7 Things to Pay Attention to When Choosing a Software Development Methodology

There are several things businesses need to keep in mind when trying to decide which type of software development methodology to use on their next project. The criteria that need to be evaluated are all compulsory. A careful approach to this question will reduce risks and minimize the chances of bad consequences.

Using these simple things can help project teams choose which methodology is best for software development. Let’s find out first what the choice is.

Types of Software Development Methodologies

This can prove to be no easy task when there are so many different types of software development methodology to choose from out there. The most popular choices are Waterfall and Agile that further includes Kanban, Scrum, Extreme Programming, to name a few.

Waterfall or Traditional Software Development Methodology
In the past, companies used the Waterfall, which is also known as the traditional software development methodology. The Waterfall software development methodology is an excellent choice when you are sure of all the factors and don’t expect to need any changes in the process. This is why knowing your requirements is essential to be able to choose a software development methodology. The Waterfall method is great to use on small projects that only require less than a hundred hours for implementation and where you understand the variables well enough to know the clear instructions to complete the project. This methodology is considered by many to be out of date and not as effective as some of the others in most cases where cost and other variables may need longer run times and consideration.

Agile Software Development Methodology
Perhaps the biggest reason why we use agile methodology in software development is that business needs are not responded to quickly enough when working according to a more traditional system like Waterfall. An agile methodology often delivers new functionality in only a few weeks’ time compared to sometimes months when using a traditional approach. This allows businesses to respond much quicker to the changing needs of their customers. So, you might want to choose this method when you are dealing with frequent changes in the project.

Agile methodology includes a lot of types that should be explained separately. The most popular of them are Kanban, Scrum and Extreme Programming.

Kanban Software Development Methodology
The Kanban software development methodology works best on projects where teams are not certain of the requirements or what the outcome is likely to be. Kanban is especially a good choice when the cost of delay is minimal. This process completes one strategy at a time and requires constant monitoring to get precise results. Teams make tiny adjustments along the way. If they work they continue with them, but if they don’t then they stop doing that particular thing and try something else instead. This is an excellent methodology to use on maintenance projects where you can afford some short delays without raising the cost very high.

Scrum Software Development Methodology
Using the Scrum methodology in software development means that the project is broken into smaller sections called sprints. Lists of tasks are put together by the team to complete during each sprint of the project. All members must stick to the tasks agreed upon in each sprint which makes this methodology more suited for projects with a higher cost of delay. Deadlines need to be met with minimal lag or on time and as accurately as possible. Teams often choose Scrum when they are uncertain about the outcome, and the requirements are not clear in the beginning.

Extreme Programming Software Development Methodology
Teams often choose the Extreme Programming software development methodology (XP) where the functionality of the project is expected to change every few months. Sometimes the only constant known is that the project will continuously change. That is when this particular methodology is especially useful because the techniques applied in it are made to address and reduce the risks while helping improve the chances of success.

How to Choose

When looking for the best software development methodology teams must analyze the entire picture to ensure they choose the system that will give them the best results for their money and time spent. The experience of the team members also should be considered when deciding which of the software development methodology types to use. Some people may not feel comfortable working with certain systems if they have no prior experience with them.

The size of the project should be considered when picking a software development methodology to use. Larger projects may not be suited for the Waterfall and some apps will require longer testing times due to their size and requirements.

The cost of delays must always be addressed too, otherwise companies will run into problems if they need more funding and time to develop the application than they have available to complete it.

Feedback is crucial to being able to recreate outcomes in future projects. If you do not know how you got the results you have, then you have no idea how to get them again. You will also want to know how to avoid outcomes that do not give you the end solutions you desire. You will need to consider your team’s abilities to provide feedback. Some applications and software development methodologies used to build them may require more feedback than others depending on their complexity and the size of the project.

Whether you choose the latest software development methodology or stick to a more traditional software development methodology will rely on the following 7 things:

  • the requirements for the project;
  • the solution or end product you are expecting at the end of the project;
  • feedback on the work done;
  • how much change might be requested;
  • costs of delay;
  • the past experience of the project team with the methodology;
  • project size.

Find more information on MLSDev blog.