Software Development Methodologies – Guiding Principles for Development Teams

Delivering future-ready Software Development Methodologies inevitably needs a plethora of attempts by differently skilled teams. Without a compatible strategy and working management operations, project execution will collapse.

Software Development Methodologies serve teams with the guiding principles and processes that help them develop a superior software product. A methodology specifies how each software element gets delivered. It comprises the practices and ideologies that software development teams need to embrace. 

There are many Software Development Methodologies with their individual benefits and pitfalls. This blog is all about different SDMs. They will help you assess your options and pick the best one. Have a look. 

1. Lean Software Development Methodologies

It is an approach inspired by Toyota’s lean principles for manufacturing a product. It focuses on mitigating wastage in all the phases of software product development and continuously improving the processes. The intention is to generate an enhanced procedure that performs impeccably. 

Lean’s common principles are about optimizing everything, mitigating waste, developing quality, generating knowledge, deferring commitment, quick delivery, and value people. 

This approach optimizes resources by lowering iterations in the implementation like,

  • Useless features
  • Repetitions in the process
  • Bulky code
  • Uncertain requirements
  • Many unfocused meetings 

Suitable to,

It suits small and medium-sized projects with constrained development budgets. IT startups can make the best use of it. For large-sized and highly complex projects, this methodology does not suit well.      

Positive Impacts 

  • Eliminate wastage of resources
  • Help to assess customer behavior 
  • It increases the learning curve 

Negative Consequences  

  • Need skilled team for Lean implementation 
  • Requires optimum documentation process 
  • Lack of precision 

2. Agile Software Development Methodologies

Agile is one of the most widely used SDMs nowadays. There are many other approaches that follow the Agile ideology.  

Agile methodology focuses on reacting to changes. It does not blindly follow predetermined plans and team communication. It gives room for quick changes in the software according to customers’ demands. You will get a concept over a rigid framework. It will help with project execution. 

Agile divides work into different phases called Sprints. To make changes, a development team quickly collaborates. They work on a particular sprint and prioritize problem solutions. 

It is significant to keep communicating with the team members and customers to get their prompt feedback on the agile methodology. Follow an iterative pattern that needs constant testing as the development progresses. It presents working software over lengthy documentation.

Suitable to,

For projects with quickly changing needs, the Agile software development methodology suits them the best. Teams can react promptly and can expedite the speed and effectiveness of the process.

A development team can use the Agile methodology. It helps to understand different market ideas. 

Positive Impacts  

  • Flexible approach
  • No scope for guesswork
  • Scalable planning and costs 
  • Focuses on the business value and users 

Negative Consequences  

  • Require more time and commitment 
  • Lack of required documents 

3. Waterfall Software Development Methodologies

It is a rigorous linear framework that includes sequential stages focusing on different goals. This model needs structure and documentation in the development process. 

Every project task flows downward just like a waterfall. Here, the preceding phase’s output is the next phase’s input. No overlapping. Developers must talk to finish the tasks within a time frame. Make sure to complete a phase. Next move toward the upcoming one. 

Ensure that each phase gets concluded. If you miss a single aspect, it could be complicated to tweak the whole process. You can not backtrack effortlessly with evolving requirements. 

Suitable to,

Waterfall methodology will be integrated with small and easy-to-understand assignments. Make sure that there is a clear separation of every phase. The team has an extensive and specific vision and scope of the project processes. This approach suits the best where the outcomes are easily predictable, and there is no room for changes in the processes.  

Positive Impacts

  • The clear and precise structure
  • Mitigate development issues 
  • More manageable 
  • Systematic approach 
  • Determine project goal 
  • High visibility 

Negative Consequences  

  • Rigid to changes 
  • Excludes the client and user 
  • Do not suit complex projects 

4. Scrum Software Development Methodology

Scrum is a framework to work, inherit, and implement the agile methodology. Lean concepts can affect Scrum framework. It is a general framework to manage work towards complex product development. It follows a flexible model and is widely leveraged through multiple projects. 

In Scrum, the development team gets split into three key roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development team) with clear responsibilities to ensure certain task optimization. 

Regular meetings and day-to-day planning are necessary to monitor the progress, collect feedback, and determine issues in the whole development process. It helps to boost communication and interaction among members. 

Transparency, inspection, and adaptation are three pillars of Scrum methodology.  

Suitable to,

The scrum approach gets used with an experienced and committed team of professionals that can easily respond to highly complex projects. Small-sized teams will be successful using the Scrum approach. 

Positive Impacts

  • Highly-interactive 
  • Adaptability and flexibility 
  • Improve team morale 
  • Reduce wastage of resources 

Negative Consequences  

  • It needs thorough expertise 
  • No hard deadlines
  • Capacity constraints with slowly running projects  
  • Challenging to estimate the resources 

5. Kanban Software Development Methodology

Just like Scrum, Kanban is one more agile framework that emphasizes the continuous enhancement of the software throughout the development process. 

Kanban does not contain any predefined roles and events. It can acceptable when you make changes. It depends on continuous delivery through time-boxed sprints. 

Kanban does not specify any team members or project management approaches. Preferably, the Kanban board is the most significant component. It helps list out future tasks while developing software. You can consider it a to-do list. It helps to categorize a team’s future activities or is in progress. 

Suitable to,

This methodology suits small teams and projects that need continuous modifications. A team of experts or a single person can work on various elements of the Kanban approach. 

Positive Impacts

  • Helps to deal with resources and time shortage 
  • Rapid and continuous delivery 
  • Versatile and flexible
  • User-friendliness 

Negative Consequences  

  • Multiple tasks 
  • Lack of time frame 
  • Mismanagement of Kanban board 
  • Difficulty in implementation in a large-sized organization 

6. RAD (Rapid Application Development)

This approach prioritizes faster prototyping within a short time and continuous feedback through development cycles. There is no more attention to planning in the Rapid Application Development model. It focuses on development tasks.  It encourages user feedback in the prototyping phase. 

There are four steps in this methodology 

  1. Planning – Developers, designers, and clients conform to common project obligations and find out the overall needs of the project. 
  2. User design where prototyping takes place with essential features and functions. Prototypes get tested constantly and ask for client feedback to address their exact needs. 
  3. Building where developers focus on building a prototype into a working product. They focus on client feedback received in the previous stage. Continuous customer feedback is necessary for this stage. 
  4. Switch over where comprehensive software testing gets performed. 

Suitable to,

It suits small teams. The team must have experience integrating RAD methodology. It suits a large budget and when there are time limits. 

Positive Impacts

  • User-friendly
  • Need fewer efforts
  • Risk reduction 
  • Easy feedback gathering 
  • Mitigate errors
  • High functionality  

Negative Consequences  

  • Need high budget 
  • Require a highly skilled team for the implementation
  • Complex to monitor progress and issues
  • Work on a modularized system
  • Highly rely on team performance. 

7. FDD (Feature Driven Development)

Feature Driven Development is a methodology based on an Agile approach. It borrows some agile aspects like,

  • Better team communication, 
  • Transparent progress monitoring, 
  • Optimization and prioritization according to client requirements
  • Development and testing of functionalities within a short iteration      

There are basic 5 phases in the FDD software development methodology. 

  1. Whole model development where domain and development teams develop an initial object model under the guidance of a relevant experienced person. 
  2. Feature list development needs to finish within two weeks of the time frame.
  3. Planning by features where development teams need to develop features based on priority, dependency, and availability of resources. 
  4. Designing by features where decided features get designed under the guidance of the chief programmer.  
  5. Building by features where the team begins working on UI development and feature prototypes after completion of design reviews. 

Suitable to,

Feature Driven Development suites large-sized, scalable, and complex software development. FDD works for larger product development teams as well. It offers structured and iterative access. 

Positive Impacts

  • Quick development 
  • Simultaneous working of Different teams 
  • Enable repeatable success 
  • Greater output within five steps 

Negative Consequences  

  • Do not suit smaller projects 
  • Do not suit any single developer
  • No documentation 
  • Success relies on the leaders and project managers 

8. XP (Extreme Programming)

XP is an Agile approach. It focuses on programming activities up to the highest level. It It gets used to build software where constant changes and customer engagement are highly needed. 

XP code review is an ongoing process. It helps to determine errors as they arise. Here, testing is performed regularly at all levels. It limits the impact of mistakes. 

Features of XP:

  • Pair programming
  • Regular releases 
  • Source code review
  • Unit testing
  • Constant interaction with customers 
  • Performing according to ongoing changes

Suitable to,

Small teams with the frequent engagement of customers can leverage XP software methodology. Make sure a team is not very large to have high efficiency and better performance. 

Positive Impacts

  • Cost-effective 
  • Highly focused on planning and scheduling 
  • Risk management 
  • Transparency 
  • Perform well in an unstable environment 
  • Focused on customer engagement 

Negative Consequences

  • Need frequent meetings 
  • Plenty of development process changes 
  • Uncertain future outcome 
  • Require 100% dedication 


Applying the proper development methodologies is significant for each organization irrespective of their sizes. It can aid in simplifying businesses’ processes and delivering the best results. 

Get in touch with the right development team. Ensure to understand principles, applicability, pros, and cons. It will assist in identifying the best model for your business. 

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