A Brief Overview of Software Development Methodologies

In today’s world of software development project management there are multiple methodologies. The reality is that most managers and leaders do not adhere to a single methodology, but rather combine several practices to adapt to what the projectrequires. According to the PMI Project Management Institute’s “ Pulse of the Profession 2019 ” survey , 89% of project professionals claimed to apply hybrid project management techniques .

In this article, we will expose the most common software development project methodologies , and we will explain the particularities, advantages and disadvantages of each one of them. In this way you will have an overview of the possible options, and you will be able to identify which methodology is best suited to your NodeJs, Python or Javascript software development project.

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Agile Methodology – Scrum

Agile, more than a methodology, is a set of principles for software development which can help a lot in organizing your project and your team as well. SCRUM has 3 pillars: transparency, inspection and adaptation.

This methodology is very good to help organize the “house”. Teams that are struggling to prioritize their activities, and don’t have a lot of regularity in project meetings, can benefit a lot from using scrum.

In addition, it is also an evolutionary process, which can be improved over time and adapt to what your team needs.

Scrum is a project management process that implements Agile software development methodologies and processes to improve delivery .

Source: Tuleap

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An Agile or Scrum development process is recommended for projects where the end goal is not specified in detail, as it is a flexible and iterative design and build process.

The customer directs the process based on intermediate deliverables and new insights can be applied quickly. In small steps, sprints , intermediate products are delivered that can be evaluated. Being agile helps teams respond to unpredictability through incremental and iterative work processes.

Read: Scrum methodology: What is it and how it can be used by companies

Advantage: adaptability to changing situations, and adequate and continuous communication between the project team, and between it and the client.

Disadvantage: higher level of effort on the part of the client.

Waterfall Software Development Methodology

The waterfall project management methodology has a very simple approach: generate a solid planning of the project as a whole, and execute the different phases of the project at once, correctly.

In case the specifications are clearly defined and little or no change is expected, this project methodology is the most efficient.

A good plan is made and executed in a strict sequence, adhering to defined requirements before starting the project. Each phase must be completed before the next phase can begin, with no overlapping of the phases. Typically, in a Cascade approach, the result of one phase acts as the input for the next phase sequentially. The project is delivered in its entirety in a single cycle , so it is not possible to show the progress of the project to the client, which is quite risky.

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Source: Mindsmapped

Advantage: You need less interaction with the customer compared to the Agile methodology.

Disadvantage: limited possibilities to include new knowledge and to adapt to changes. Once the plan is approved, there is little scope to adapt it unless absolutely necessary, and the changes that are needed often require change requests.

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DevOps methodology

This software development methodology focuses on communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and IT professionals , to ensure greater agility in deployment cycles .

This software project management methodology is especially suitable for the development of applications with frequent functional changes.

Source: Bairesdev

When planning the project, IT operations and development teams are formed, breaking the traditional “wall” existing between these working groups. These new DevOps teams are responsible for deploying the software and enriching and maintaining the application.

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Advantage: greater agility in deployment cycles and in product maintenance is ensured. Error correction is faster.

Disadvantage: special care must be taken with access to production data


Another very interesting methodology is Kanban. The idea is for tasks to be performed in stages, and on demand, to use resources intelligently, without waste and keeping the workflow running smoothly.

From this idea, the Kanban method and its principles were conceived. It has become an important tool, which can be used not only as a software development methodology, but also as a manager of your workflow.

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Example of a Kanban board – Source: Integrify

Kanban, like other agile methodologies, is an evolutionary process. So you can start with a simple implementation and evolve over time. If you want to measure your deliveries for example and have greater predictability, this methodology can work very well.

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When planning a development project, the manager must be concerned with finding a management methodology that is aligned with the demands of this project. This choice helps the company both in organizing and prioritizing activities, as well as managing the team.

A good methodology improves the care the team will take with some requirements and ensures that there is less risk to the project. The main software development methodologies fall into two groups. The traditional ones and the agile ones. Knowing the basics of each software development process is one of the first steps in making a safe choice.

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Marianne elanotta

Marianne is a graduate in communication technologies and enjoys sharing the latest technological advances across various fields. Her programming skills include Java OO and Javascript, and she prefers working on open-source operating systems. In her free time, she enjoys playing chess and computer games with her two children.

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