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Understanding the Different Types of Software Development Methodologies

Get a comprehensive overview of software development methodologies! From basic principles to helpful tips & tricks, learn about each approach and how to best utilize it for success.

What are Software Development Methodologies?

Software development methodologies refer to the frameworks and approaches used for developing software solutions. These methodologies – such as Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, Kanban, and Lean – provide guidance on how to break down complex tasks into smaller actionable steps in order to achieve a desired outcome. Each approach carries its pros and cons depending on individual projects needs, so it’s important to carefully evaluate and select the most suitable option for your objectives.

software developer setup

Use Different Combinations of Techniques for Improved Efficiency.

Software development methodologies can be combined in order to create more efficient models. Using multiple approaches in tandem allows teams to utilize the best principles from each methodology, without having to restrict themselves to just one particular approach. Combination models can also be used for complex tasks that are difficult to manage using a single methodology. When taken into account and utilized effectively, combining different software development techniques can result in improved time and cost efficiency for your team.

Most used software development methodologies

There are two large groups of software development methodologies today. On the one hand we have the traditional software development methodologies and, on the other, the agile ones, which are the most used by professionals today. 

Traditional software development methodologies

This type of methodologies are characterised by the definition of the fundamental requirements and the actions to be implemented prior to the implementation of software development projects, with the aim of obtaining good results efficiently.

One of the differential points of the traditional software development methodologies with respect to the agile ones that we will explain below is the impossibility of making any changes during the development process of the project in question, since the work to be executed is organized in such a way that it follows a linear structure, so it will not be possible to carry out the next task without the previous one having been completed.

At the beginning of the project we must prepare an estimate of the requirements, the design and the analysis that we will carry out in the software development process. In this case, experience will be of great help to get our project prediction right. The main traditional software development methodologies are the ones mentioned below:

  • Waterfall
  • prototyped
  • Spiral
  • incremental
  • Rapid Application Design (RAD)

Agile software development methodologies

Agile is the most popular of software development methodologies – and for good reason. The primary focus of the agile approach is on iterative delivery of deliverables over a period of time, rather than aiming to deliver all items at once. This ensures that progress can be easily tracked and monitored throughout the project. The ability to quickly adapt and pivot also allows teams to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. As a result, agile methods are ideal for teams who are trying to develop solutions quickly without sacrificing quality.

Agile software development methodologies are the most widely used and are defined by their agile and flexible nature to changes, so the possibility of failing or obtaining bad results will be considerably reduced.

The main advantage of this type of methodologies is the ability to adapt the software to changes or needs that arise throughout the project. In this way, the work teams in charge of software development are characterized by being independent and self-sufficient, expressing and contributing ideas and advice at all times to obtain satisfactory results. The client, for his part, also has the possibility of proposing the changes or corrections that he deems necessary, since he will be able to visualize and know how his project is progressing.

Among the most used and well-known agile work methods are Scrum, Kanban and Extreme Programming-XP, among others. Let's talk about them!


Scrum is the most widely used agile software development methodology today and focuses on incremental development. Its main objective is to guarantee quality results, and for this, it focuses special attention on getting to know the team of people in charge of carrying out the project. In addition to this, customer satisfaction does not go unnoticed by the Scrum strategy, and to achieve it, through this methodology, a great effort is dedicated to guessing exactly what the customer is looking for and intends to find.

scrum process It should be noted the existence of interactions that are responsible for responding in the development process incrementally. These interactions are called a sprint . In other words, the stages of the Scrum strategy are: interaction planning (planning sprint) , execution (sprint) , daily meeting (daily meeting) and demonstration of results (sprint review) .

For Scrum, meetings and continuous communication by the team to discuss the progress made and review each sprint play an important role in achieving the objectives set.


Kanban is a Japanese word that means "visual cards", so its name already gives us some clue as to what this software development methodology consists of. This development methodology was created by Toyota.

The objective of Kanban is to make use of a "card system" to provide the company and its employees with the knowledge of the actions and processes that are being executed in the company. This strategy considerably increases the productivity of the workers, since a task will not start without first having finished the previous one.

Kanban pays special attention to continuous improvement and the presentation of relevant information in a very visual way, through a chart or diagram made up of three columns that refer to pending, in-process and completed tasks. All members of the work team have access to this diagram, with the aim of facilitating the flow of activities and promoting the productivity and efficiency of the work team.

Extreme Programming (XP)

The main objective of this agile methodology is to guarantee impeccable results in software development. To do this, it focuses special attention on strengthening, developing and stabilizing the interpersonal relationships of the work team, promoting active participation of the members to achieve continuous improvement.

In XP, people play a fundamental role in ensuring the success of a software project. In addition, it promotes the existence of communication and interaction between the client and the members of the work team. In this case, it is the client who makes the decision as to which actions they want to be carried out in the first place, so the team members will have the ability to know where to start the development of the project.

This agile software development methodology responds correctly to changes or circumstances that occur. software developer setup

Analyze All Your Options with a Comparative Analysis.

Before choosing the best software development methodology, it's important to compare and analyze. Doing so helps make sure you are choosing the right approach for your project’s individual requirements. This can be done by considering factors such as the cost, timeline, capabilities and objectives of each method. Even if you’re certain that one specific approach is right for your project, don’t rush into choosing it without evaluating other options first – after all, taking a comparison analysis step can lead to more informed decisions and more successful outcomes!

In conclusion, in order to select the right software development methodology, it’s important to understand the different life cycle models. These refer to the distinct phases that a project passes through during its development – beginning with project planning and ending with product deployment. This includes various processes such as requirement analysis, design, coding and testing, installation, and maintenance. An understanding of these life cycles helps to determine which approach is best suited to a particular software project’s individual requirements.

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