Which App Development Methodology Should You Choose For Your Project?

Application development in Kuwait involves design, building, and implementation, all of which follows a standard methodology. Because mobile app development requires a unique form of management, several software development methodologies have been introduced and adopted in the past few decades. These methodologies are used with the intent to ease development projects.

Specifically, a software development methodology is a structured and systematic process used to improve design and product management, usually completed in small, parallel, or sequential steps. It formalizes communication, allows developers to work more efficiently as a team, and ultimately reduces development time and budget.

However, there is no holy grail of development methodologies. Every methodology has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, so it is upto the manager or the development team to select a methodology that works best for their specific project. The important bit is to choose one. Without a structured process, there are bound to be miscommunications and frequent software revisions, which will result in loss of time, money, and effort and end up hurting the project. Following a standard methodology will benefit both the app developers and the customers.

Before employing any method of application development in Kuwait, ensure that you take all of these factors into account:

  • Team structure and composition
  • Size of the project
  • Application architecture
  • Business goals and how specific the requirements are
  • Past experience of the development team with that methodology
  • Product market fit
  • How many changes the customer might want
  • Project deadline and costs of delay

The purpose of this article is to make you aware of all the different software development methodologies and guide you in selecting your personal best methodology based on your project needs.

Before we get to that, let’s breakdown what a commonly heard term, SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) consists of:

  • Planning
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Building
  • Testing
  • Implementation
  • Support

Software application development methodologies generally fall under the planning and development stages of SDLC.

These are some of the most commonly used software methodologies:

Agile - It is one of the most popularly chosen methodologies due to its effectiveness in risk minimization, flexible processes for large applications, and a high adaptability to the market. Agile differentiates itself from the conventional, rigid and linear method and focuses on user satisfaction instead. It is a type of iterative model that leaves room for constant revisions. The iterations contain mini-increments of new functionalities and allow bugs and errors to be detected and fixed quickly. It involves multiple tests and the developers seek continuous feedback from customers.

However, because Agile relies on real-time communication, a considerable time commitment and labor commitment is required from users and developers respectively. While ideal for projects with fast-changing requirements and a highly-independent and non-structured developing team, this method can end up being inefficient for large organizations. Scrum, Crystal, Extreme Programming (XP), and Feature-driven Development (FDD) are some forms of Agile development.

Waterfall - This is a more traditional method that follows a rigid linear model. It consists of 5 sequential, cascading phases that focus on distinct goals:

  • Requirements
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Verification
  • Maintenance

Just like a waterfall only flows in one direction, each phase must be completed fully before the next one can begin and there’s no way of going back up for any modifications.

Because this is a linear process, it is easy to understand and manage. Projects that have clear and stable requirements and predictable outcomes and project management teams that are either less experienced or constantly changing, can benefit the most from this methodology. On the other end, the rigidity of the Waterfall method is the main reason for its slow pace and high cost. Customer feedback and testing is only approached in the later stages, which makes it unsuitable for complex projects.

Rapid Application Development (RAD) - RAD is kind of like the opposite of Waterfall. It places a heavy emphasis on prototypes i.e., it wants to create a functional version of the application as soon as it can and then keep reiterating. RAD teams are usually small and involve highly skilled and experienced mobile app developers in Kuwait who can easily accommodate project diversions. Each iteration produces a more and more refined product until it finally begins to look like the finished product. This method requires a close relationship with the customer throughout the process. The four phases of RAD are:

  • Requirements planning
  • User design
  • Construction
  • Cutover

The user design and construction phases are repeated until the user finds that the product meets all requirements.

This method can seem similar to Agile, but there are notable differences. Agile usually focuses on building one feature at a time instead of the entire prototype. And while you will be working with the entire application development team including testers, UX designers and technical writers in the case of Agile, with RAD, you will be working directly with a programmer.

Since RAD focuses on building a quality product within a much shorter time frame, it creates high chances of a successful product release. But it can be costly since it involves highly skilled programmers who are expected to adapt to any changes in the complexity of the project. The less assurance to deadlines and more emphasis on adding features may also extend delivery dates. Additionally, some applications do not benefit from a prototype without seeing the entire product.

Lean - Inspired by Toyota, Lean development is primarily concerned with minimizing wastage and increasing productivity. Developers are tasked with identifying bottlenecks and establishing an efficient system that uses communication to enhance team collaboration. The reduction in wastage cuts down the overall cost of development and shortens time-to-market. Team members are also likely to be more motivated since they have a higher decision-making authority.

Developers who are less skilled can be overwhelmed with the amount of responsibilities and need for detailed documentation that comes with this method. This type of development methodology is best suited for small projects with tight budgets.

DevOps - Along with a development methodology, DevOps is also a set of practices that governs a type of organizational culture. It stresses departmental collaboration for different stages of the SDLC, like development, quality assurance, operations, etc., which all take place at the same time. It aims to automate continuous deployment in order to reduce time-to-market, shorten lead time between fixes, minimize disruption, and consequently improve customer satisfaction and product quality.

This method still has its drawbacks. Maybe customers don’t require their systems to be updated continuously. And a lot of industries may have stringent regulations that are unable to move a project without extensive testing. What’s more, at some point human interaction may be required, which will undoubtedly slow the delivery pipeline.

Spiral - The spiral model is a risk management methodology that is iterative in nature and incorporates elements of the Waterfall model. Visually, the spiral model looks like a coil with many loops. Each coil represents a phase in the SDLC. At each phase, prototypes can be built, and the product is gradually released and refined. This model has the unique ability to manage any unknown risks after commencement of the project.

The model is perfect for large, complex projects and makes cost estimation easier. It is flexible, facilitates customer feedback, and its risk management ability improves overall security. Unfortunately, the high cost of this model makes it unsuitable for small projects. It also necessitates the involvement of personnel experienced in risk management. The complexity can be hard to handle and time management becomes impossible.

As you can see, all of these software development methodologies have their own set of strengths and weaknesses and work effectively in different situations. Your chosen methodology can either be one from the list that best fits your goals and budget or a hybrid that combines different elements of each method according to your needs. This can be an equally easy or complicated process depending on your project. It involves clearly defining your project requirements and evaluating and analyzing each methodology before picking one.

At Design Master, one of the top software companies in Kuwait, we endeavor to develop your application with careful strategy and planning, from the very basic concept to the finished and tested product. For more assistance in choosing the best development methodology for your application, feel free to get in touch with us. Our team of best mobileapplication developers in Kuwait will discuss your unique development needs and help you come up with a solution that is specifically tailored for you.

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