Choosing the right software development approach for your industry is a challenging task. There are so many options out there, and you want to make sure that you choose one that will provide the best results for your business.
The right approach to software development is different for each industry. For example, the automotive industry has needs that will be different from the retail sector.
The best way to figure out what is best for your company is by exploring the different methodologies of software development and determining which one is best for your industry. Taking the time to do this research in advance will save you a lot of money and headache later on when it’s too late to change course.
This blog post will list the different approaches to software development and help you understand which one is right for your needs and the industry you are in.
What is a Software Development Methodology?
A software development methodology is a process or set of rules that are followed during the software development life cycle (SDLC). It can be considered as the blueprint for your app development, which helps and provides clarity in recognizing all the decisions that need to be made early on so that there is no confusion about the process and subsequent actions. You can find more tips at Stormotion.
There are many different types of methodologies that have been created to increase software development process efficiency and improve communication. The goal is the same – create a quality product that is within budget and time limits.
Types of software development approaches:
Now that we know what a software development methodology is, let’s take a look at the different types of approaches and how they work.
Waterfall Software Development Approach
This approach was one of the first to gain popularity in software engineering. The Waterfall model provides clear steps that must be followed to produce an app or program successfully. This process begins with the initiation of the project and ends with deployment.
The Waterfall method is a linear process that works as such: planning -> development -> testing -> release.
This model requires communication between all parts of the team to be successful, making it one of the most difficult models for large companies. It also takes more time than other models because everything must first go through the planning stage.
Waterfall has been used for decades and remains popular despite recent advancements in software development approaches. It is still widely used across many industries because of its clear set of rules that work well when executed properly.
- A clear, concise set of rules that reduce the chance of error
- The end goal is set from the beginning
- Easy to track due to clearly defined start and end dates for each phase
- Difficult to change direction once the project is underway
- Every part of the team must work in a coordinated manner, which is difficult for larger companies with workers across many different locations
- Extremely long development time due to the multiple steps and phases that must be completed before moving on to the next ones
Agile Software Development Approach
The Agile software development approach is a more recent addition to the list of methodologies and has quickly become one of the most popular in today’s marketplace for its flexibility and adaptability, making it easier to work with than other models such as Waterfall.
This model was developed because traditional approaches to software development did not work for all companies and industries.
The Agile method has four major principles that should be adhered to in order to produce an app successfully: collaboration, flexibility, timeboxed iterations (or sprints), and simplicity/communication. All of these factors are necessary for this model to be successful because the goal is to produce a working product that meets the customer’s needs with minimal time and cost.
The Agile process has no set requirements for development, which allows you as a business owner or manager more freedom in choosing your own path based on how much risk you are willing to take and what stage of completion you want your app at before launch.
- Allows you to choose your own path based on the level of risk and completion stage desired by your company
- Flexibility in planning allows for changes should they arise during production
- Greater chance of testing out ideas with customers before development begins, which allows for a better product to be developed
- Ability to add or remove features throughout the development process
- High risk of error due to lack of structure and clear steps for developers
- Less chance of successful project completion because there is no set way in which apps or programs should be produced.
- Timeboxed iterations (or sprints) can lead to missed deadlines if tasks are not completed on time, allowing less time for testing
DevOps deployment methodology
DevOps is a newer approach to software development that is becoming more popular as it allows for increased collaboration between teams.
DevOps is an abbreviation of Development and Operations, which refers to the merging of two formerly separate roles: developers who create programs or apps and IT professionals who manage them once they are created. This new model is strongly used by companies such as Google and Facebook because the two separate roles caused issues with communication.
The DevOps method has five main principles that can be broken down into three groups: collaboration, measurement, and automation. All of these factors are necessary for this model to be successful since they encourage increased collaboration between teams while also allowing you as a business owner or manager to measure and track the progress of your team.
- Greater collaboration between teams increases communication and allows for more mistakes to be caught before the launch date, which reduces cost/revenue losses due to errors
- A greater chance of app success since all aspects are tracked from start to finish by one department instead of two separate entities
- Increased efficiency due to better communication between teams.
- Can be used across all industries since it is highly adjustable and does not require a large team of developers, which makes it easier for smaller companies to use this approach
- This model may still seem new, so using DevOps requires taking on some additional risk in terms of cost/revenue loss and potentially lost time due to training
- Increased complexity of data storage must be taken into account since all aspects are tracked by one department instead of two separate entities (i.e., developers do not physically work with the product after development is complete)
- Since DevOps can vary greatly from company to company, it may take some research to determine the best way to implement it for your individual business
Lean software development model
The lean software development model is a newer approach to software development that has been growing in popularity because of its increased efficiency and ability to adapt well for use across multiple industries.
It was developed by companies such as Toyota after they realized the traditional method of producing cars, which included long waits between each stage, which led them to lose customers. They adopted a lean model in order to help reduce the time it takes for each stage to happen, which then reduces wasted resources and allows them to produce their product more quickly.
The key concepts behind this model are: delivering value that is of high quality; delivering as soon as you can with a fast feedback cycle; minimizing wasteful activities; and empowering the team to do their best work.
Like DevOps, lean software development has five main principles that can be broken down into three categories: value stream mapping, validated learning, and sustainable pace. All of these factors are necessary for this model to be successful since they encourage increased collaboration while also allowing you as a business owner or manager to monitor and track the progress of your team.
- Lean software development provides many benefits such as cost decreases, quality increases, speed to market, and increased revenue generation due to better efficiency/effectiveness.
- It also reduces risk since it allows for easier troubleshooting throughout the entire process instead of waiting until after the launch date, like with DevOps.
- Using lean software development allows for better customer value since you are learning from each step and can make necessary changes before the launch date to ensure a higher quality product is being delivered every time.
- This model is still relatively new and will likely take some time before it becomes as widely used as DevOps since the traditional approach has been around much longer.
- It also requires a larger team of developers than what would typically be required by other approaches because you need someone to monitor progress and make changes when necessary.
Dynamic Systems Model
The dynamic systems model is a development approach that was introduced in the 90s. It has been used in many different industries including energy production, transportation, banking/finance, telecommunications, e-commerce companies as well as health care providers.
The key concepts behind this method are rapid development/delivery cycles with short timeframes for each cycle; increased automation through CI/CD pipelines as well as automated testing, so there is less room for human error; integration of lean and agile development so that the team works together to develop a product within each cycle; continuous delivery with minimal waste during development since it starts from the initial planning stage instead of waiting until after an MVP has been built.
- This model provides many benefits such as increased speed/agility, higher quality software being delivered, reduced waste and rework, increased customer value/satisfaction, improved employee morale due to the focus on teamwork and collaboration.
- It also encourages learning from previous cycles since they are short in duration which allows for faster knowledge sharing across teams as well as making necessary changes based on that information.
- This model is great when paired with the DevOps model because it allows for a faster feedback cycle within each phase of development.
- Expensiveness due to the need for more training and education time in order to implement this model successfully.
- Since each cycle is usually only a week long, it allows for less room if any mistakes are made so there could be potential loss of revenue since one small issue can lead to the entire project being delayed until fixed.
- This approach requires constant teamwork and collaboration since all aspects of the project (e.g. design, development, and testing) are intertwined together in order to maintain a lean approach that encourages continuous learning and improvement of processes for future iterations.
- This model is known as an “iterative” or “incremental” model because it is constantly moving forward with small steps towards completion instead of trying to figure out the entire project at once.
What model is the right one for my business?
As you might have guessed already, there is no definitive answer to this question since it all depends on your specific business needs. The best way to identify the perfect model for your business is to consider the pros and cons of each with your end goal in mind, determine which ones are most important to you in achieving success with this project, and then make a decision based on that information.
Similarly, you can consult a reputable software development company that has extensive experience in multiple approaches in order to get their input on the best one for your specific business needs.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a business development model for your specific use case:
- What is the project timeline?
- How complex is your business/product idea?
- Who are your end-users?
- Which model provides positive outcomes for each of the most important things that you are looking for?
- What is your budget like (this can also include time, training, etc.)?
There are many different software development models to choose from and it can be overwhelming when trying to figure out which one is the best for your business. Because of this, it’s important that you take each factor into consideration as well as consider what outcome/s matters most to you so that you have a better idea about how to proceed with your business.
Hopefully, our article has given you some insight into choosing the right model for your business and will help to make this decision easier.