Software Development is the force behind the IT industry. From Mobile app development to web development, everything is covered under this umbrella. To make solutions that adhere to market demand and deliver value, developers use software development methodologies.

So, what is software development methodology? Well, we shall be discussing all SDLC and more in this blog.

Here, in addition to the software development methodologies definition, the top 11 SDLC along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Therefore, with this being said, let’s get right into it:


What Are Software Development Methodologies?

What are software development methodologies?

As the name suggests, a Software development methodology is a pre-planned process that provides structure to a software development project. This is software development methodologies definition in layman’s terms.

Moving on, it consists of development & design philosophies, pragmatic realism, development guidelines, and so on.

Also known as SDLC, they are used to build custom software systematically. Following a development method allows software developers to create a product that is satisfactory within the right time and at the right cost.

These methodologies also provide developers guidance on how to use resources and technologies available to them in the most productive way.

In addition to this, it also promotes better communication among the team as well as with the stakeholders. Therefore, these SDLC methodologies are extremely important.

Since software solutions like Business Mobile App Development have grown so popular and common, developers have to do something different to gain a competitive advantage. This is why software development methodologies come in.

Let’s look at the importance of software development in the next section below:


Importance of Software Development Methodology

Importance of Software Development Methodology

Software development methodologies are more than popular.

There are people asking all sorts of questions, how many software development methodologies are there, what are different SDLC methodologies, and so on.

But another important question is what the importance of software development methodology is. Well, let’s look at the various advantages these SDLC methodologies offer:

  • Structured Development

Whether it is app development or web app development, this process can get very, “VERY” complex. And this is when the need for a structured process comes in.

Unstructured development can lead a complex project to stray off the path. This is highly likely if the development team is larger since there is no set method of communication between team members.

Methodology software development s solves all of these problems as it provides a structure to the entire process leading to better results.

  • Improved Productivity

Productivity is a big thing when you want to create a successful mobile app or website. After all, you don’t want the development process itself to take years.

This is why you should use SDLC methodologies. With better structure and communication among the team members, the development productivity is increased greatly.

Clearly, SDLC methodologies are important when it comes to software development.

  • SDLC Methodologies Benefits

Another top reason why software development methodologies are important is the benefit they offer.

It is no secret that as technology and the world expanded, more and more methodologies were created.

Each of the software development methods offers unique benefits. And this is a big reason that makes them preferable.

  • Transparent Development

Stakeholders, clients, team leaders, and everyone else involved with the development process wants to know what is going on with the project.

With the use of development methodology, development is made transparent with a lot of detailed reports and feedback. This is something that benefits everyone a lot.

  • Better Teamwork

Have you ever headed the saying the solution is only as good as the custom web development services creating them?

SDLC methodologies like Agile and RAD are known for improving teamwork. This means with the use of the right software development methodologies, the team can create better solutions to improve intra-team ability.

These are some of the reasons why software development methodologies. Moving on, now, we shall be discussing the software development methodologies listed in the section below.


11 Best SDLC – List of Software Development Methodologies: Pros, Cons, & More.

best sdlc

There are various types of software development methodologies that one can use in software development.

Now, if you are working on a project and want to apply software development methodologies to the same, it’s a good idea to learn more about different SDLC methodologies.

Here, we shall be going through 11 top methodologies as well as their advantages and drawbacks. Therefore, with this being said, let’s get right into it, starting with the most popular one:

1) Agile Software Development Methodology

In 2023, the Agile software development methodology is the most popular and widely used one. Often denoted as just Agile Development is used to create some of the best apps in the market.

This software development is based on solutions via collaboration or development with teamwork. It is simple enough in theory.

Agile methodology software development consists of short-term software development cycles called iterations. Each one is highly structured and dealt with as if it’s a project on its own. As such, iterations range from one to 4 weeks.

The steps of Agile are:

  • Development iteration
  • QA iteration
  • Retrospective
  • Scope adjustment

In fact, the principles of Agile and its core has been base for many other software development methodologies. Each one of them is a bit different from the other. But in any case, we shall be discussing more them later down the line.


  • It’s flexible.
  • Adapt to change
  • Set short-term goals
  • Improve development speed
  • Better communication
  • Improve productivity


  • Involves too many changes
  • Constant high pressure
  • Only for expert developers


2) Scrum Development

Based on agile development, Scrum is a popular name in the world of software development methodologies.

So, when it is used?

Being empirical, it is applied when the project requires sudden changes or wants to prioritize requirements.  This makes it one of the best technologies for SaaS Development.

In Agile Scrum Methodology, iteration elements are known as sprints. Here, it starts with the planning stage for each sprint. Following this, daily meetings are held to track progress. The project ends with a final review.

The process goes as follows:

  • Sprint planning
  • Sprint execution
  • Sprint review meetings
  • Retrospective
  • Release

Due to its structure, it is a very good choice for ill-defined projects and with less feedback. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of the methodologies.


  • Helps make the main decision
  • Frequent meets promote productivity
  • Faster troubleshooting
  • Custom driven features
  • Flexible development


  • Not suitable for junior developers
  • Requires high accuracy
  • Not ideal for larger projects.


3) FDD: Feature-Driven Development

Ever heard of iterative development methodology? Well, Feature Driven Development is a good example of the same.

What makes FDD stands out from the rest is the fact that it comes with object modeling. And this makes it a good choice for larger projects. This is one of the reasons why a SaaS development company would use it.

The process goes as follows:

  • Project Model Development
  • Milestones For Feature-Focused Iterations
  • Design Based Feature
  • Build By Feature

There are various benefits of feature-driven development.  Let’s look at them below:


  • Suitable for large success
  • Faster development speed
  • Support teams working in parallel
  • Best industry practice
  • Results are always better than the input


  • No documentation for the owner
  • Not suitable for smaller projects
  • Too complex for individual developers
  • Highly depends on the team leader


4) Lean Development

This one isn’t based on agile development but still, it’s one of the most popular software development methodologies.

Well, if you want to minimize the cost to hire software developers and build one, Lean Development is just for you. The reason is that this methodology is focused on low-budget software.

The lean software development methodologies process is, as mentioned below:

  • Value Identification
  • Value stream mapping
  • Flow Development
  • Establish pull
  • Continuous improvement

Often used for change-tolerant solutions, it is known to maximize resource use. Moreover, it highly relies on the fund’s trio and human effort as well as production time. Consequently, the workflow here is often minimal in addition to other things including meetings, documentation, etc.

Things give us many advantages along with some natural drawbacks. We shall be discussing both of these below:


  • Budget control
  • Faster development
  • Better decision making
  • Motivates developers


  • No room for errors
  • Not too flexible
  • High requirements
  • Requires skilled business analyst


5) XP Software Development Methodology: Extreme Programming

Another one from agile methodology, Extreme Programming or XP is a very popular software development methodology.

Extreme is all about custom product development solutions with are fully functional while cutting development costs.  This makes it perfect for larger and more complex projects. Even if the project doesn’t have clearly defined requirements, this one works well.

The working process in extreme programming is, as mentioned below:

  • Project requirements
  • Iteration planning
  • Stories
  • Test cases
  • Development tasks
  • Acceptance tests

This process makes the extreme programming methodology a good option for an unstable environment. And the best part is, development cost goes down by a big margin in this process.

Not only has this but it also saved a lot of time on both sides.  Let’s look at some other advantages and disadvantages below:


  • Helps reduce cost
  • Involves stakeholders and customers
  • Practical planning
  • Task scheduling
  • Useful for both larger and smaller teams
  • Better risk management


  • Impossible project quotes
  • Require frequent meeting
  • More Time Consuming
  • May change initial requirements


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6) Waterfall Model in Software Engineering: Waterfall Development

This is definitely an interesting one. Unlike many other modern software development methodologies on the list, this dates back to 1970.

Created by Winston W. Royce for his manufacturing work, it is the most traditional methodology in the IT industry. Being half a century old, it is a true classic on this list of software development methodologies.

The process for the waterfall model is, as follows:

  • Requirements
  • System design
  • Development
  • QA
  • Deployment & maintenance

As you can see, all the project goals are pre-defined for every step of development. As such, this is a linear process that is based on the completion of each step.  And it allows developers to create secure apps and websites.

Since the methodology has been around for more than 50 years, you bet there are certain advantages it offers.


  • Straightforward
  • Requires little to no experience
  • Simple testing process
  • Time effective
  • Suitable for small projects
  • Easy to manage
  • Fixed deadline


  • Doesn’t apply to maintenance
  • Product only useable at last stage
  • Not for larger projects
  • Doesn’t allow improvising


7) Prototype Model – Software Development Methodologies

As the name suggests, the Prototype methodology is based on prototyping. As such, this method deals which each lapse in the software development process.

Due to that, it is often used to bring small business ideas to reality.

To better understand it, let’s look at the process:

  • Set objectives
  • Develop / Refine / Demonstrate
  • Testing
  • Implementation

As you can see, the developer starts with creating goals or objectives. Then they make a prototype of the solution which will be visualized for clients and stakeholders.

Necessary changes are made to the software as per the requirement. This is how the final version is created.


  • Allow risk assessment
  • Scalable development
  • Best way to visualize product
  • Allows feedback
  • Better communication between client & developer


  • The initial product isn’t useable
  • Require drastic changes
  • Possible slow workflow


8) RAD Software Development Methodology: Rapid Application Development

Want to develop a Mobile App “fast”? You need rapid application development.

This is one of the best software development methodologies. With the rapid software development methodology or RAD method, you can hire dedicated developers and create market-leading software in no time.

The process of the model goes as follows:

  • Business modeling
  • Data modeling
  • Process modeling
  • Application Development
  • Testing & modelling

As seen, there is a lot of modeling in the process. And this is the reason why this model offers such speed. In addition to this Rapid application development offers amazing quality.

It is based on a focus group. This is the base to gather information about requirements, prototyping, user testing, reusing software components, continuous reviews, informal communications, and so on.

Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of the same.


  • Isolated operations
  • Minimum room for errors
  • Regular testing
  • Deep customer feedback
  • Transparent Process


  • Not for low budget projects
  • Only fits select few software’s
  • Need skilled team



9) TDD: Test Driven Development

Test Driven Development is an iterative development approach.  TDD uses test cases that are created for specification and validation code’s function. The test is written before creating production code.

This approach helps developers make sure the code they have written is easy to execute, simple, and error-free.  In case the test is failed, the developer needs to write new code. TDD is a cycle of testing, coding, and refactoring.

As the name suggests, TDD allows the tests to drive development.  And there are three different types of tests. Namely:

  • Unit Tests
  • Functional Tests
  • Acceptance Tests


  • Improved System Design
  • Better Code Quality
  • Higher Development Productivity
  • Better Cost Over Time
  • Effective Bug Prevention
  • Dependable Process Benefit


  • Firm development process
  • Eventual low readability
  • Difficulty learning
  • TDD can be hard to maintain
  • Slow Development Speed


10) Spiral Model – Leading Software Development Methodology

Spiral Model SDLC or also known as the Spiral lifecycle model is one of the most complex one risk. And this is one of the reasons when you hire software developers to work on Spiral SDM you need to make sure they are experts.

Speaking of which, the SDLC methodology itself is based on risk identification and reduction. The process starts at a smaller scale and then goes through risk exploration and the plan’s provision for eliminating risks.

The complete process is, as mentioned below:

  • Analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Development
  • Planning

Despite being one of the most complex processes, this is also one of the best ones on the list. Therefore, you should definitely check it out.

The advantages and disadvantages of the same are, as mentioned below;


  • Minimize risk
  • Good for the project with high risk
  • Allows larger project development
  • Open to changes
  • Allows customization at later stages


  • Potential resource wastage
  • Highly depend on risk analysis
  • Can be inconclusive


11) DevOps Methodology – One of The Most Popular Software Development Methodologies

In 2022, more than 47 of developers in the industry used a DevOps or DevSecOps method for software development. This makes it one of the most popular software development methodologies.

The process for this methodology goes as follows:

  • Continuous development
  • Continuous integration
  • Continuous testing
  • Continuous deployment
  • Continuous monitoring

You see, DevOps acts as a union between software development and IT operations. This is one of the reasons behind its popularity.

Coming back to the topic, there are two working in this methodology that collaborates for product development.

One of the big advantages it offers is effective communication among the team. Let’s look at other advantages.


  • Allows effective communication between teams
  • Fast time to market
  • High innovation
  • Continuous delivery


  • Quite complicated
  • Requires high-end infrastructure
  • Need team members with similar mindsets.


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Software development methodologies are the soul of any software product development. Now, if you are someone who wants to learn more about it or want to develop software of your own, you should contact a custom software development company.