Last Updated: December 20, 2023
Software Development Methodology
Published On: July 12, 2023

As a software development company, have you ever felt that you could enhance the efficiency of your app development process? The three small changes can make a huge difference in how your software development processes are carried out:

  • Cutting development costs,
  • Optimizing productivity, &
  • Completing projects on time

In 2023, defining & adopting a suitable software development methodology is integral to the success of your IT company. It facilitates smoother communication and sync between your development & operations teams. Eventually, it drives positive product development results.

However, the importance of choosing & adhering to a software development methodology highly depends on your organization’s team size, business goals, & client requirements.

In this article, we’ll illustrate various types of software development methodologies pursued in the market today. And after going through this script, you’ll get all the intel you need to understand which methodology will suit your software team the best. 

Without further ado, let’s get started!

What Is Software Development Methodology?

Isn’t that the penultimate question that drove you to this blog? We figure yes, and it’s only fair enough to answer it right.

Running an IT development company, there might have been instances wherein your development team faced many challenges, usually because the customer representative team didn’t convey the technical requirements effectively. 

In the real-world operation of software development services, your organization would face dozens of problems.

However, a structured workflow process & designing the philosophy/principles by which your team operates will enable you to attain positive business outcomes. It allows you to define the ruling principles & guidelines by which your software development team operates.

Put it concisely; a software development methodology is a deeply-embedded philosophy. It sets the course for how your IT organization operates and facilitates app development, including workflow structure & other external operations. 

Till now, you’ll probably have some idea why there’s a need to choose a methodology. Here’s an overview of the most important factors for choosing the right app development methodology:

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right App Development Methodology

You must choose the appropriate software development methodology based on certain parameters. By adopting the perfect methodology for facilitating your app development processes, you can benefit greatly in terms of saving time, money, & effort. These are the factors you need to consider. 

Factors To Consider The Right App Development Methodology

Team Size

Your organization’s team size is a crucial factor in determining which app development methodology will suit the most. For small IT companies, the classic waterfall model is a great choice. For medium-scale software companies, agile software development methodologies, such as Scrum and Prototype, are good. For large-scale IT companies, methodologies such as DevOps & XP are great choices.

Software Tools & Technologies 

The availability of modern software tools & technologies will also play a role in which software development methodology will suit your organization the best. When you have access to advanced tools, you can use them for implementing top-notch software tasks & achieve results in less time. 

Client Project Requirements 

Depending on the client’s project requirements, you’ll have to choose an app development methodology that helps to facilitate streamlined app development & submit the project within time. For projects that have active iteration requirements & code revisions, adopting methodologies such as Spiral & XP will be of the utmost importance.

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Why Is Choosing The Right App Development Methodology Important?

Customers are at the heart of driving every important decision. Hence, their satisfaction is of utmost importance.  Even more important is to keep revising your software development methodology with evolving needs.

The right app development methodology & strategy will enable you to build customer-centric products & make revisions from time to time. Here’s why:

  • You can streamline various tasks & enable the separate teams to operate with enhanced efficiency, coordinating seamlessly.
  • You can avoid several confusions throughout the app development phase & maximize productivity. 
  • You can erase the possibilities of last-minute changes/revisions & give clients detailed guidelines on how you operate. 

There’s so much more you benefit from adopting a methodology suitable to your software development workflow. You can save time, money, and effort, & bet on the smooth progress of your app development. 

Whenever there are design revisions, there’ll be a formulated procedure for incorporating them. Hence you can appease your customer’s requests & at the same time, maintain the feasibility aspect. 

Types Of Application Development Methodologies

Over the years, various types of software development life cycle methodologies & philosophies have been developed. According to the workflow & organizational structure of IT service providers, visionaries & developers have revised how individual software teams can operate to complete projects on time & within budget. Let’s look at the top 8 types of software development methodologies adopted by several IT organizations today. 

Types Of Application Development Methodologies

1. DevOps

DevOps is an organizational philosophy by which the internal software teams operate & collaborate seamlessly to complete projects on time & attain business goals. Both the development team & operation team remain in sync with each other throughout the app development phase via properly established communication channels. Software development pipeline efficiency is enhanced by adopting DevOps principles which promote the use of automation tools & cloud infrastructure management tools. 

Pros of DevOps

  • Disintegration of Silos – The barricade between software teams is removed & internal software teams can collaborate seamlessly to work through design/code changes & implement them effectively. 
  • Facilitates Speedy Development – Modern DevOps practices are facilitated by using automation tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, etc, and hence app development is carried out effectively.
  • Focuses on CI/CD – With continuous integration & continuous code delivery practices, you’ll stay up to date with customer trends & ensure the peak performance of your applications. 
  • Budget Optimization – You can cut costs by not spending on unnecessary IT infrastructure & resources with DevOps practices such as Infrastructure as Code. 

Cons of DevOps

  • Change Susceptibility – Bringing a cultural upshift in your organizational workflow process is technically challenging and requires great patience.
  • Takes Time for DevOps Adoption – It will take time for your software development team as a whole to achieve DevOps & become ingrained with its philosophies/practices. 
  • Technically Challenging – As DevOps practices involve CI/CD, it will be technically challenging for the development & operation team as it involves iterative execution of changes. 

Suitable For

When there’s a need to develop complex applications that require frequent revisions/code modifications, developers have to be adept at CI/CD. DevOps establishes the baseline to deliver projects on time, addressing client requirements throughout the app development phase. Expanding out of the discussed development scope is possible with DevOps methodology, allowing more flexibility in app development. 

2. Agile

As the name suggests, this type of software development methodology involves incorporating an agile approach while conducting the app development process. The software teams are highly supportive & flexible to change, benefiting customers by building custom applications. More focus is given to collaborating with the customer throughout the app development process & tuning to their iterative development requirements. Agile software development methodologies are used to facilitate speedy app development & hence documentation is only done for the utmost necessary product development details. 

Pros of Agile Development

  • High Customer Satisfaction – Customers are satisfied with the products you develop as their suggestions & feedback have been incorporated.
  • Shapes Evolutionary Mindset – Flexibility in accommodating changes optimizes the developer mindset to keep evolving & pushing beyond limits.
  • Enhances Productivity – Increased collaboration & interaction between development teams drive productivity measures.
  • Notable Progress – Progress is measured concerning the iterative steps of development involved. With each iteration in design/feature development, respective progress can be noted.

Cons of Agile Development

  • Lack of Extensive Documentation – Product documentation might be incomplete as the focus is on steady & agile development.
  • Scope Uncertainty – As iterations are involved throughout the app development phase, it’s hard to define the quantitative scope/effort that will be required.
  • Technical Turbulence – With an undue focus on customer requirements, the workflow will become disturbed & result in chaos.  

Suitable For

Agile software development methodologies best suit IT organizations with fast-changing project requirements. When there’s a volatile demand for your IT services, you need to be quick at rendering them & agile software development is the best approach. In hindsight, your development team & other internal software teams must be highly independent to execute such rapid code integration & delivery. 

3. Waterfall

No complications; this is as simple as it gets. We’re talking about old-school software development here. The waterfall approach to software development involves a classic series of steps that must be purposefully followed while executing the development. After the project manager gathers client requirements, they pass them on to the development team. Once the software is developed, it is passed to the QA & testing team and launched. 

Pros of Waterfall Development

  • Classic Methodology – The sequential alignment & fixed procedure of steps make the waterfall method a sound software development methodology. 
  • Erases Confusions – Unnecessary confusions are erased as the app development process doesn’t involve iterative development. 
  • Optimizes Management – With deliverables achieved after each stage of app development, the entire project can be managed effectively. 
  • Establish Exact Project Completion Time – With the waterfall method, it’s easy to dictate the scope of the project & hence curate the timeframe needed for completion. 

Cons of Waterfall Development

  • Not Flexible – It’s impossible to incorporate design/feature changes post-development in this model as traversing back the steps is out of the option.
  • Unsatisfied Customers – Client feedback cannot be incorporated into the app & hence they might end up unsatisfied. 
  • Extensive Documentation – Each & every minute detail is documented in the waterfall methodology, hence becoming very time-consuming.

Suitable For

The waterfall software development methodology best suits projects with a clearly-defined scope. When there are little-to-no unknown parameters & when customers are 100% sure of their product requirements, you can go forward with this development approach. Time for development takes a minimum curve & you can complete projects on time. 

4. Scrum 

Scrum is one of the most adopted software development life cycle methodologies, focusing on iterative & incremental app development. Depending on the client’s product requirements, a scrum manager segregates the project into subsidiary tasks called sprints & allocates them to different team members. Specific deliverables are easily achieved using the Scrum methodology as repetitive iterations are carried out. 

Pros of Scrum Development

  • Meets Client Expectations – The product owner establishes the priorities per the client’s requirements in the scrum model & works towards accomplishing them. Hence expectations are met.
  • Launch Faster Time-To-Market – As software development is carried out with iterative methods, applications can be quickly developed & launched. 
  • Risk Reduction – With customer feedback being taken & incorporated after every sprint task, there’s minimal risk attached to the app development completion. 
  • Boosts Productivity – Teams have to only focus on specific deliverables at each stage of development & hence they can use their skills to the best of their ability. 

Cons of Scrum Development

  • Project Scope Creep – With increased flexibility offered to customers to make feature/functionality changes, the project scope will fluctuate.
  • Needs Experienced Professionals – To facilitate Scrum software methodologies, it’s essential to have experienced developers & project managers who can adopt its principles. 
  • Demands Upfront Readiness – Your developers & task managers need to be always ready to incorporate customer suggestions & carry out iterative development. 

Suitable For

While working on niche projects that require custom features/functionality to be integrated, it’s great to implement the Scrum software development methodology. Large-scale applications requiring consistent scaling & development will greatly benefit from Scrum. 

5. Prototype Model

The full product is not submitted to the clients in the prototype model on the first go. A functional prototype is developed & submitted to the clients for approval. Once the client approves, the development team sets out to integrate the core functionality/features & hence develop the project. Software development becomes fluid by adopting these types of software development methodologies.

Pros of Prototype Model Development

  • Enhances Customer Satisfaction – As customers can get a taste of the visual design & functionality of the product via the prototype, you can be assured of customer satisfaction.
  • Reduce Risks – You can reduce risks & complete projects on time as all possible technical concerns are addressed after the prototype is submitted. 
  • Identify Project Scope – You can quickly determine the scope after the initial data gathering & requirements meetings. 
  • Enable Streamlined Operations – The development team & operations team can work in a streamlined manner by deploying this model. 

Cons of Prototype Model Development

  • Not Iterative-Friendly – In the prototype model, once the final product has been developed, there are restrictions concerning iterations & feature enhancements.
  • Prototype Mismatch – Sometimes, clients might expect something different from the initial prototype. It might become hard to make succeeding changes. 
  • Mismanagement of Costs – When developers use tools for developing the prototype, they might depend on specific tools, which might come down as unnecessary spending. 

Suitable For:

The methodology is suitable for small-scale & startup IT companies, the prototype model is an excellent choice compared to agile and waterfall software development methodologies or DevOps development. It’s a riskless software development methodology that helps to achieve significant results in less time.

6. Feature-Driven Development

In this software development methodology, the focus is given to developing individual features of the software & hence progressing with the project accordingly. Once a feature is developed, it’s passed on to the client for inspection & once it’s approved, the next feature is developed. FDD lifecycle is based on short iterations, which is necessary to complete projects on time. 

Pros of Feature-Driven Development

  • Manage Large Projects – FDD helps handle large-size projects effectively by splitting the tasks & assigning them to respective developers.
  • Efficient Cost Estimation – Costs can be estimated with great precision depending on the features that must be integrated into the application.
  • Measurable Progress – Project progress tracking can be easily done as it depends on the number of features that have been implemented. 
  • Customer-Centric Methodology – The complete focus is given to customers’ interests & features are incorporated into the application according to their demands. 

Cons of Feature-Driven Development

  • Poor Documentation – Agile software development methodologies such as FDD are focussed on attaining results & hence documentation might be incomplete.
  • Unsuitable for Small Projects – As small projects require minimal code, FDD is an unsuitable software development methodology. There wouldn’t be the need to assign individual feature tasks to developers. 
  • Unequal Dependencies – The senior & lead developers will mainly lead the project in the FDD lifecycle. Hence there is a greater workload on the senior developers. 

Suitable For

Application development services involving Feature-Driven methodologies are most suitable for large-size/enterprise-scale projects requiring extensive feature development. They help reduce development time & enhance progress tracking measures which are integral to the successful completion of the project. 

7. Extreme Programming (XP)

The XP methodology is used to develop high-quality software and launch it at tentative timelines, further pushing the boundaries of software development. It deploys principles such as test-driven development (TDD) & others such as code review to sustain the practices of effective incremental development and achieve significant results. User stories are formulated to give due importance to customer requirements.

Pros of XP Development

  • High-Performance Software – The software developed with XP practices are of the highest quality & performs to its utmost potential. 
  • Timely Delivery – Projects are completed well within the tentative dates with Extreme programming practices.
  • Saves Costs – You can minimize the operational costs as you get inherent customer feedback on time & only spend on necessary resources. 
  • Maximizes Productivity – As coding standards are of the highest level, the productivity of developers & task managers is optimized to the core. 

Cons of XP Development

  • Requires Cultural Upshift – It’s not easy to implement XP coding measures as it requires great commitment & effort from the development team.
  • Lack of Good Design – There are chances that these types of software development methodologies may result in bad designs as they are more focused on building the code. 
  • Demands Frequent Meetings – To accomplish XP’s philosophies, frequent client meetings are required, which might only be practical in some cases. 

Suitable For 

Extreme programming software development methodologies are suitable for projects that require a high level of feature development & consistent code revision. XP is the suitable choice when building niche products that are far too complex to define scope & functionality. 

8. Spiral 

The Spiral development approach is the key to achieving success when potential risks are attached to software project development. It is a software development life cycle (SDLC) model with a spiral network. Each spiral is associated with a certain phase of the app development process. There’s an initial planning phase, followed by risk analysis & execution, followed by another planning phase that considers the evaluation pointers. 

Pros of Spiral Development

  • Risk-Reduction – With risk analysis being done to a great length, you won’t have to worry about appending risks.
  • Satisfy Customers – As multiple iterations and evaluations are carried out, customers are satisfied with the mode of operations & project delivery. 
  • Enhances Communication – Internal software teams have to collaborate for various tasks & hence subsequently, communication improves. 
  • Developed to Perfection – With so many iterations & incremental software development, you can be sure that the software developed is of the utmost quality.

Cons of Spiral Development

  • Costly Model – The amount of complexity & iterations involved in Spiral development methodology demands great investment & monetization.
  • Indefinite Crisis – There’s a possibility that the spiral keeps going on & on if the project scope keeps increasing beyond measure leading to an indefinite crisis. 
  • Unsuitable for Small Projects – The Spiral methodology principles are unsuitable for small projects. 

Suitable For

The Spiral software development methodology is great for large & complex projects as it helps in risk reduction & delivers to the best of the application’s potential. When integrating modern technologies such as AI, IoT, blockchain, etc., into the software, using the Spiral app methodology is great. 

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How Do App Development Methodologies Differ From Each Other?

Broadly classifying, there are 2 types of software development methodologies: Agile & Waterfall. All the other types of software development lifecycle methodologies are branches of the parent two types. Thanks to the evolution of all these methodologies, each IT organization can adopt the most suitable software development approach considering its team size, mode of operation, & app development requirements. 

As you might have already understood, each software development approach has its own merits & demerits. We can consider a few pointers to help you determine the fundamental differences between each methodology. 


At the root, the guiding philosophies defining a software development methodology will differ for each one. For instance, DevOps is based on a philosophy that removes barriers between internal and external teams to work collaboratively. Certain software methodologies favor a guiding philosophy that uses modern tools, software development practices, & TDD methods. 


Regarding approach, software development methodologies vary in their behavior. When we consider agile software development methodologies, its approach is to develop software by focusing on iterations & incremental development. In contrast, the waterfall approach obeys a linear sequential approach wherein each step must be completed before moving to the next. 


The ratio of flexibility that each application development methodology possesses is different. Based on several factors & guiding philosophies, each IT organization adopts a software development methodology that offers upfront flexibility in terms of making code revisions & adopting client feedback. 

Why Is Moon Technolabs The Ideal Partner For Your Application Development Needs? 

You can bank on Moon Technolabs for all your application development requirements as we adopt agile software development methodologies to facilitate customer-centric app development. Our internal software teams work in smooth collaboration via properly established communication channels. We are highly flexible with incorporating code revisions & changes and work out a smooth & healthy relationship with our clients. 

Reach out to us now to build a world-class application for your business.


There are various types of software, such as web apps, mobile apps, cloud-based applications, & much more.

There are 2 significant types of software development methodologies, namely: Agile & Waterfall. Several types of subsidiary app development methodologies exist, such as DevOps, Scrum, XP, etc.

Development methodologies define the guidelines for uninterrupted workflow with techniques and steps. They aim to organize teams so that they can develop the features and elements in the best way possible.

To implement DevOps software development strategies, a high level of cultural change is required. The whole team of IT developers & task managers needs to build an agile & flexible mindset to transition to DevOps standards.
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Jayanti Katariya

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

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