SDLC stands for Software Development Life Cycle, and it is a step-by-step process that covers software conception, development and launch. SDLC is a process that ensures software is at par in quality and output. As thousands of developers make thousands of software, it’s best to guarantee that these apps bring the highest value. Suppose, for example, you want to employ the help of a software development agency to design and develop software for you. In that case, teams will use the most suitable SDLC methodologies to outline the development process.
There are many types of Software Development Life Cycle methodologies. Many SDLC frameworks are available to outline development steps and analyze all the potential scenarios in the development process of the software. There are many frameworks to help with software development analysis. These are the five basic methodologies that teams use to chart out software.
1. Waterfall Model
The Waterfall Model is a straightforward SDLC method that assumes direct and traditional step-by-step development of the software. Think of the methodology as a series of necessary steps that “waterfall” to the next. The visual of a Waterfall Model involves a staircase with the step levels representing each phase of the model. Essentially, each step relies on the previous step, and unless teams finish all the sub-steps in the current stage, it’s impossible to tackle the next.
✔︎ Simple structure that can serve as the basic outline of the software development
✔︎ The end goal is very clear from the get-go
✗ Very predictable with little to no room for change
✗ The method is not client-friendly or end-user oriented
2. Agile Model
If the Waterfall Model rarely makes room for any change, the Agile Model caters to many changes in the cycle. From the name itself, “agile” refers to efficient response and adaptation of changes in the original plan. With the Agile Model, testing and evaluation are vital focuses in each step. The best representation of the Agile Model is a flowchart with many corresponding arrows indicating potential options in the phases.
✔︎ Agile Model highlights flexibility and amenity to anything unexpected
✔︎ Early catches of glitches and potential issues
✗ Costs can skyrocket because of frequent testing
✗ It takes more time to finish the cycle of methodology
3. Lean Model
Lean Model takes after the Agile Model such that the methodology focuses on cutting waste. Leaning out the steps may involve removing a lot of steps that may otherwise be important to the client and end-user. The principle of the Lean Model is that cutting out or leaning the steps from potential issues and waste increases the value of each step in the process. Imagine a circular cycle with each arrow indicating the wastes that teams can remove from the process.
✔︎ It saves a lot of time and valuable resources
✔︎ The better value proposition for the software
✗ Lack of necessary steps like documentation and testing may lead to a project fail
✗ May rely on remote expertise to lessen any waste of effort and time (disadvantage for beginner teams that still need a lot of coordination and work)
4. Iterative Model
If the Waterfall Model focuses on reliable steps that lead to the next, the Iterative Model focuses on repetition. Imagine the staircase of the Waterfall Model but add some rewind arrows for each step to account for the potential repeat of the steps with the pertinent sub-steps. The iterations help in evaluating the stages within the cycle until desired results come from the project.
✔︎ Early detection of mistakes and errors
✔︎ Developers give a lot of value to testing and immediate modifications to fix the software
✗ It costs a lot of time
✗ It costs a lot of money
5. Spiral Model
The Spiral Model is like the Iterative Model that is in overdrive. This means that there is a persistent effort for refining each step of the software development process. You can think of the Spiral Model as the Iterative Model, but instead of having to rewind arrows, you have to repeat arrows per step.
✔︎ Fewer mistakes and errors
✔︎ The end-goal may change a lot more than initially planned
✗ It takes a lot of time to finish the cycle
✗ It can turn very complicated along the way
Conclusion: Which Model is the Best?
There is no one right choice to narrow down the best methodology. In reality, the SDLC is a vast cycle of steps, and each big chunk of the process needs a suitable method. Boxing the development to one type of methodology may sacrifice the value of the software. Moreover, many factors like AI, manpower, and budget, affect the efficiency of each model. In the end, if you manage a project, it’s best to focus on the steps first before deciding the model you should follow.0