Top Software Development Methodologies

Jul 16, 2023

Software development methodologies are an essential part of the software development process. Custom software development may use various methodologies for managing their daily operations. There are many benefits and drawbacks to using software development methodologies. The primary purpose of methodologies is to provide smooth software development per your project requirements.

There are different methodologies that have been introduced in the market in the last decade. The only intention of introducing these frameworks is to help developers make better software and business projects. However, it’s not possible to get one methodology for each development team. Hence, let’s see some top software development methodologies that are used popularly. Let’s begin then!

What are Software Development Methodologies?

The software development methodology is a process that executes when working on any project. It is an amalgamation of pragmatic realism and design philosophies that takes you back to the early computing days. The basic goal of these processes is to give a structured approach to software development.

With each passing year, there are many software development methodologies that are introduced to motivate the available resources and technologies. These frameworks provide platforms for developers to work together more efficiently and as a team. It determines how the data is shared in the team and formalizes communication between the members.

There are different IT companies that agree that having software development methods is crucial for their team. However, choosing the best methodology is still a crucial question. It is because each methodology consists of its own pros and cons. Choosing the best depends on the requirements, team structure, and other goals. It is also possible to use various methodologies for various projects.

Top Software Development Methodologies

7 Top Software Development Methodologies

There are various software development methodologies for developing software for different firms. Let’s learn more about each methodology in detail.

Waterfall Development Methodology

Rather decades since the waterfall development methodology was used, this methodology is relevant in many projects even today. It is a linear, simple procedure where development stages are sequential and cascading processes.

The waterfall methodology is easy to understand, which makes it well-known for members with less design experience. Each step must be executed before going to the next step. For instance, the project needs should be established prior to any project design commencing.

Just like waterfall methodology flows in any one direction, there is avoiding or ignoring any steps in this approach. This feature makes waterfall methodology non-flexible and avoids projects which require regular updates.


  • Predictability- Waterfall methodology provides a structured and clear plan for developing software that makes it quicker to predict timelines and milestones.
  • Phased development- Each development stage should be executed before starting the next step. This process minimizes errors and makes the management process easier.
  • Documentation- The waterfall method requires special documentation at every development stage. This feature ensures clear and precise communication between stakeholders and teams.
  • Clear requirements- The waterfall method requires the assurance that project requirements are clear and upfront and ensures that every team member is on the same page.


  • Bounded feedback- Each software development stage when completed before moving to another step. So, there’s a little time for giving feedback. This may result in situations where the final product may not meet the requirements of the stakeholders.
  • Inflexible method- The waterfall method is rigid and is not flexible for making quick changes in the development process.
  • Hefty development cycle- This method requires the development stage to be executed before beginning with the next step. The development process can be time-consuming and lengthy.

Agile Development Methodology

Agile development methodology is possibly the most popular software development methodology currently days. It takes a new approach from linear and conventional methods. This method focuses on satisfying the end-users rather than emphasizing documentation and stiff procedures.

With Agile methodology, functions are broken into smaller sprints that take about 1-4 weeks to complete. It is a repetitive model that has various tests involved in different software development processes. Developers seek feedback from customers and update the software.

Communication is the key priority in Agile methodology, especially between customers, users, and developers.


  • Software development has almost minimum defects due to its iterative effort features in fine-tuning and testing.
  • Clear communication is required between team members during the development process. It is because of transparent and frequent development.
  • Frequent updates in any project are addressed easily and worked on with a small impact on the development timeline.
  • Overall improvement in the deliverable quality of the project.


  • The team can sometimes lose focus because of overwhelming update requests.
  • Agile development lacks proper documentation which can create a problem later.
  • Agile development can be time-consuming as it focuses mainly on feedback and time-consuming.
  • As it has a non-structured approach, Agile development needs to be experienced developers for proper working; and this feature can add more cost to the budget.

Extreme Programming Method

Extreme Programming methodology is a software development approach that is suitable while working with unstable projects; it engages the customer in maximum ways. Moreover, the flexibility of this process is more than other methodologies.

This method is believed to increase the software quality, and it also has a strong ability to welcome dynamic and on-demand changes in the project. Additionally, it also has features of constant communication and feedback for developing a happy environment in the team and effective communication.


  • The major benefit is that this method allows significant customer involvement that ultimately results in high-quality project development.
  • A stable final product is made at the end of this methodology due to its feature of continuous software testing.
  • Higher flexibility level than other methods.
  • Developers can implement immediate changes instantly in the project.
  • Project code is made comprehensive, easy to understand and clear.
  • No rush of timelines, developers can work peacefully at their own speed.


  • Project efficiency is dependent on the developers and teams involved.
  • Unknown and vague future results
  • Client will always be there for feedback while working with extreme development methods
  • Large development time and higher development cost

DevOps Methodology

DevOps methodology is popular amongst software development technologies as it has unconditional advantages for its customers. The ongoing operations of Development and Operations are not similar to the features of DevOps.

Development and operations are the two departments that are working together like a single team functioning for maintaining the entire life-cycle. This method works well for almost all businesses. The continuous delivery model and continuous integration model allow the DevOps team to perform every function simultaneously while developing the project. It also helps with assuring quality, security, and much more while developing and deploying projects.

Businesses are selecting DevOps because of its lean and agile approach that helps with the crisp collaboration of almost all stages that are involved in the SDLC (Software development life cycle).


  • The faster process feature of this method allows multiple processes to work simultaneously which makes the final process easier and faster. Adopting changes in the market, Development, and Operations helps businesses to grow effectively and bring definite business leads.
  • It is a reliable method. With updates and changes in any product and infrastructure, the developed project is secure and robust and has competitive advantages against similar projects.
  • DevOps allows businesses and organizations to offer rapid and quick deliveries. Microservices along with continuous delivery are quick features of DevOps that give organizations continuity and updates rapidly. This method helps with continuous innovation and improvement of products for the betterment of the whole project.
  • This method is collaborative and pillared on various strong features of ownership and accountability. Both, the operations team and development team are working in sync with various activities of SDLC to deploy and deliver effective and faster products.


  • There’s a demand for cultural changes in DevOps. Businesses have to restart their processes for growing efficiently.
  • Organizational upgradation is also an important factor for businesses to upgrade the business from different conventional processes to distributing into multiple tasks that allows them to use various skills at the same time.
  • Security and speed are not always achieved while using DevOps. For critical software engineering projects, there are companies that cannot assure security and speed in a single DevOps workflow.

Lean Development Method

Lean method of development came out from the lean manufacturing principles made by Toyota. This method focuses on minimizing wastage and increasing project productivity. With different principles, developers can avoid non-productive activities while delivering quality in their functions and tasks.

This is a Toyota-inspired method that helps with continuous deferment and learning of decisions. It also empowers the team to keep an open mind while the development course is going on and to consider all facts before finalizing any decision.

With lean development methodology, developers are tasked to search for bottlenecks that can hamper the function. The primary goal of this method is to make an efficient system that works flawlessly. The methodology also puts emphasis on human respect which means communication is necessary for enhancing collaboration in the team.


  • This method cuts the wastage in any project development like unnecessary documentation, redundant codes, repetitive tasks, etc.
  • The final and overall development cost of any project is minimized because of the lean development principles.
  • Some features of this method increase the motivation of the team members as they have more decision-making authority while working with this method.
  • Time-to-market of the software is decreased because the lean principles promote software efficiency.


  • If you want lean development to be successful, there should be a team of highly-skilled developers that are easy to work together with.
  • Less-experienced developers can feel that there are lots of responsibilities on them and ultimately lose focus on the project.
  • Detailed documentation is required which places the whole burden of the project on business analysts.

Prototype Method

Rather than developing a full-fledged project, the prototype development method allows developers to work on developing prototype versions of the end product. The prototype is made available for evaluation, customer testing, and feedback.

On the basis of feedback gathered from the customers, the prototype will go through different refinements and iterations until it is deemed and accepted satisfactorily by the client. The plea of this methodology is that it provides a strong evaluation that uncovers the possible errors before real project development begins.

The success of this method depends not only on the development team but also on how well the communication is between the customer and the development team. It is also worth mentioning that developers often bear the cost of developing the prototype of their project.


  • This methodology ensures that the customer is happy and satisfied with the product prototype before beginning the real development.
  • Good in bringing out the potential risks in the early stage of project development greatly reduces the risk of project failure.
  • Develop rapport with clients on an early basis that helps them to suggest their feedback throughout the prototype development.
  • Collect detailed data in the prototype that is later used in developing the final version of the software.


  • More to and fro happens with the client while testing the project prototype, and it can delay development time.
  • Customer expectations may not be streamlined with the actual prototype
  • There is a risk of cost increase as the prototype development costs are paid by the developers and ultimately the client has to pay for it.

Scrum Development Methodology

Scrum methodology is one of the most scalable and flexible software development methods available in the market. On the basis of Agile philosophy and favored iterative and incremental approaches, this method is a popular choice amongst developers. The scrum method includes the Scrum master, the product owner, and the software development team.

The project owner demands inputs from the clients to ensure that the team is on the track and fulfills the customer's requirements. Moreover, the Scrum masterworks as a facility provider and ensures that the team is familiar with how to use the Scrum tools and other processes. The project team finally takes charge by executing the final development.

Scrum environment executes different tasks in sprints and this feature makes it an ideal method for developing software. Each sprint requires up to four weeks for development. The quick execution allows developers to find errors, make solutions for them, test and retest and collect feedback in a shorter period of time. It tackles fast-paced software much more easily than other methods.


  • There are short iterations that allow quick solutions to the problems and issues in the software
  • Scrum method is quickly responsive to updates in the project as its process includes continuous feedback from the customers.
  • Scrim is an effective and economical software development methodology.
  • Continuous meetings ensure that team members are working on the same goal and same page all the time.
  • Even the smallest contribution of each member is noticed and is appreciated using the Scrum meetings.


  • Team members must have equal skills and commitment to the Scrum method to make things work accordingly.
  • Sometimes the regular scrum meetings can be draining for all team members.
  • It may increase the time to market the project as there is no control over the project deadline.
  • Not a good alternative for large projects or software.

Concluding Words

Different software development methods give a suitable and guided structure for building an application or software. From the early programming stage, these methods are used and also remain pivotal for developers at the current time.

With time, there are new methodologies introduced in the market and there is not any one method that is the ruler over other methods. Picking the suitable software development methodology will depend on your experience, team structure, goals, project requirements, budget, and many other factors.

This article might have helped you to gain a better idea regarding the top seven methodologies and which can be used as per your requirements. If you have any other queries regarding the same, please let us know in the comment section. We are here to help you in any manner we can.

Author: Firoz Irani

Firoz Irani is a highly skilled technical business analyst with years of experience at TatvaSoft. He has a background in design, data analysis, and project management. He strongly believes that knowledge is meant to be shared, for there is a lot we can learn from each other.



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