Agile, DevOps or Others – Which software development methodology is right for you?

The uber-significance of software in the business world has given rise to an extraordinary windfall of software development methodologies. It’s also true that the software methodology you choose can make or break your business. The wrong choice can result in miscommunication, schedule and cost slippage, wasted time, and resource burnout. So, how to choose?

Factors to Consider while Choosing the Right Software Development Methodology

Choosing the right software development methodology among many alternatives could be challenging. Yet, this choice is crucial for it will decide the fate of your project. For teams having a hard time choosing, here are the top factors to consider:

  • Size of project: The size of the project is one of the first aspects to keep in mind while choosing a development methodology. While small projects with limited requirements will only need a handful of resources for successful delivery, large projects that span software generations would require many architects, developers, and testers spread across locations.The size and scale of the project determine the project management plan and the number of developers needed to handle it. You must choose a methodology that allows for constant collaboration and feedback between the teams so the end product meets the intended requirements, and is delivered within time and budget.
  • Fluctuations in requirement: With customer demands and market dynamics constantly changing, changes must be made to the software to drive better experiences. Dynamic requirements also determine the methodology you choose.
    If stability and predictability are the norm and ongoing changes minimal, traditional methodologies work well. However, if you need to constantly incorporate new features and enhancements in your code, you need to choose a more modern methodology that allows for such changes to be embedded – without impacting cost or schedule.
  • Cost of delays: Staying on schedule is important for any software development project. Yet, with requirements constantly changing, software projects invariably overshoot deadlines. Obviously, this substantially impacts costs too.
    The larger the scale the more the pressure to deliver on time. If not, the project risks massive cost of delays. For smaller projects,the impact of a schedule overrun is not so drastic. Make sure to choose a methodology factoring in how delays impact the project and your organization.
  • Team locations: The software methodology you choose must also depend on how dispersed your team is.
    If your developers, engineers, and testers are located across different geographies, miscommunication, confusion, and missteps may become more common in the development process. That suggests a greater need for coordination, coherence, and accountability. A transparent and collaborative project management regimen is needed. Then teams can stay updated about the progress of the project, and work together towards common goals.
  • Feedback frequency: In a customer-driven world, there is a constant clamour for new features. Some projects require customer feedback to be constantly incorporated. While some projects may require more such feedback elements to be baked in due to the complexity and the size of the project, some require far less. The software development methodology you choose will depend on how frequently you have to incorporate customer feedback.

The Options at Hand:

A variety of factors come together to have a considerable bearing on the project. No matter the type of software you are building –choosing the right software development methodology is critical to ensure happy teams, on-time delivery, and easily-met business and end-user needs.

Here are the options you have at hand:

  • Even today, if your requirements are clear and fixed, the best-suited development methodology is Waterfall. Offering a well-defined phased approach to software development, the waterfall methodology allows you to design the solution as visualized. Since there will be no surprises or changes in the requirements along the course of development, you can seamlessly proceed with development, integration, and testing based on the design, and deliver the product on time.
  • If your requirements are fairly straightforward, but you do not have a clear picture of how the solution should be built, you will need to choose a methodology that enables constant feedback. Kanban allows you to constantly monitor the product, check on tasks in progress, prioritize them if needed, and receive feedback on a continuous basis. Such feedback ensures the software you are developing is in line with the intended need and as visualized at the beginning.
  • If your requirements change frequently, the Agile methodology will allow you to meet your goals better than others. Using Agile, you can build projects in sprints and accommodate a fair number of changes and enhancements – with less cost of delay. Since each sprint needs to be completed in a given time frame, you can ensure you stick to the commitment and complete all tasks within the sprint – in time and within budget.
  • If your requirements change frequently, your teams are dispersed across the globe, and the cost of delay is high, DevOps can help you drive rapid software delivery. This is especially beneficial in case of products that live on the Cloud -like SaaS products. By fueling better communication and collaboration between the development and operations teams, DevOps helps to condense development cycles, increase deployment frequency, and meet software needs quickly and efficiently. It helps reduce development complexity, detect and resolve issues faster, and allows you to deliver high-quality, innovative software.

Always look at the Bigger Picture:

It is crucial to make the right decisions about tools, resources, schedule, and budget in software development. Do consider aspects such as the size of the project, fluctuations in the requirement, cost of delays, team location as well as the feedback frequency and then make the choice of development approach.

The right software development methodology will allow you to deliver quality outcomes in the time and budget allotted. When looking for the best software development methodology, ensure you consider the bigger picture. This choice will give you the best results for the effort, money, and time invested. How did you zero in on your product development approach?

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