Different software development projects call for different timelines, technologies, and budgets. As a result, the ultimate outcome relies upon the design of processes necessary to accomplish chosen goals. Given a variety of software development models, how do you choose one that will seamlessly suit your business needs? In this article, we will discuss seven major models in software development, so you’ll know which one to use for your next project.
What Are the Software Development Models?
The software development life cycle is the process of creating a software product; it spans all stages of software development, from planning to testing and release. In that sense, software development models are blueprints that manage the process of developing software in a controlled and efficient manner. These models are many and varied. They can approach the company’s workflow linearly or iteratively and establish communication between the development team and the customer. The most widely used software development models include:
- Agile models (Scrum & Kanban)
- Waterfall models (V-shaped model)
- Spiral model
- Iterative model
- Incremental model
- Prototype model
These software development models provide a structure for the development team to follow. A solid structure ensures that the project runs smoothly and can be considered deliverable with all requirements met on time.
How Do Different Software Development Models Work?
Here is an outline of popular models in software development:
- Agile models (Scrum). Agile models belong to a type of software development methodology that emphasizes iterative development, team collaboration, and customer feedback. Agile models are typically used in situations where requirements are likely to change during the development process or where there is a need for rapid delivery. In comparison with waterfall models, they are more adaptive and allow for more frequent delivery of working software than traditional models. Common Agile models include Scrum, Kanban, and Lean.
There are a number of Agile methodologies in software development, with Scrum being one of the most popular. Scrum is an Agile process that helps organizations deliver value to their customers through rapid, iterative delivery of products and services. It is characterized by short sprints, or cycles, of work, with each sprint focused on delivering a potentially shippable increment of new functionality. The three pillars of the Scrum model are transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
In Kanban, software development is viewed as a process of continual improvement. The aim is to create a system that can adapt and improve over time in response to feedback from customers and users. The Kanban model is based on the principle of “just in time” delivery, which means that work is delivered as needed, and there is no need to stockpile completed work. This helps to avoid the problems of overproduction and non-effective velocity that can occur in other software development models. The Kanban model is designed to be flexible, and it can be adapted to suit the specific needs of a project or organization.
- Waterfall models (Validation and Verification model, V-model). The waterfall model is a sequential software development process in which development is seen as flowing steadily downwards like a cascade of water. The waterfall model is typically used for large, well-defined projects where requirements are understood up-front and change is not expected. It is often contrasted with the Agile software development approach, which takes a more iterative and incremental character.
The V-shaped model is a variation of the waterfall model. In this model, the software development process is represented as a V. The left side of the V indicates the analysis and design phases, and the right side indicates the coding and testing phases. The V-shaped model is often used in small projects where the requirements are simple and clear. This model is beneficial, as it helps ensure that the project is completed on time.
- Spiral model. The spiral model is an iterative software development model. In this model, each phase of the software development process is carried out in a cycle. The first phase is the planning phase, in which the objectives and goals of the project are defined. The second phase is the risk analysis phase, in which risks are identified and evaluated. Meanwhile, the third phase is the engineering phase, with software being designed and implemented. The fourth phase is the testing phase, in which the software is tested for errors. While the fifth phase includes the installation and deployment of software, the sixth phase implies its maintenance.
- Iterative model. The iterative model is a software development methodology that is often used in Agile software development. In this model, the software is developed in small, iterative cycles. Each cycle includes the development of a working version of the software, followed by testing and feedback. This process is then repeated until the software is complete. The main advantage of the iterative model is that it allows for rapid development and feedback. This means that software can be developed and perfected quickly, and any problem can be identified and corrected early on.
- Incremental model. The incremental model encompasses software development processes where the software is developed in increments. Each increment adds new functionality to the software. The first increment is usually the most time-consuming, and each subsequent increment takes less time. The main advantage of the incremental model is that it allows the customer to see and use the software at an early stage. This enables early feedback, which can be used to improve the product in the future. The incremental model also reduces the risk of the project as each increment is developed and tested before moving on to the next increment.
- Prototyping model. The prototype model is a type of software development life cycle (SDLC) that creates prototypes of software applications. The user feedback is used to improve the design of the software before it is developed further. The advantage of the prototype model is that it allows developers to create a working model of the software very early in the development cycle. This working model empowers teams to test various aspects of the software and to get feedback from users.
The main factor to consider when choosing between different software development models is the nature of the project. Some projects are more suited to certain models than others. For example, a large, complex project might be better suited to Waterfall models, while a small, simple project might be better suited to Agile software development models. Other factors to consider include the preferences of the client or customer, the skills and experience of the development team, and the resources available. At Intetics, we critically assess the project’s goals and build a sustainable and flexible implementation strategy early on. Our seasoned specialists can help you avoid risks and opt for the software development model that will guarantee its positive impact.
All Things Considered
While there is no perfect software development model, each has its own advantages and disadvantages that make it more or less suitable for different projects. For example, Agile models are typically better for projects that are likely to experience changes or need to be completed quickly, while Waterfall models are more suited to projects with well-defined requirements that are unlikely to change. Ultimately, the best model for a given project will depend on that project’s specific circumstances and needs.
Intetics is an international technology company with a mature software development methodology. We provide our clients with the industry’s best infrastructure and configuration management, technical and management supervision, and proper governance. Interested in learning more about custom software development? Don’t hesitate to contact us.