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An easy guide to choosing the right methodology for cost-effective software development


Holding a startup project or a mid-sized business you inevitably come across such issue as developing custom software or list customization of existing software solution. Having made up your mind about the program’s ‘under-the-hood’ characteristics, you may be bounded in decision-making time limit and budget. 

To be cost-effective you will need to make smart choices along the way together with your software development subcontractor. One the critical points to pay attention to – is software development methodology that is offered to you. The multiplicity of models applied by different companies is bedrock for the future work and requires your in-depth understanding.

How to choose a software development methodology, which allows you to cheap out on expenses, but not on the quality?

Answering the decision-making questions you’ll definitely find an appropriate remedy:

Tip#1 Sheer enthusiasm vs. Lean business processes

One of the critically important startup features is that usually all the work flow is based on sheer enthusiasm. A workday, for instance, isn’t limited by a strict time frame in the case, like 8w.h. per day. If you dictate one of the enumerated methodologies maintenance, either the enthusiasm will die out or no one will play the game. Once everything is fatlined, you can come over to a particular methodology.

Tip#2 Need risk coverage? Use the Spiral model

Any project is not free of risks. However, in this instance you need to pay extra attention to such challenges, which place in question the whole project realization. When such risks are in the view you’ll have to explore the fundamental possibilities of the conceived through mock-up, concept, models, etc. designing. The most optimal solution for the issue is the Spiral model, which is highly applied for research projects and challenging software ideas.

Tip#3 Know what you want? Run the Waterfall

Have a long-term project? Apply the V-Model

Providing that there are no such thoughtful risks in your future project, you need to give top priority to terms alteration issue. If all the requirements are made clear at the ‘project understanding’ stage, the Waterfall model will fit best. The waterfall model is highly advised for short in duration projects. In comparison with the interactive model, the waterfall one will allow you evade extras. When following the methodology nothing can disturb the developers’ work neither the necessity to fix the current bugs, nor the endless meetings and releases.

Nevertheless, the waterfall model is not optimal for long-term projects. Although your project may be lack of critical realization risks, it’s not free of technical ones. Thus, having developed an inappropriate architecture, chosen wrong tools and technologies, etc. you will most likely learn about it at the ‘project deliverables’ stage when it will be too late for the problem solving. So, keep in mind, the longer the project’s development period, the higher the error pricing. The situation requires designing of such regulatory tools for testing stage as ‘smoke test’ and case-test, which is simply realized through The V-Model.

Tip#4 Industrial standards as a priority? Add documentation

The formulated approach is inevitable when dealing with long-term projects maintained by larger development teams. The systems are usually created in compliance with the industrial standards for such spheres as medicine, transport, power industry, etc. and are put into effect through RUP, OpenUP, EssUP frame-based models in which documentation is more preferable than real-life communications. By altering the models features all of them can be utilized for the waterfall model too.

Tip#5 Look for innovative solutions? XP framework’s for you

If the formulated approach is not your monkey, you need one of the so-called flexible ways. Innovative solutions and sophisticated methods can be performed only by a skilful development team following XP framework. The approach is also known as ‘you name it, we have got it!’. All the 12 practices (a test-driven development, continuous integration, pair programming, etc.) of extreme programming are run for attaining a maximal result. Besides, the practices can be used by an experienced mobile app development company for other methodologies too.

Tip#6 Nit-picker by nature? Scrum is what you need

When looking for a maximal productivity Scrum is an excellent variant, which is being developed with the view to constant software improving. For this purpose every planned sprint finishes with a meeting that is used for underlining strong and weak parts of the work done. Usually daily scrum meetings take up no more than 15 minutes, whereas a bottom-line meeting can continue for 3-5 hours. The methodology is a right call for a startup team, whereas Kanban is the next step, which requires a more efficient process of team cooperation.

RAD has much in common with agile, however, the methodology is suitable for short-term projects (around 90 working days). It is oriented to support projects where the result presents a newly-created/added feature visible to a customer (search filters, new pages, user report, etc.).

Lastly, settling on a right methodology will allow for saving money on the development when effecting the desired result. However, keep in mind, there isn’t a universal set of conditions, which should be observed when making a selection of a suitable methodology. Any project requires to be treated in light of its specification and can be fulfilled through different features’ mixing of two or more methodologies.

Moreover, having decided on one of the enumerated methodologies, you shouldn’t approve of it automatically without much thought. Thus, nobody says it’s impossible to use pair programming when keeping up with the waterfall model. More times than not, each of these methodologies should be tooled for a particular task