6 Software Development Models To Consider For Your Project

Have you ever had a situation when you have a project in mind: it may be a detailed product or just a simple idea (although the more details the better!). Then, you start looking for a dev team to fulfill your plan. And everything goes according to a schedule until the development phase, when you are suddenly in the dark and do not know what exactly happens with your creation? Don’t worry, we are here to explain how the development process is organized and what to expect from it.

Software development lifecycle is a process of software building, which usually includes from 6 to 8 stages: Planning, Requirements, Design, Build, Document, Test, Deploy and Maintain. The end goal of each development model is to produce the result at the lowest cost possible at the shortest time possible while maintaining the best level of quality.


When choosing the right software process model for a project, several parameters are to be taken into consideration:

  • Project size - not all the development models work for big dev teams;
  • Client’s involvement in the process - it depends, whether you want to keep up with the latest project developments or just be informed of the final result;
  • Available budget - some models are thought to be more thorough and require an extra level of doublechecking, which will have its impact on the amount of resources spent on their development;
  • Project complexity and level of flexibility - some software engineering models allow adding requirements throughout the development process, while others don’t. So, if you want to make adjustments in the course of development and do not have the precise structure of a product in your head, some development models are better be excluded.


Software Development Models

There are dozens of software development models you may consider for your project. Here, however, we will stop on the top 6 models which are the most widely used in product creation.


1. Waterfall model

The development stages in this model remind of the waterfall structure. Each software development phase flows into another development phase, having strict deliverables and documentation. Next step cannot start until the previous one is complete. Unlike, however, the real-life waterfall, this structure is characterized by its rigidity: no changes or backtracking are allowed during the development, and if they are, it will take additional time and budget to fulfill. Customer’s presence here is not necessary, thus this model is ideal for those who want to give a task and without active participation receive the result in the end.

Projects eligible for such model:

  • Projects with clear requirements, which are unlikely to change during the development process;
  • Short projects;
  • Projects with strict deadlines and established budgets.


2. V-model

V-model (or Verification and Validation model) is thought to be an extension of the Waterfall model. Each phase is accompanied by a subsequent testing phase. This development model focuses on achieving the best quality possible, eliminating potential errors and giving the client the perfectly working product in the end. At the same time, the model is considered to be one of the most expensive and time-consuming compared to others.

Projects eligible for such model:

  • Projects with clear requirements, which are unlikely to change during the development process;
  • Projects, which require precision and nearly perfect functionality from the beginning, where the smallest errors can have a crucial impact and cause damages.


3. Spiral model

Spiral software processes model combines both iterations (small development phases) and risk assessment. The development of a product goes in loops, where the team presents a prototype, which is later evaluated by experts for risk identification and elimination. This model supports changes during the prototyping phase (not engineering!) and is characterized by flexibility. Customers are also encouraged to participate in the process to give feedback and control the product creation for it to correspond to final expectations.


Agile Software Development Models

The main trait of all Agile Software Development models is their…agility. These software models base their principles on adaptability, flexibility and communication. The latter is extremely important: communication is encouraged both between the teammates and between the team and the customer. Frequent releases are also common for agile models. Changes and fixes are acceptable, so the customer can consult the team on the updates they want. However, among the downsides there is a lack of final deadline, difficulty in formulating budget and high dependence on the self-organization and responsibility of a team.

Nowadays, there are three main agile software development models, which are widely used in software development: Scrum, Kanban and Extreme Programming (XP).

Projects eligible for Agile:

  • Custom software development projects or projects with no clear detailing, where there are going to be changes throughout the development process;
  • Start-ups which need communication with a customer and may require rapid changes;
  • Projects which can be divided into several small parts.



4. Scrum

The Scrum Model is closely associated with iterations. Each interaction (or “sprint”) is a full development cycle but on a smaller scale. It starts with planning, then designing, developing, testing and finally deploying. Unlike the more structured models like Waterfall or V-model, each iteration lasts 1-2 weeks, and the team is developing only a part of the whole product. The team, which normally consists of developers, a few testers, a business analyst and a PM, meets or has a call every day (or every other day) to discuss the latest developments, bugs and fixes to be made. The customer can also visit these meetings.

5. Kanban

Unlike Scrum, Kanban doesn’t have iterations, and if it does, they are very short. The characteristic feature of Kanban is the “Kanban board”, which is subdivided into several categories (”backlog”, “to do”, etc.) with tasks in them. The notes on the board help the team to track the progress of each task and never lose it out of sight. The model is also aimed at close cooperation with the customer. On the other hand Kanban is not recommended for long projects as there are no precise timeframes.

6. XP (Extreme programming)

Extreme programming is based on iterations, which last 1-2 weeks. Compared to other agile models, this one allows changes even after the competition of the iteration. Subsequently, XP is recommended for projects with constantly changing requirements and small teams with 2-10 programmers. However it’s not suitable for projects, where it’s expensive to change something in the process or safety critical systems, where every change should be implemented very carefully.


At Invento Labs we consider ourselves agile enthusiasts and in our projects we primarily practice Agile software development models. We believe that communication with a customer is key and value close collaboration between teammates. To know more about how the process of software development is conducted in our company click here.

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