Do you want to make your software development workflow more structured? A good software development methodology largely depends on your team size, goals, and other factors. Software Development methodologies are essential to the development of software systems. Most custom software companies employ several software development methodologies. Every one of them has certain advantages as well as disadvantages. Based on project requirements, these methodologies facilitate smooth software development.

An information system’s development process is structured, planned, and controlled using the software development methodology. A software development process using this methodology does not have a technical aspect. The development organization must plan properly for the software development lifecycle.

What Are Software Development Methodologies?

Software development methodology refers to the structured process involved in developing a project. In the early days of computing, design philosophy and pragmatic realism was a blend. A systematic approach is intended to facilitate software development. 

As technologies and resources evolved, new software development methodologies emerged. Software developers can work efficiently with the help of software development methodology. Communication and information sharing are formalized.

Software development methodologies are a necessity for many IT companies today. Nevertheless, it is unclear which method is the most effective. The pros and cons of each methodology are different. Depending on the team’s structure, objectives, and needs, one can make the best use of it. Software development methodologies can also differ from project to project. 

Top 6 Software Development Methodologies

1. Agile Software Development Methodology

The agile software development methodology is ideally suited for projects requiring incremental development. Self-organizing and cross-functional teams must collaborate closely and effectively with each other. Adaptivity to changing requirements is an important characteristic of this methodology.


End-users can see new versions of the software sooner with this method. The software can be released quickly through iterations. Once the final version is released, they will see several versions. Early detection and correction of defects maximize efficiency.


Agile software development emphasizes real-time communication over extensive documentation. Consequently, new users and team members often lack the documentation to get up-to-speed. Users must devote a significant amount of time to this methodology. Each feature scheduled for release requires user approval within each iteration.

2. Waterfall Development Method

The waterfall is widely regarded as the most traditional approach to software development. It has five sequential phases: requirements, design, implementation, verification, and maintenance. It is necessary to complete each phase 100% before moving on to the next. You cannot go back to modify the project. 


Waterfall methods are most suitable for projects with clear objectives and stable requirements. The linear nature of the model makes it easy to understand and manage. Teams with less experience can gain the most from the waterfall development method.


The rigid structure and strict controls make software development slow and costly. Consequently, waterfall method users may look into alternatives to software development.

3. Rapid Application Development

Rapid Application Development (RAD) uses a compressed development method. The process produces a high-quality output within a short period and at a minimal cost. Software developers can use this framework to adapt to changing requirements. A majority of RAD approaches emphasize planning less than adapting over time. As part of a RAD framework, developers mostly rely on working prototypes. It focuses less on extensive design documents.

The Rapid Application Development method consists of four distinct phases. It includes requirements planning, user design, construction, and cutover. The requirements planning stage involves gathering the project’s scope and constraints. Users’ Design and Construction phases continue in iterations until the stakeholders meet all specifications and requirements. Cutover includes testing, implementation, and training of end users.


RAD initiates projects in a much shorter period than Waterfall. Thus, the end product is delivered much faster. RAD focuses on the simple computation requirement with a clear business objective definition. Those projects with a limited timeline will benefit most from the framework.


Stable team composition is an uncompromising prerequisite for successful RAD projects. Fast turnarounds require great technical skills and subject matter expertise. RAD is ineffective in organizations or teams that fail to meet these requirements.

4. DevOps Development Methodology

The concept of DevOps goes beyond software development. A set of practices supports an organization’s culture. DevOps focuses on improving collaboration between different departments involved in the project lifecycle. It focuses on development, quality assurance, and operations.


The main objectives of DevOps are to improve the time to market and decrease failure rates. Also, it reduces lead times for fixes and maximizes reliability. Automating continuous deployment ensures smooth and reliable execution for organizations and teams.


Despite its advantages, DevOps may also have a few disadvantages. For instance, many customers do not require constant system updates. DevOps might not be the ideal strategy in these situations. Before a project enters the operations phase, various rules that are specific to the industry call for thorough testing. Furthermore, problems can enter production if several departments employ various settings. Human contacts necessary in specific quality attributes frequently slow down the delivery pipeline.

5. Scrum

Agile software development is a widely used and preferred method today. The framework essentially implements the Agile approach. Team collaboration is a foundational philosophy of the framework.

A Scrum framework involves iterative software development with the team at the center. The success of the scrum method depends on the team experience and management.


In a Scrum method, teams break down large outcomes into smaller goals at the beginning. They are usually worked on in two-week sprints by developers. Software is often released with limited features after each sprint, but it is fully functional. Scrum is more responsive to change than waterfall. However, it has shorter and more planned development cycles. Today’s disruptive business environment requires more widespread use of these tools. The combination of traditional and agile methodologies creates a solid structure and discipline.


The Scrum methodology is iterative and quick. Project teams need to stay onboard without an end date for long-term projects. Managing attrition within a team can be challenging. Additionally, large groups find it difficult to adopt the Scrum framework.

The spiral model identifies and reduces risk early in the project lifecycle. After starting on a small scale, developers explore the risks associated with the project, develop a risk management plan, and determine whether to continue the spiral. Managing a project successfully requires reliable, attentive, and knowledgeable management.

6. Spiral Model


The spiral model minimizes the potential risks through risk analysis. Large and critical projects benefit from this model. The spiral model is characterized by fast development and systematic addition of features. Projects with high risk and changing business needs can use the spiral method.


The spiral design is undoubtedly a costly approach to development. Risk analysis plays a critical role in the success of the entire project. In this phase, failure could damage the whole project. Risk-free projects aren’t suitable for it.  One of the most significant risks of this methodology is its incompleteness.

Final Thoughts

Software development is a combination of economic and intellectual activity. Software development methodologies were designed to maximize productivity, business value, and user experience. The right software development method selection is crucial in the volatile business environment. It will help increase the ROI and reduce resource wastage.