Choosing the right methodology when developing an IT project for a business is essential. Certain project management methodologies are better than others, depending on the specifics of your project. In many software development teams’ opinions, this is the first step to success.
However, with the sheer amount of methodologies that frequently overlap, choosing the right one seems to be a difficult task. In software development, structure and defined processes are mandatory for a successful IT project.
Considering the fact that in such teams are multiple members, each with their own tasks and variables, having a standard guide to follow in the process is the key to successfully delivering an IT project for a business.
Below are some strategies that software development teams use in the process and some examples of methodologies that can be successfully applied in various IT projects.
Why SDLC methodologies are necessary in the software development process?
All software development projects start with an idea. For that idea to take its final shape, it takes plenty of planning and preparation, but also management efforts. This is where SDLC methodologies make themselves useful. These methodologies are a mapped-out and standard framework that follows through all the phases of a project.
It helps the team to deliver the project in its highest quality and form. Working with such methodologies allows the team to deploy solutions in a consistent and systematic fashion, which makes them ideal for IT projects.
What are the standard phases of a software development process?
There are some universal phases that most IT projects have to follow. This allows the team to deliver an impeccable product, with high rates of functionality and usability. Below are explained some of the essential phases of such a project.
- The formation phase. This is the idea with which the team comes for a problem exposed by their client. This can either deliver a new solution or it can improve an existing one. This is the step in which the amplitude and resources necessary for completing the projects are established.
- The planning phase. This is the phase in which the team analyses the user’s needs, the feasibility of their idea, the development phase and other variables in the entire process that have to be taken into account.
- The design phase. During this step, the team identifies the functional requirements of the project and its operational demands.
- The development phase. This is the phase in which the most consistent part of the project (and the most important) is tackled. The engineers are mainly focused on delivering the prototype (and later the final product) of the solution outlined in the formation phase.
- The testing phase. The testing phase is crucial for ensuring the solution’s functionality and usability. This part of the project is usually handled by Quality Assurance experts.
- The release phase. After the app is tested and works as anticipated, the software is released and the end user is able to benefit from it.
- The maintenance phase. This is the phase that ensures that the software remains functional at all times and it preserves the quality standards with which it was projected in mind.
Different SDLC methodologies, for different needs
There are multiple SDLC methodologies available for software development teams. Depending on their objective needs, they can adopt one of the most popular SDLC methodology.
- Waterfall is the most traditional methodology where are necessary a series of clear milestones that have to be fully tackled before jumping to the next one. The Waterfall methodology has to be carried in the following order: requirements, design, execution, testing and release.
- Prototyping. Prototyping is yet another popular methodology used by software engineers. It is mainly used to visualize and simulate the constituents of the final product. This allows the engineers to ensure that the app or system fully correspond to their client’s initial requirements. Prototyping offers a series of advantages. Some of the most important would be that it offers the team the opportunity to identify risks and threats, reduces costs and offer a visual version of the system before it is completed.
- Spiral. This SDLC methodology is a mix of the Waterfall and Prototyping ones. This methodology is mainly used in broad and intricate projects. While it features the same stages as Waterfall does, it allows more planning and risk assessment than the first methodology does. This allows the team of engineers to identify potential risks and hiccups during the early development stages.
- Agile. For many developers, this particular SDLC methodology is the ultimate one. It allows better collaboration capabilities between the teams. Being more dynamic and interactive than the methodologies presented above, it allows early deployment and early development. It is responsive and, well, agile, when engineers bring changes and modifications. This particular methodology is usually used together with the CI model. CI allows users to detect problems in the development process before they even affect the whole project. Most developers think that this model is absolutely necessary for Agile frameworks. In this case, this model helps the team meet their business demands more effectively. This particular method also promotes easier integration.
- V Model. The V Model methodology may be the simplest to use. Sometimes, it is referred to as an extension of the Waterfall methodology. The name comes from the way in which the development steps are designed, in a V-shape. It allows early testing in the lifecycle of the software. Engineers sometimes prefer this methodology due to its ability check if the product is properly working and has the right functionality from early development stages.
While there is not an absolute methodology that software development teams swear by, choosing one is a decision mainly based on each project’s requirements and specifics. Software development teams learned how to assess each project’s needs and to choose the right SDLC methodology for those.
Meeting each project’s requirements accurately and effectively is what professional software development teams aim to achieve. Thus, choosing the right type of methodology takes a lot in the planning process.