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5 Best Software Development Methodologies in 2021

Software development methodologies are supposed to help a manager successfully manage the development team in accordance with the requirements of each project.

These methodologies are created to give structure to the project so that the development team can focus on each area without needing to rely on the others.

Software development methodologies have become the norm in IT companies that strive for success and be efficient in their work. If you happened to be looking for a software development methodology, then you’re in luck as we will review the 5 best ones.

1. Waterfall Development

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Waterfall is a methodology that borders the traditional method of creating software. With Waterfall, you’ll have to create separate teams that focus on different stages of the project.

Each team works on their project on a lineal structure that must be completed before moving to the next one. This means that teams rely on each other, and you cannot go back to make changes once a stage has been completed.


  • Waterfall is very easy to understand, follow, and manage
  • This is a starting model that less experienced managers are advised to follow
  • Great for smaller projects


  • Due to the structure of the methodology, you have to rely on others so that you could start working on your stage
  • Very prone to risks, delays, and not very flexible in their handling
  • It’s not recommended using Waterfall for larger projects that require more work across the various stages of the development process

2. Agile Software Development

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Agile, unlike Waterfall, is far more flexible in the way tasks are handled throughout the development process.

With Agile, what you get is a highly serious methodology that can cope with any marketplace by allowing you to develop your product/service with greater productivity and efficiency.

This methodology is highly team-based and separated into sprints. A sprint is a term used with Agile that refers to a phase. Once all the sprints are completed, usually, within a few weeks, all the teams and the manager get together and do a full review.


  • More efficient in completing sprints and uncovering bugs and errors.
  • An accelerated approach where the rest of the teams don’t have to rely on the rest of the development team.
  • A higher chance that you will develop the product in time due to the fact that critical errors are better handled with Agile.
  • Well suited for larger projects that larger teams have to work on


  • Very user-unfriendly and not recommended for beginners
  • Less detailed documentation, resulting in companies needing to train the development team in how to understand Agile
  • A constant need for interaction between the teams, customers, and tests, resulting in wasting time

3. DevOps Methodology

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If you’re looking for a way to breach the gap between the software development teams and your IT teams, then DevOps is quite possibly the best way to do it.

Originally, software engineers don’t really interact with IT teams when it comes to creating software for their needs. DevOps is a methodology that is rapid, reliable, and exactly what your company needs.

DevOps can fully automate the development process by connecting each team that works on the project. But not only that, DevOps can also bridge the gap with the software testers, resulting in the testing being conducted much faster and much more efficiently.


  • A very rapid and fast approach to how companies start new projects
  • The margins for errors are drastically lowered since all the team working on the project work in accordance with one another
  • Much faster delivery of each software, system or application, resulting in a greater customer satisfaction


  • Requires highly experienced managers that know how the methodology works
  • DevOps is a human-interaction first methodology where teams and testers have to interact with one another. In some cases, this might result in losing precious time that can slow the development process
  • Even with some setbacks to its name, DevOps is probably the best methodology for serious companies that create large-scale projects. An example of one would be a custom software company VironIT. Make sure to give them a visit and grab a free project estimation cost.

4. RAD – Rapid Application Development

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RAD works best if your company has well-established objectives and goals that need strict following and implementing.

RAD is a very narrow methodology that allows creating projects in the shortest time possible. However, RAD also follows the linear methodology the same as Waterfall, meaning you still rely on the dev teams above you on the picking order.

With all that said, one thing that distinguishes RAD from Waterfall is its component-based construction which drastically narrows the teams needed for the projects.

Unlike Waterfall, with RAD a team can go back into their respected development areas and make changes based on the needs of the customers.


  • Small and medium-sized companies can benefit from RAD if the project needs to be finished faster
  • Excellent if you have clearly defined objectives and goals
  • Very customer-needy, meaning RAD encourages customer feedback to make decisions that impact the project


  • A very complex methodology that requires highly-skilled teams and managers to operate
  • Very high cost of automation and implementation that is not advised for projects with relatively small budgets

Now, let’s talk about the last one on this list.

5. Lean Development

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If you’re after a methodology that will allow you to create projects based on limited time and a very small budget, then Lean is the way to go.

Lean is mostly used so that companies can drastically cut back on development costs, while at the same time improving efficiency, quality, and productivity.

Lean has also been known to reach high customer satisfaction since it is based on seven key principles that make that a possibility.


  • Excellent at working with a strict budget
  • Very fast across all areas of the development process
  • Results in developing quality projects that are met with high customer satisfaction
  • Highly motivating to work under


  • You’ll need to hire an excellent and very skilled team to operate under Lean
  • Very detailed documentation that requires strict following. Also, your team will need to be very skilled at writing documentation

About Peter Janos

Peter Janos

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