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Project Managment
Find out which methodology is better!

How to choose a software development methodology?

// Agile vs Waterfall

How to choose a software development methodology?

When choosing a software development company for your project, there are many elements you need to consider. Reviews, past partners, the technology stack; these are just a few examples. Many non-technical firms forget about one of the more important aspects: project management. Sure, the experience and price range of the company’s employees are important, but you cannot possibly ignore their work methodology. It will not only affect the way they work internally; it will define their relationship with you and your ability to make changes to your brainchild.

Best practices for managing software development

Waterfall and Agile are the two different approaches to project management. There are numerous key differences that you should pay attention to. Waterfall methodology, also called the Linear Sequential Life Cycle Model, may seem simpler and more attractive. The procedure is unidimensional, organized, uncomplicated, and straightforward. Each phase of the project is completed consecutively. Agile stands in opposition. It may seem chaotic, turbulent, and uncontrolled, but the advantages provided by this approach are many and varied.

Waterfall methodology in software development companies

The more strict, less flexible model assumes dividing the project into smaller, sequential phases. This linear Waterfall methodology necessitates the completion of each individual step one at a time, in a specific and predetermined order. Since this tempers the possibility of enacting changes in previously completed phases, it renders this methodology more rigid and more unforgiving. A slip-up in one of the earlier steps or a change of plan can result in a more expensive and time-consuming project, as the entire production has to halt to a standstill and revert to the earlier phase or restart completely. In essence, making changes when using the Waterfall approach is difficult and uncomfortable.


This methodology does have its positive aspects. The sheer simplicity and linearity facilitate project management. A less-competent project manager could suffice since the project practically manages itself. Individual employees can also benefit, as each step is clearly defined and documented from start to finish. The amount of work hours and features needed is precisely delineated. There aren’t any surprises around the corner and extra working hours are rarely needed.

Agile methodology in software development companies

Many companies tend to opt for the Agile framework. At first glance, it can seem chaotic and unmanageable, but it grants a plethora of advantages, especially for software developers. Agile rejects the concept of a strict plan divided into subsequent phases. There are different subcategories of the Agile methodology. They all relegate a strict, structured plan in favor of adaptability, collaboration, evolutionary development, and continual improvement. This may all sound astoundingly better than the Waterfall method, but there are several key limitations that must be kept in mind. For small development projects, Agile is superfluous and cumbersome. 

 

It is slightly more expensive to implement and might require more time

The project manager must be experienced and able to prevent the process from going off the rails and either becoming severely delayed or failing altogether. If the company’s client is undecided and constantly changes his mind, this can hinder the project and result in excessive costs and iterations.

Agile methodology is currently enjoying preferential treatment due to the many positive aspects it entails. IT services company tend to like its adaptability in software development projects. Clients are constantly engaged and informed about the process. They can offer feedback and suggest improvements. The same goes for testers. Instead of waiting until the developers complete their duties, the testing staff can constantly check the quality of work and offer meaningful insights. More time and resources spent during the beginning of the project can result in fewer issues further down the line and, as a result, fewer bugs and mistakes. Assuming that the manager and team are capable, Agile seems to offer more benefits to professional software development companies than its counterpart. The process is split up into increments, called sprints. Each sprint lasts up to a few weeks and involves the entire team. The iterations are presented to the clients, assuring their input and satisfaction. The simultaneous work of the entire team facilitates development, quality assurance, and management.

Which software development methodology is the best?

An integrated, capable team can produce high-quality work and have the possibility of correcting any mistakes on-the-go. Waterfall methodology is far simpler. It can be easier to implement and to plan out but can be found to be lacking when any changes need to be made. Modern projects and their needs can often change, giving Agile a slight advantage over its counterpart. Naturally, matters aren’t ever this simple and we need to take a closer look at various modified forms of Waterfall methodology. Their creators tried to eliminate Waterfall’s weaknesses and strengthen its benefits. Agile is similarly split up into various approaches, such as Scrum and Kanban. Join us next week for a more in-depth look at these various approaches and decide which one suits you best.

Author

Michał Kłak

Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer of iMakeable.

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