Best Software Development Life Cycle Methodologies in 2019

Best Software Development Life Cycle Methodologies In 2019

Do you remember seeing this below image doing rounds on the internet? It has been the high key for all aspiring artists. Well, till now we were only relating this to the human skills and abilities! But, if we are to introspect it from the view point of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), this image makes sense too-

sdlc img

Image courtesy:

Since technology has been advancing in leaps and bounds and there is no such thing as limitation when it comes to digital projects and its implementation. Custom software development companies are claiming that they are evolving with the growing needs of the market but if we look closely, there is one aspect of Software Development Life Cycle that has not evolved much with time- that is the SDLC Methodology!

Just like the above displayed image, the software outsourcing companies are trying to justify each project with the use of Agile methodology. While the truth is that Custom Software Development companies true to its nature are evolving in their choice of methodologies as well.

Every digital project has a different purpose and there is no such thing as an ideal Software Development Life Cycle methodology that can fulfill all the requirements and approaches of software development. The SDLC methodology must be based on the purpose of the application to fulfill the client requirements in the right time and with right amount of resources.

Below are the best Software Development Life Cycle Methodologies in 2019 based on the purpose of the Software:

1. Low Budget Experimental Project

When customers do not have a high budget for the project and are in experiential stage as there is no certainty about the success of the application- the Software Development Life Cycle methodology that works the best for such projects is Lean Development Methodology.

What is Lean Development Methodology?

Lean Development Methodology is a type of Agile Methodology which is a more consciously engaged development technique that is employed with an objective to design the software in one-third of the time duration, within a limited budget and very limited resources.

Development Process

blog infograph

Ideal Scenario:

ProjectSmall sized
Resources requiredLimited
Type of ProjectOne-time project

Points to Consider:

  • Since the project is conceived as small or mid-sized and has an uncertainty about the feasibility of the project, there will high chances of lack of scalability.
  • Due to low budget, the team needs to work on quickly on the project.
  • Lack of planning and expertise can create chaos.

2. Faster Go-To Market Software for Initiator Advantage

When the customer has a unique idea that needs complete confidentiality and the intention is to reach the market as an initiator to take the first mover advantage, the Software Development Life Cycle methodology that works the best for such projects is- Rapid Application Development.

What is Rapid Application Development (RAD)?

Rapid Application Development is an adaptive software development approach that is employed when there is no time for extensive planning and with use of the initial prototype, the project is developed based on the testing adaptations.

Prototyping is the key as the risks and budget are high. The feasibility and risk analysis are not done through planning but via prototypes. Here, testing plays an integral part as the project changes are based on it. The product is launched with its minimum features and based on the feedback received from the customers; the product is further developed in different phases.

Development Process

analysis quick design

Ideal Scenario:

ProjectSmall & Mid sized
Resources requiredModerate
Type of ProjectLong term

Points to Consider:

  • This methodology contradicts the traditional development methodology and requires certain expertise and adaptability from the developers to complete the project effortlessly.
  • Higher involvement of client and users is required.
  • Since the project is conceived as small or mid-sized and a need of urgency to reach the market, there will always be the lack of scalability as the adaptive software development life cycle approach ignores the long term planning and requirements.

3. Big Project- Continuous Development and Innovation

There are certain projects that have huge architecture and require continuous development with the evolving market and customer requirements. Also, with the growing needs of development and innovation, the project requirements change frequently and it needs to be completely scalable to keep the project going.

Generally, such projects are not handled by any single Software Outsourcing company and are managed by multiple vendors. For such humongous projects, the Software Development Life Cycle methodology that works the best is Agile- Scrum methodology.

What is Scrum Software Development?

For starters, Scrum is an agile framework that helps to manage software development and design by the small or medium sized teams that contains around three to nine members. There are many such teams that work on the bigger project and they break their actions into time boxed iterations called sprints.

A sprint can be of one week to one month depending upon the project requirements. But this approach tracks progress on daily basis via 15-minute time-boxed stand-up meetings called daily scrums. Also, for multi-vendor projects or large projects that include multiple teams, there is a concept called Large-scale Scrum (LeSS).

Basically, this development approach is best suitable for those development projects that are constantly innovating and has extreme development requirements.

Development Process

daily scrum

Ideal Scenario:

ProjectHuge project size
Resources requiredHigh
Type of ProjectContinuous

Points to Consider:

  • Projects are large and though there are technologies like the digital whiteboard, there are possibilities that there can be lack of communication between the teams.
  • Teams need certain expertise to cope-up with the delivery on time with the rest of the scrum teams for effortless release of the code and timely completion of the sprint.
  • Products that require extensive regression testing may have to incur higher cost if they employ scrum methodology as the development will commence only once the increment is completed.

4. Experimental Large Sized Projects with Feasibility and Uncertainty

There are many such projects that have huge potential and are large scale, but due to the lack of financial resources, feasibility or uncertainty of the market, the customer approaches any Custom Software Development Company with Minimum Viable Product (MVP) requirements.

To fulfill the current requirements of the project with an eye on whole project and its scalability needs, the Software Development Life Cycle methodology that works best for such project is- Incremental Build Model.

What is Incremental Build Model?

Incremental Build Model is basically a waterfall methodology approach combined with the philosophy of Prototyping. To avoid long durations of development time and to fulfill the requirements of MVP approach, the project is broken into smaller component/increments and each component/increment is then individually developed, tested and deployed to allow the partial use of the product and to get feedback and in certain cases, revenue from the end users.

Development Process


Ideal Scenario:

ProjectHuge project size
Resources requiredModerate
Type of ProjectContinuous (Depending upon the feasibility check of the project)

Points to Consider:

  • Overall cost of the product may be higher compared to other development methodologies.
  • After the feedback, if there arise a need to add an additional functionality to the product, system architecture may not support such change and can create chaos or may result in re-engineering of the product.
  • There is a limited scope of changes in the core product requirements.

5. Feature Driven Projects that require Huge Amount of Data Processing

If the customer is looking for a kind of project that requires a lot of data processing or a typical Object Oriented programming that is to be managed by a huge team of developers, Software Development Life Cycle methodology that has the iterative approach which such projects requires is- Feature Driven Development.

What is Feature Driven Development?

As the name suggests, Feature Driven Development methodology is where the project and its overall model is built, designed and deployed on the basis of the set of features of the product.

Development Process

model stroming

Ideal Scenario:

Resources requiredHigh
Type of ProjectContinuous

Points to Consider:

  • It is difficult to estimate a deadline for project completion.
  • As the project is not planned on the basis of the system architecture and has a lot of “object” (data) points, a small error may also result in crash.

6. Projects Based on Industry or Organisational Processes

If the customer requires digitisation of the certain process of an organisation or cater it to the whole industry as a product, these projects are knowledge intensive and require extensive planning. The Software Development Life Cycle methodology that works best is Joint Application Development.

What is Joint Application Development?

It is a development methodology where the knowledge workers from the industry along with the customer meets the IT professionals form a Centre of Excellence (CoE) and do extensive planning of the project initially and based on the specifications and requirements gathered during the planning stage, the software product is shaped.

After the planning, the customer is then included in the design stage as well to understand the actual expansion and execution of the project.

Development Process

joint application development

Ideal Scenario:

ProjectMid or Big size
Resources requiredHigh
Type of ProjectOne time

Points to Consider:

  • Teams working on the project need to have excellent interpretation skills to fully understand the project and its requirements.
  • The planning is extensive and can also result in higher costs.
  • The project needs to build only on the pre-set standards during the planning stage hence there is no scope of scalability of the product in the future.

So, now that you know that it is not fair to judge every creature based on their ability to climb the tree, it is essential that you choose your Software Outsourcing Company based on their expertise and understanding of the SDLC methodologies while delivering Custom Software Development Services.

Don't Forget to share this post!

Maitray Gadhavi is a senior business development manager with Radixweb who accelerates the growth of organizations through innovation-led custom software development. Balancing the long-term gains in an evolving industry, he brings the voice of the customers into the enterprise. Binge-watching favourite series is his idea of fun after work.