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How to Choose the Right Software Development Model For Your Project

November 15, 2018

The software development process presupposes joint-effort cooperation and synergy between different members of the development team. When hiring a team of developers to create software, you need to ensure they’ll provide the optimal means for reaching your goals on time with maximum efficiency. 

With years of experience in software development, Onix experts tried various development models and learned to choose the most suitable model for a particular business case

 

This post will unpack some key software development models and essential steps to a successful development process based on real-life experience. 

 

Strategy for a successful software development process

Based on our experience working with many clients, we can easily distinguish between a poorly organized software development process model and an outstanding one. A well-adjusted process presupposes a lot of competent organization, insight, and just plain hard work on the part of skilled people.

 

You might possess some technical knowledge, but the road to success leads via a Project Manager (PM) who’s got the necessary organizational skills and can maneuver the development team for your project to come to life.

 

Turn to an established IT company. 

 

Let them commit to doing everything for you from A to Z. 

 

You’ll still be involved, but the whole process will be under the control of your PM. Meanwhile, you can focus on developing your business and finding additional investors. Let the experienced team make it happen for you!

 

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Models for the software development process

A good software creation process should be uncluttered, straightforward, and lightweight. In practice, a streamlined software development process requires effort and time both from the client’s and development teams’ sides. Thankfully, people have already created explanatory process models that aid greatly in seeing this process from a bird's eye view.

 

For starters, what is a process model? Very simply, it’s a working pattern that gives a sketch for the succession of the software development lifecycle from initial conception until the final launch of the product if there might be a need for that.

 

For our purposes here, we’ll examine the main process models, their pros and cons, and who may benefit from each. 

 

1. The Waterfall Model

This model underscores the necessity of a logical progression of steps during the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Just as you would step down the path near the rapid waters of a cascading waterfall, your team would step further with each successive phase of the software development. This provides a sense of direction. You know your team’s current progress and where it will be over time.

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According to the waterfall model, your team needs to know the specific requirements. You’ll need to narrow down your idea to a single final product. What kind of software do you want to see at the end of the tunnel? Consequently, your team will follow other subsequent stages from systems engineering to maintenance. This last bit is crucial as the software development process generally involves constant support and enhancement.

 

So after several soothing cups of coffee with your PM, you can decide if the waterfall model is the best option for your software development lifecycle.

 

2. The Agile Model

The Agile model is a worthy alternative to the waterfall model. It’s a favorite model among many developers and business owners due to its facilitation of a smoother check-up process to reassess the software plan. The concept of this model is “customer satisfaction.” The entire software process is divided into several repeated cycles. Every iteration phase is under the constant scrutiny of a team of professionals. Customer satisfaction is achieved by enabling the client to check a demonstration of each cycle of the process from the requirements to the final product stage.

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3. The Spiral Model

It’s considered to be a useful development model that could assist in a more precise risk-handling of your optimal software development organizational structure. The spiral model depicted in the diagram below is a spiral with many coils:

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The exact number of coils in the spiral can vary depending on the project. Each coil is called a phase of the software project development process. Your PM determines the exact number of phases based on the project challenges.

 

Read Also: How to speed up software development

 

4. Prototyping development model

The prototyping development model is a type of software development life cycle in which a prototype is created, tested, and reworked as necessary until the final product is achieved. This model is often used in cases where the requirements for the new system are not well-defined or when there is a need for user feedback during the development process.

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There are several advantages to using the prototyping development model. 

 

First, it can help ensure that the final product meets the users' needs by allowing them to be involved in its development from the beginning. 

 

Second, it can help reduce costs by eliminating unnecessary features early in the process. Finally, it can help speed development by allowing developers to focus on only essential features.

 

There are also some potential disadvantages to using the prototyping development model. One is that it can lead to scope creep, whereby the prototype keeps expanding in scope as more and more features are added. This can eventually result in a far more complex and expensive product than originally intended. 

 

Another potential downside is that the prototype may never be completed if the client cannot agree on what should be included in the product. Finally, there is always the risk that the prototype will not accurately represent the final product, resulting in wasted time and effort.

 

 

5. Incremental development model

The incremental development model is a type of SDLC where the software is developed in small, iterative cycles. Each cycle builds upon the previous one until the software is complete.

 

The main advantage of this model is that it allows for quick delivery of a working product to the customer. This means feedback can be received early on and incorporated into future iterations. Additionally, since each increment builds upon the last, less rework is required.

 

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However, there are also some disadvantages to using this model. One is that it can be challenging to plan for long-term dependencies only working in short cycles. Additionally, since each increment must build upon the last, it can be difficult to go back and make changes to earlier parts of the software. 

 

This methodology can be used by any organization that needs to develop software applications, whether for internal use or sale to customers. However, it is particularly well suited for large or complex projects that would be difficult to complete using other methods. 

 

Additionally, this approach can be beneficial for organizations that need constant changes or updates to their software applications, as each increment can be easily modified without affecting the rest of the project.

 

6. Iterative development model

In this model, the project is divided into small phases or iterations, with each iteration providing a working version of the software. After each iteration, feedback from users or customers is gathered and used to improve the next iteration.

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The main advantage of the iterative development model is that it allows for changes to be made to the software at any time during the development process, based on user feedback. 

 

This flexibility can be a significant advantage, especially in fast-paced environments where requirements may change frequently. However, the downside to this model is that it can often lead to scope creep, where additional features or changes are added to the software beyond the project's original scope. This can make it difficult to complete the project on time and within budget.

 

The iterative development model is often used when the requirements for the software are not well-defined at the start of the project and when users need frequent feedback.

 

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Unpacking phases of the IT development process 

Let’s uncover some phases and subphases of a tentative development process with a close-up view. How will you know that your product is about to be completed? Should you second-guess the progress of your development team? Not necessarily. You can know where your team is by examining the phases of this process.

 

Planning and requirements elicitation

Planning is one of the most important aspects of any software development process. A good plan will help keep the project on track and ensure that all stakeholders know their roles and responsibilities. The planning phase should also include a risk assessment to identify potential risks that could impact the project.

 

The objectives of the planning phase are to:

 

- Define the scope of the project

- Identify the resources required

- Develop a timeline for the project

- Define a budget for the project

- Identify risks that could impact the project

- Create a communication plan

- Assign roles and responsibilities

 

After the objectives have been defined, the project team can begin to develop a plan for how the project will be executed. The plan should include a detailed roadmap that outlines each task that needs to be completed and when it needs to be completed. The budget should also be finalized during this phase.

 

Risk management is an important part of the planning phase. The project team should identify any risks that could impact the project and devise a plan to mitigate those risks. The communication plan should also be developed during this phase so that everyone involved in the project knows how they will stay updated on its progress.

 

The final step of the planning phase is to assign roles and responsibilities. This ensures that everyone involved in the project knows their duties and to whom they must report.

 

After the planning phase is complete, the project can move on to the next development phase.

 

Analysis and design

The analysis and design phase of the IT development process is where the requirements for the project are gathered and analyzed. This is done through various means, such as interviews, surveys, document reviews, and site visits. 

 

Once the requirements have been gathered, they must be analyzed to determine what needs to be done to meet them. This may involve creating models and prototypes and writing software specifications. After the requirements have been analyzed, a design must be created to satisfy them. 

 

The design will specify how the software will be structured, how it will function, and what interfaces it will use. Once the design is completed, it must be reviewed and approved by the stakeholders before implementation can begin.

 

Implementation and testing

The coding phase is the process of transforming the software design into a working program. This is where the programmers take the lead and put their coding skills to use to turn the design into a functional product. This phase aims to write code that meets all the requirements specified in the design and does so efficiently and reliably.

 

Depending on the project's specific needs, several approaches can be taken during the coding phase. However, all approaches share some common steps:

 

1. Writing code according to the project design. This includes ensuring that all functionality specified in the design is included in the code and that it works as intended.

 

2. Code review. This involves fixing any errors found in the code to meet all the necessary standards.

 

3. Documentation. This provides information about the code, which can be used by others who need to work with it.

 

The coding phase generally occurs after the software design has been completed and before the testing phase. However, it is not always possible to strictly separate these two phases; in some cases, they may overlap. 

 

For example, if a change is made to the design during the coding phase, it may be necessary to go back and modify the code accordingly.

 

Once the coding phase is complete, the software should be ready for testing. This will ensure that it meets all the requirements and works as intended.

 

Deployment

After the development phase is complete and the software is ready for release, it undergoes a series of tests to ensure that it works as intended. Once these tests are completed, the software can be deployed to production.

 

The deployment phase typically involves creating installers or packages for the software and providing documentation and other support materials to help users get started with the new software.

 

In some cases, deploying the software may also involve setting up hardware or other infrastructure required to run the software.

 

Once the software is deployed, monitoring its usage and performance is crucial to identify any potential problems. This feedback can then be used to improve the software in future versions.

 

Maintenance and support

The IT development process's maintenance and support phase ensure that the software system remains operational and usable. This includes fixing bugs, making changes to the codebase, updating the libraries, and implementing enhancements based on customers' feedback. The team will also work on documentation and training materials during this phase.

 

 

Our experience in software development

The Onix software development process is flexible and adaptable, allowing us to work with our clients in a way that suits their specific needs. We understand that every business is different and tailor our approach to each project.

 

The first step in our process is Project Discovery Stage. We take the time to learn about the client’s business, their goals, and what they need the software to do. This information forms the basis of our solution design.

 

Once we have a clear understanding of the requirements, we start to develop the solution. We use various techniques and tools to create high-quality software that meets clients' needs.

 

Throughout the development process, we keep the client updated on our progress. We also provide regular feedback so they can see how the software is coming along.

 

Once the software is complete, we test its final version to ensure it meets all the requirements. Once the client is happy with the software, we deploy it and provide support as needed.

 

Onix has extensive experience in software development. We have delivered successful solutions to clients in a variety of industries

 

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Summing up

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It takes genuine expertise and group effort to transport one idea into life. For that, you should find a proven software company with one contact person gifted with people skills who can rally the troops when necessary.

 

A mutually beneficial process is when a client hires one IT company - not many. A client can be better assured that one software team will do their best for the most optimal software development organizational structure that is both time-efficient and cost-effective. After all, a single manager can target the results more accurately.

 

At Onix, we offer a wide range of IT services, from extreme programming and systems development to software design. Thus,  if you require a professional team to kickstart your project with a properly chosen SDCL model and see the power of PMs for your product’s successful launch, just drop us a line, and we’ll get back to you soon.

 

FAQ

 

​​What is the software development process?

The software development process is a set of activities to create a software product. These activities can be divided into four main categories: requirements gathering, design, implementation and testing, and deployment to release.

 

What are the different types of software development models?

There are several different types of software development models, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common models are the waterfall, the spiral, the iterative, the prototyping, and the incremental software development models.

 

Which software development model is best for my project?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best model for your project will depend on several factors, including the project's size and complexity, your team's needs, and the delivery timeline.

 

What is a software development kit?

A software development kit (SDK) is a set of tools that helps you develop applications for a specific platform. For example, the Android SDK provides tools for developing Android apps.

 

How do I accelerate the software development process?

There are many ways to accelerate the software development process. Still, some standard techniques include:

 

- Using agile methodology: This approach helps teams work more efficiently by breaking projects down into smaller pieces and completing them in iterations.

 

- Automating repetitive tasks: Automation can help save time on often repeated tasks, such as testing and builds.

 

- Setting up a continuous integration/delivery pipeline: This can help team members get feedback on their work more quickly and make pushing code changes into production easier.

 

- Implementing DevOps practices: Adopting DevOps practices such as infrastructure as code and automation can help speed up the software development process by making it easier to provision resources and deploy code changes.

 

- Using containers: Containers can help package dependencies and isolate applications, making it easier to deploy and test code changes.

 

- Using cloud-based services: Cloud-based services can provide on-demand resources that can be used to speed up the software development process.

Written by:
Serhii  Kholin
Serhii Kholin

COO at Onix-Systems

Effective product development. Aligning an organization's technologies to the needs of the business.

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Anastasiia Diachenko
Anastasiia Diachenko

Writer