Top 5 Software Development Methodologies in 2021

5 most prominent development methodologies to build and launch successful products to the market in budget and fast adapted to 2021

Top 5 Software Development Methodologies in 2021

Today tech is evolving rapidly and force software development companies to compete and work in highly competitive environments. Software development methodologies are a process or series of a process that is involved in development. Development methodologies are an essential factor in the software development industry.

There are various software development methodologies available to build different types of appa. Choosing the right one is crucial to develop the project within the specific time frame with the best results. Before starting a software development journey, it is essential to understand the various development methodologies and their advantages and disadvantages. This article will compare the top software development methodologies to identify which method will be the right fit for your functional and business requirements.

What Is Application Development

Designing, developing, and Implementing software applications is known as Application Development. Companies do software development with enormous resources like coders, designers, testers, and more, Who work on multiple projects. Application development follows some mythology on the development process. Many factors are involved in application development. The software development lifecycle (SDLC) primary stages are planning, analysis, design, construction, testing, implementation, and support.

Kinds of Software Development Methodologies

To manage the project and make the project successful, the development team or project managers must choose a development methodology that works best. All the project management methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Let us look in detail at the top techniques that you can adopt for your project.

Agile Development Methodology


Agile is a more popular software methodology that concentrates on adaptive planning, evolutionary development, and continual improvement through flexible response to change. The main aim of this methodology's goal is to provide early software release with a lower chance of errors or bugs.

Agile promotes the continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the development cycle. In the agile method, development and testing are concurrent. This method minimizes the risks like bugs, cost, and more while combining new features or functionality on the application. There are numerous agile development methods like extreme programming (XP), scrum, crystal, and feature-driven development (FDD). The most widely used two agile methodologies are Scrum and Kanban.

Today Agile methodology is rapidly spreading among all types of companies. According to a Deloitte report, 80% of major IT projects are now using “Agile” or “iterative”. This method allows the programmer to build the product more timely and productively. Agile is more flexible, and it is a team-based development approach.

In this method, the development works separated into different phases, and it is known as sprints. Each sprint will last for a few weeks, and the project development team members will follow a list of deliverables for that particular sprint. At the end of the sprint, the Scrum master and the team members review the works together.

Source by Design Vector

Agile Development Advantages

  • Improves efficiency in identifying and fixing the bugs
  • Accelerate the product delivery and enhance the quality of the product
  • Helps in maintaining the transparency during development
  • The large team can easily collaborate and work on application development.
  • Programmers can build complex applications with a lower risk of defects.
  • It reduces the critical and significant errors and aid in delivering the product on time. (It doesn't take any more extended time for development)
  • Ready release state accomplished through constant testing and feedback.
  • Programmers have the benefit of finding better approaches for tackling issues.

Agile Development Disadvantages

  • This methodology is not appropriate for Beginners (Inexperience developers).
  • Your team should comprise experienced and skilled developers.
  • The members of the team require extensive training to understand the model to achieve the project.
  • There should be constant communication between the other team members like tester, developers, and customers. So this can be tedious and overwhelming.
  • Development methods rely on real-time communication, and Lack of documentation during the development process will create difficulty and misunderstanding if you have a new team member.

Waterfall Development Methodology

The waterfall model is the most traditional and commonly used development methodology. Winston W. Royce introduced the waterfall model in 1970. It is a classical cycle of application development, and the Waterfall approach is a sequential model that divides building into predefined phases. Each phase must be completed before the next step can begin with no overlap between the stages. This development approach doesn't permit us to get back to previous phases if any changes are needed.

Source - Wikimedia

The Phases of the Waterfall Model

The waterfall approach has 5 to 7 stages in the development cycle. The developer can't initiate the next phase until the previous step is completed.

  1. Customer Requirement Gathering
  2. Designing
  3. Implementation
  4. Verification (Customer review and ensure the product meets the requirement)
  5. Maintenance (The production team will discover and fix the bugs and works on Feature requirements)

Waterfall Model Advantages:

  • It is a simple and easy to use methodology.
  • The waterfall model is beneficial for novice developers.
  • Each stage has explicit deliverables and individual survey measures.
  • This development model is more effective for smaller projects where needs are understood very well.
  • Easy Testing process  

Waterfall Model Disadvantages:

  • This methodology can be implemented when the exact direct front is accessible.
  • This model isn't appropriate for maintenance kind of products.
  • Once the application is in the testing stage, the editing of further feature improvement is not possible.
  • There is no possibility to have a working application until it reaches the final stage of SDLC.
  • There is no choice to realize the outcome of the whole task.
  • Not ideal for ongoing or longer projects

DevOps Deployment Methodology


The term "DevOps" is a blend of the words development and IT operations. DevOps is a newer methodology, it is a succession to agile, and DevOps is not a replacement of Agile. This software development methodology aims to bring software development teams and information technology to succeed in the product. It emphasizes ongoing collaboration across all stages of development instead of dividing the roles and responsibilities. It removes the barriers between the development team and the IT operation team. DevOps methods are based on cross-functional teams association to make the project development smoother, effective, and prevent bugs. DevOps methodology creates inter-team cooperation.

The DevOps lifecycle comprises seven phases as provided below:

  1. Continuous Development
  2. Integration
  3. Continuous Testing
  4. Monitoring
  5. Continuous Feedback
  6. Deployment and
  7. Operations


  • The company that adopts the DevOps framework has significant benefits in improving customer satisfaction, reducing time to market, minimizing disruption, increasing high-quality products, and improving team productivity and effectiveness.
  • The project development team can achieve Zero Defects in product /service with DevOps.
  • Shorten the lead time between the error fixes
  • Reduce the failure rate of new release
  • Quicker Sprint Cycles
  • Implementing the right method enhances the faster delivery of products in a more accurate and useful way
  • Automation and Maximized Monetary Gain
  • Even large organizations can attain scalable business and achieve maximum results by implementing DevOps.

Drawbacks to DevOps

  • Few clients don't need constant updates to their frameworks.
  • Some organizations will move to the operation phase once the development and testing process completes

Rapid Application Development

The rapid application development model in which the application is developed based on prototyping without any detailed planning. RAD is a useful methodology that provides more accelerated development and higher quality results than other software development methodology. The RAD model prioritizes more on the development task, and there is less concentration on planning. This method aims to accelerate the entire development cycle (i.e., developing software in a short period. Active user participation in the development process creates goals quickly.

Source: Wikimedia

The RAD involves the following 4 phases.

  1. Requirements planning
  2. User design / Prototype Cycle
  3. Rapid construction
  4. Testing and Cutover

RAD model Advantages

  • RAD model reduces the risks and required endeavors concerning the product engineer
  • It allows the customers to take a quick audit of the application.
  • This Rad methodology supports customer feedback, which consistently gives improvement scope on any project development.

RAD model Disadvantage

  • This RAD model relies on a reliable team and individual performance.
  • It requires a highly skilled programmer and designer; it is not feasible for all businesses to provide more skilled employees on the team.
  • This model is not suitable for small budget projects. The cost of modeling and code automation is exceptionally high.

Prototype methodology

The prototyping model is another application development methodology in which a prototype is created, tested, and revised until an agreeable prototype is accomplished.  The prototype is the core for the development. This methodology works best in situations where the project requirements are not known in detail. It is a trial and error method that takes place between the client and the software programmer.

Prototyping Model Phases

The Prototyping Model has six following phases.

  1. Requirements gathering and analysis
  2. Preliminary /Quick design
  3. Build an Actual Prototype based on the data
  4. Initial client evaluation
  5. Refining prototype based on user feedback and suggestion.
  6. This process is repeated until the user gets satisfied and got the approved final prototype.
  7. The final product is developed based on the approved final prototype, and the system undergoes routine maintenance.

There are four different types of prototyping.

  1. Rapid Throwaway prototypes
  2. Evolutionary prototype
  3. Extreme prototype
  4. Incremental prototype

  • Clients can actively be involved in development so that bugs can be easily identified at the early stage of the development process.
  • Prototype reduces the risk. If the main features or functionality are misses can be determined at the initial stages, which reduces product/ software failure.
  • Enhance effective communication among the team
  • Customer satisfaction is higher on this type of model as the user knows the application from the initial stage.
  • There won't be any possibility of software rejection.
  • Early user feedback helps to develop better software solutions.
  • Permits the customer to compare if the product code coordinates the product detail.
  • Assist in identifying the complex features or functionality
  • Simple and easy understanding development methods so doesn't require only execs on the development.
  • The prototype provides a better understanding of user requirements.
  • Prototype models offer early preparation for future clients of the product and serve as a basis for operational specifications.

Cons of Prototyping Model

  • Prototyping is a time taking cycle and slower process.
  • Prototype models encourage excessive change requests.
  • Poor documentation due to frequent user feedback changes
  • The customer may lose interest in the final product in scenarios when the users are unhappy with the initial prototype.

Feature Driven Development

Feature Driven Development (FDD) is an iterative development methodology approach.  It is suitable for large teams and objective oriented technology projects. This model will be ideal for the business that wants to move from phase-based development to an iterative model.

Pros of FDD Methodology:

  • FDD model is useful for large projects
  • You can final product can be reached with a simple 5 step development process in the short term.
  • Easy development and assist in identifying the best practice.

Cons of FDD Methodology:

  • It is not an ideal methodology for smaller projects not suitable for it, so it is individual software development.
  • This model is a high relay on the developer.
  • There is no proper documentation provided to clients in this methodology.


The software development methodology is an improvement for any application development. The above overview and the pros and cons of each method will help you understand the development methods and identify the best way that suits your development process. For the desired result, it is essential to choose the appropriate development method initially. Don't hesitate to dedicate the time to objective planning, budget, resource planning, product development, time frame, etc. Software development methodology will help you identify which procedure will best suit you to succeed in the project development.

Vaibhav Namburi

I'm the Founder of BugReporting. I've helped build multiple multi-million dollar companies and I love approaching Start Ups through product-lead growth