12 best software development methodologies with pros and cons

“We invite you to read an article on the development methodologies, which concisely describes the most common and popular methodologies that are used nowadays. Although these methodologies are more related to software development, we in SMART business also use them extensively for implementation of business management systems.

In these implementations, the main part is not software development, but configuring and adapting to existing business processes in the company by using the set of tools and functionality already created by the suppliers of such solutions. With each new version, these tools are being improved, and one can’t but notice focus on a totally new audience, which is Citizen Developers. You all may see that no-code and low-code approaches are gaining popularity, as well as RPA (Robotic Process Automation), and most interestingly, new tools require new approaches.

We would like to share with you the latest updates to the Microsoft methodology called Success by Design, and we highly recommend everyone who is interested in this issue to explore the free course, because, in our opinion, it refers not only to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, but also describes the approach to solving business challenges on digitization of companies in a very structured way.”

Author's imageKirill RudnevManaging Partner of SMART business

Today we have reached a situation where you have control over everything at the tip of your fingers. Technology has developed beyond imagination. All thanks to the software development industry!

The world of software development is something that is limitless.

In fact, the methodology meant for a software development life cycle is actually a structure used for planning and controlling the procedure of creating a specialized information system to achieve the desired goals.

These innovative methods highlight the process of building software at every stage of development. In fact, this incremental development is more related to project management and as such does not involve the use of any technicalities.

This is more about proper planning and includes any iteration required for the purpose of highly building highly scalable software.

The simple tenacity of these principles is to offer customized software development as per the requirements and something which every software development team should adopt.

Waterfall Model

If you are in a software development company, at some point or the other, you would have bumped into the Waterfall Model for a product or project.

Considered as the traditional software development method of explaining the software development process in software engineering, the Waterfall Development Method happens to clarify the process into a linear flow with a specified sequence to let the users understand that further level is made progressive on completion of the previous one.

Moreover, this methodology also talks about the fact that going back to deal with the changes is not possible.


  1. Easy to understand and functional.
  2. Simple enough to handle as model is rigid.
  3. Saves significant amount of time.
  4. Allows for easy testing and analysis.


  1. Only matches precise needs.
  2. Not applicable for maintenance projects.
  3. No option to know possible outcome of a project.
  4. Not excellent for long and ongoing projects.

Prototype Methodology

It is a specialized software development principle that initiates developers towards making only the sample of the resolution to validate its functional essence to the customers and make essential iteration before creating the authentic final product and the final QA testing.

In fact, the best part of this methodology is that it tends to resolve a set of diversifying issues occurring with the waterfall method.


  1. Gives a clear idea about the functional process of the software.
  2. Reduces the risk of failure in a software functionality.
  3. Assists well in requirement gathering and the overall analysis.


  1. Chances of extension in management cost.
  2. Excessive involvement of client can affect processing.
  3.  Too many changes affect the workflow of the software.

Agile Software Development Methodology

As an innovative approach and one of the leading software development models, the agile software development methodology is used for articulating a well-organized project management procedure allowing for recurrent alterations.

Certainly, Agile development methodology is one theoretical outline for undertaking several software products and projects.

Another good thing about it is that it minimizes peril by creating software in short time boxes, known as iterations, which happen to last from one week to one month.


  1. Agile approaches in an adaptive way that responds to changes favorably.
  2. Allows for direct communication to maintain transparency.
  3. Continuous Improvement in quality by finding and fixing defects quickly and identifying expectation mismatches early.


  1. Focuses on working with software and lacks documentation efficiency.
  2. Chances of getting off-track as the outcome are not clear.

Rapid Application Development

Aimed at providing quick results, rapid application development is a software development model which is meant to give excellent processes with the assistance of other software approaches.

It is created to take the maximum advantage from the development software.

Undoubtedly, it is designed to augment the workability of the whole software or web application project for highlighting the participation of an active user.

Hiring for these kinds of software engineering projects is not straightforward, because there are many factors which you need to take into consideration. This article from Collectiveray discusses a few ways how to find app developers for your next project.


  1. Makes the entire development process effortless.
  2. Assists client in taking quick reviews.
  3. Encourages feedback from customers for improvement.


  1. Dependant on the team for performance.
  2. Works on modularized system confined on this methodology.
  3. Requires extremely skilled personnel to handle complexities.
  4. Not applicable for the small budgeted projects.

Dynamic System Development Model Methodology

Authentically formulated and derived from the rapid application development methodology, it is an iterative and incremental approach that focuses on the involvement of the user.

The task of this methodology or principle is to provide software development workflow within the specified time frame and the allocated budget.

The very reason why it is quite in demand in the world of software development.


  1. Users getting a grip of the software development process.
  2. Functionality deliverables are quick.
  3. Offers easy access to end-users by the developers.


  1. This methodology is costly to implement.
  2. Not suitable for small organizations.

Spiral Model

Being a highly sophisticated design, it is meant to reduce the early risks in the project.

As per the software development process going by, the developers initiate on a smaller level and explore the included risks in it.

Further to this, the developers are intended towards crafting a plan for iterating the spiral.

The accomplishment of any Spiral Lifecycle model is based on consistent, observant, and conversant management of the project.


  1. Risk factors are considerably reduced.
  2. Excellent for large and complex projects.
  3. Allows for additional functionality later.
  4. Suitable for highly risky projects with varied business needs.


  1. Costly model in software development.
  2. Failure in the risk analysis phase may damage the whole project.
  3. Not appropriate for low-risk projects.
  4. Might get continued and never finish.

Extreme Programming Methodology

Extreme programming is identified by the fact that customer involvement in the software building process is unbelievably high.

As an agile software engineering methodology, extreme programming methodology is presently known as XP methodology.

It is chiefly used for crafting software within a very unbalanced atmosphere.

It enables greater tractability within the modeling procedure.

The foremost aim of this XP model is to reduce the cost of software essentialities.

It is fairly mutual in the XP model that the price of altering the requirements on future stages in the project can be really whooping.


  1. It lays focus on customer involvement.
  2. Establishes rational plans and schedules.
  3. Developers are exceptionally committed to the project.
  4. Equipped with modernistic methods for quality software.


  1. Effectiveness depends on the people involved.
  2. Requires frequent meeting for development raising total costs.
  3. Necessitates for excessive development changes.
  4. Exact possibilities and future outcomes are really unknown.

We will take you through some of the add-on values that you can enjoy when using XP:

In XP, the process of communication is simple, robust, and fairly transparent. Each of the team members is dependent on one another and share knowledge within the team – which means that each member is aware of the role and functionality of the other.

Since the communication stage itself begins with a simple and transparent approach, simplicity is guaranteed across all other phases. Moreover, in this context, simplicity refers to implementing an approach where you cut all the crap and include only the necessary information.

With feedback, it is easier to track down the areas where improvement can be brought about along with modification in the processes that are being applied here, so as to ensure the product quality.

Courage is nothing but a set of actions if implemented that might be harmful to the team and the business requirements that will be performed. So, with motivation, you can now work on identifying those grave factors that might affect your services.

Extreme programming connects five different individuals in a team and these include customer, coordinator, programmer, quality assurance tester, and a tracker.

Feature Driven Development

Being an iterative methodology for software development, it is aimed at serving a large number of teams working on a project based on object-oriented technology This sort of model is decent for companies that are passing on from a phase-based method to an iterative approach.

It is already known as an FDD methodology and is highly functional and creative enough to deal with varied complexities.


  1. Moves bigger projects with continuous success.
  2. The easiest 5 procedures bring outcome in a better manner.
  3. Built on pre-set standards of software development, it is programmed for easy execution.
  4. Projects that need continuous updates are powered by a feature-driven methodology that ensures all needs are taken care of.
  5. Results in features that always outshine the inputs.
  6. Since this is based on some of the best software building practices, any developer with relevant experience can handle and manage project-related tasks with ease.


  1. Not suitable for smaller projects and a single developer – always a huge team is required, which means that we cannot ever guarantee a brisk deadline release.
  2. Highly dependable on the leading developers, necessitating for the complete structure – the process needs to be monitored through each phase as even a minute flaw can create chaos in the system.

Joint Application Development Methodology

The Joint Application Development Methodology is a requirements-classification and user-interface expansion approach that necessitates for the end-users, clients, and developers to attend a powerful off-site conference to accentuate and confirm the software system.

This methodology serves towards including the client in the design and expansion of an application.

This is effortlessly proficient through a sequence of concerted workshops known as JAD sessions.

It tends to lay emphasis on the business difficulty rather than methodical details.


  1. Allows for simultaneous congregation and alliance of excessive information.
  2. Produces a huge amount of valuable information in a short period.
  3. Immediate resolving of differences with suitable assistance.
  4. Provides a forum to explore multiple points.


  1. Takes excessive amount of time for planning and scheduling.
  2. Requires significant investment of time and effort.
  3. Calls for highly trained experts, which is tough to find.

Lean Development Methodology

As a technical advancement, Lean Development model lays emphasis on the formation of effortlessly manageable software.

This exquisitely designed methodology is more deliberately engrossed than any other form of agile methodology.

The objective of this procedure is to improve the software in one-third of the time, with a very restricted budget, and a very fewer amount of essential workflow.


  1. Lower budget & time requirements.
  2. Allows for delivery of product early.


  1. The workability of the team decides the success of the software development process.
  2. An unsuitable business analyst can be severely problematic.
  3. Excessive flexibility leads developer to lose focus.

Rational Unified Process Methodology

Smartly called RUP, Rational Unified Process methodology powers software development using rational tools.

This methodology segregates the expansion process into four different stages that each include business modeling, scrutiny and design, enactment, testing, and disposition.

This is an object-based and web-empowered program growth methodology.

The model tends to assist software developers in stating guidelines, templates, and specimens for all features and stages of software development.


  1. Lays high focus on precise documentation.
  2. Removes project risks linked with client evolving needs.
  3. Very less requirement for integration.


  1. Needs excessively expert software developer.
  2. The development procedure of the methodology is complicated.
  3. Integration might cause confusion.
  4. Very complicated to understand.

Scrum Development Methodology

SCRUM is the most widely preferred agile development approach for most software teams- which is actually an agile framework.

(Likewise, KANBAN is a process that helps teams to collaborate and work effectively.) Basically, this excellent methodology is suitable for those software projects that are constantly altering or having extremely scaling requirements.

The Scrum Software development model initiates with ephemeral planning, conference and completes with a concluding review.

This methodology is used for building software that happens to include a series of iterations to generate the required software.

It is a perfect approach because it effortlessly brings on track the deliberate progressing projects.


  1. Decision making lies in the hands of the team.
  2. Business requirement document is considered insignificant.
  3. Lightly controlled method empathizing with constant updating.


  1. The processing method suffers because of wavering costs.
  2. Not suitable for big sized projects.
  3. Requires highly expert team, which has no place for novices.

Technology has paved way for many drastic changes in software development which even have changed the approaches to software programming.

The main thing in this aspect is that it deals with a variety of complexities, which require expert handling.

Software development has specified methodologies that work on certain platforms, which allows them the freedom to operate.

This calls for high-quality performance under the guidance of professionals, who have years of experience in handling technical issues with efficiency.

With varied forms of methodologies applicable to a different set of software development projects, the developers have loads of options to create excellently working software.

It is the world of technology that everyone is looking at, and the constant changes have led to various software developments.

It is the methodology of creating useful software that adds value to the overall business procedure and creates ways for technical methodologies.

The essential factor of developing high-quality software is that they simplify complex procedure; but, requires an extensive way of dealing with technicalities and expert knowledge.

It is the support of agile teams and experts that every software product works efficiently; otherwise, they tend to spoil the entire process.

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