independence to make decisions compared to other models2. Documentation at every stage is a must to avoid development mistakes
3. The focus is on MVP and other essential steps of the development process rather than the time-consuming parts 3. The requirements of customers are set at the first stage and cannot be changed at later stages

6. Iterative software development life cycle

Envisioned better as a 'build it as you go' model, the iterative software development model starts with a part of the software rather than the process of mapping all the requirements out. Parts of the software are built, analyzed, and reviewed before repeating the same for another part until the entire software model is built. The main idea is to repeat cycles (iterative) and in smaller portions at the same time.

Adoption of the interactive software development life cycle

In this model, the process is broken down into various builds,

a. Each build goes through design, testing, and implementation stages

b. Each build adds a subsequent function to a previous build or release

c. This process is continued until each brick is added step by step to build the software model

Pros and cons of the iterative software development cycle

Pros Cons
1. Results are obtained at every stage and are easier to measure progress with each build 1. The end of the project is not visualized as it is a step by step model
2. Risk identification is easier and testing for errors and bugs at each stage is implemented2. Not suited for smaller, immediate projects as the process may take longer
3. With every build, an operational product is developed which facilitates feedback 3. Progress of the cycle is dependent on testing and risk analysis which is an extensive process

7. Feature-driven development

With a top-down decision-making approach, feature-driven development has been most in use among larger projects and organizations. A component of the agile framework, feature-driven development makes progress throughout the cycle via an emphasis on features rather than a specific goal.

Adaptation of feature-driven development

Feature-driven development uses a five-step development process based on different steps that include the development of the overall model, building a feature list, planning and development, and building.

Pros and cons of feature-driven development

1. The presence of documentation leads to fewer meetings 1. Not suitable for smaller teams and projects
2. Easily adaptable by larger teams and large organizations for projects 2. Lack of documentation for the client
3. Has a user-centric approach and a scalable methodology that makes the onboarding of new members easier3. The model adaptation has to be from scratch as it cannot be integrated with any existing models that the team follows

Which software methodology should your organization go for?

Before starting with your development process, it's essential to discuss choosing the right model. An organization needs to consider what is best for the team, the size of the team and the project requirements. Regardless of the pros and cons of each development methodology, the features that best suit your project play a key part. Based on these features, the method that cost-effectively produces high-quality software should be an organization's best bet.

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