Software development methodology is the process of creating a piece of software. Its role is to organize jobs and tasks in a structured way that assures high quality of product in the shortest amount of time. There are two basic approaches to this. There is the classic Waterfall methodology and its derivatives and then there are more modern agile methodologies, like SCRUM or Kanban.
While at first glance the Waterfall methodology simply makes since with its linear approach to software development, following an agile methodology can yield some unique insights into your customers. Essentially, the waterfall methodology takes the development process one step at a time, from idea conception to product development to testing to marketing. Agile software development looks to release a minimum viable product as quickly as possible to receive feedback from real customers, then implement changes at a rapid pace. But, which methodology really produces the highest quality product?
When following an agile methodology for software development, the entire project is typically based off of the minimum viable product. It becomes a rapid sprint to release something that works to your customers. Once your customers begin using the product, agile methodology looks to implement requested changes and bug fixes at a rapid pace. This leads to an iterative process with a large amount of small updates constantly being pushed out.
Following an agile approach to software development is generally best applied to small, fast-paced startups. By releasing a product as fast as possible they can begin creating some amount of cash flow to keep them afloat. It also allows them to interact with their customers in a unique way by responding and reacting to all feedback. This builds a connection and trust between the customers and the business. While this may seem like a methodology every business would want to follow, it does have some pros and cons to consider.
Following a waterfall methodology for developing software requires a clear-set goal from the very beginning. Once a goal is established, the team typically works backward to determine the steps to reaching the goal. The team then follows these steps in a sequential order to create an end product that requires minimal support once fully developed.
This software development methodology usually ends up with a stronger initial product, but requires higher levels of investment prior to releasing the software to your consumers. Typically organizations with a strong reputation require the waterfall methodology to keep their reputation in-tact.