Software development methodologies have a critical role in an enterprise ecosystem. The process of building the software must be meticulous to reap greater benefits from it.
Business decisions should be based on insights that weigh every detail while bearing in mind operational demands and finer aspects of customized application development.
The Big Picture: The Process Of Custom Software Development Methods
Determining the right software development methods is a decision that may make or break a project along with potential repercussions on the business.
Over time, most businesses have been identified to operate within a set pattern that can be formalized into structures. This lays the foundation for adopting a particular software development approach.
To expedite accuracy in deliverable, the software development process must be done methodically one phase at a time each phase builds upon one another.
Cost, schedule estimates, requirements, plans, specifications must be deliberated beforehand to determine the modus operandi of a project.
This set of steps (or the predefined approach of processes) is called software development methodology. It defines the ideal road map for successful deliverable and the deployment of the project.
An incorrect process or methodology with software development results in:
- Missed schedules and inflated costs.
- Teamwork issues and miscommunication.
- Loss of time and resources while getting organized
- Constant dependence on technical expertise.
- Project management burnout.
Choosing The Right Methodology For Custom Software Development
Approaching the best software development methodology is a culmination of various factors such as ROI, strength, the quality of the team handling the project, the size of the project, funding, and certainly feedback/reviews. Further deliberate on the following aspects:
- A clear cut predetermined outcome expected or the result of the entire exercise.
- The extent or impact on quality if a change was anticipated.
- Experience with team and feedback on earlier projects.
- Financial impact of delays.
- Project size.
The choice of the right software development methodology depends on addressing the above criteria to reduce the chances of unfavorable consequences.
1. The Waterfall Model
The waterfall model is a sequential design approach. Each fundamental activity such as conception, initiation, analysis, design, and construction aspects of a process is represented as a separate phase in a linear pattern. This is one of the earliest software development methodologies which is hallmarked by the dependence on the sequence.
In principle and practice, this model can be applied if and when all requirements are well understood and are unlikely to change radically after the project takes off. It is important to note that this model has a relatively rigid structure which makes it relatively difficult to accommodate change once the process is underway. It is best suited for smaller projects where requirements are stable and predictable.
2. The V-shaped Model
This is an extension of the waterfall model that includes testing at each stage of development. It is also known as the Verification and Validation model which is based on the association of a testing phase for each corresponding development stage.
This means that the development of each step is directly associated with the testing phase. The next phase starts only after completion and successful testing of the previous phase. It is a class waterfall approach but makes up for its biggest disadvantage – lack of testing.
This approach is useful for teams working on smaller projects with a tight scope and execution. This can also be used in circumstances with ample technical resources and expertise availability. Since this model focuses on verification and validation activities early on in the project life cycle, the probability of building an error-free and quality product is high. This approach also enables project managers to track progress accurately. However, it is important to note that this approach does not help handle concurrent events, nor is it suitable for volatile and complex object-oriented projects.
3. The Spiral Method
The highlight of the Spiral Model is that it uses most features of the waterfall method while providing support for risk handling as well.
Each phase in the spiral approach begins with a design goal and ends with a client review of the progress. This approach appears like a spiral with many loops, the number of which tends to vary from project to project. Each loop of the spiral is known as a phase of the software development process (the exact number of phases required to develop the product varies on the person handling the project and the risks associated with it).
The development team starts with a small set of requirements and carries out development phases for those sets of requirements. The software engineering team adds functionality for the additional requirement in subsequent spirals until the application is ready for the production phase.
This approach is favorable for broad, premium, and complicated projects where risks and cost evaluation carry more weight. This approach is more suitable in such circumstances as frequent releases, volatile and complex requirements, and when long-term commitment is not feasible.
4. The Agile Development Model
Agile software development is a consolidated term for a set of frameworks and practices defined by principles expressed in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Agile uses short development cycles called “sprints” to focus on continuous improvement in the development of a product or service.
The one thing that separates Agile from other approaches to software development is the focus on resources pooled in for the project and how they work together.
Software solutions are a result of the collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams who work within a defined system while working on a project relevant to their context.
Managers involved must ensure that team members have or will obtain the right skill sets and should provide an environment that allows teams to be successful. Also, technical practices that directly deal with developing software should be prepared for uncertainty.
This approach is by and large the most popular since it focuses on continuous improvement, flexibility, the input of resources, and the delivery of quality results. The model relies on a company model that is supportive and open to collaborative techniques of project management. The approach is based on a clear understanding of objectives that strategically aligns itself with sustainable growth by achieving the desired results.
5. The Scrum Model
Scrum methodology divides the working of the project into unique strategic smaller modules. The approach is mindful of the rapid transformations that the project might entail as it progresses.
The approach is a powerful framework that implements agile processes (discussed above) in software development and other projects. This highly popular framework utilizes sprints, and daily meetings (called “scrums”) to tackle discrete portions of a project in succession until the project as a whole is complete.
With this approach having a routine feedback cycle and swift action, the project outcome is almost always as desired. Since the Scrum framework of software development addresses complexities in work by making information transparent, it increases the adaptability of the software based on existing conditions as against predetermined conditions.
This allows teams to address the common pitfalls of a waterfall development process. It bypasses waterfall issues that result in chaos from constantly changing requirements, underestimation (of time, resources and cost), compromises on software quality, and inaccurate progress reporting.
Scrum is the most widely adopted system in development methodology. It has expanded beyond IT into all other business functions including marketing (where projects are expected to move forward in the event of complexity or ambiguity). Leadership teams today are also basing their agile management practices on Scrum and are often combining it with standards practices of project management.
Choosing the right software development partner and making the most appropriate selection from the various software development methodologies both play a crucial role in a successful software development project.
AppShark is both a Gold Consulting Partner and a Product Development Partner based in Dallas, Texas. Our implementation process which includes customization, set up, and configuration – has been perfected through the many years served in the Salesforce industry. We also provide software integration services including strategy, development, and management to enable a continual flow of information from the cloud, premise to premise, or from cloud to premise platforms. For more information reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org