Software Development Methodologies- An insight

Software engineering is the practice of using selected process techniques to improve the quality of a software development effort. This is based on an assumption, subject to endless debate and supported by patient experience, that a methodical approach to software development results in fewer defects and, therefore, ultimately provides shorter delivery times and better value.

The documented collection of policies, processes and procedures used by a development team or organization to practice software engineering is called its software development methodology (SDM) or system development life cycle (SDLC).

A software development methodology is a way of managing a software development project. This typically address issues like selecting features for inclusion in the current version, when software will be released, who works on what, and what testing is done. No one methodology is best for all situations. There is no fix methodology to develop a software as each software development company use different methodology according to its requirement and the nature of the software being developed. Even the much-maligned waterfall method is appropriate for some organizations.
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In practice, every organization implements their software development project management in a different way, which is often slightly different from one project to the next. None the less, nearly all are using some subset or combination of the ones discussed here.

Choosing an appropriate management structure can make a big difference in achieving a successful result when measured in terms of cost, meeting deadlines, client happiness, robustness of software, or minimizing expenditures on failed projects. As such, it is worth your time to learn about a number of these and make your best effort to choose wisely to make the final product as per requirements.

This basically refers to the process and the way in which it is managed, to ensure that development is completed on time and within a reasonable budget. There are several methods that software development methodology can take, depending on the nature of the program being created and the tools used. In general, SDM is governed by the need to ensure a division of tasks into manageable elements and a process that goes through numerous, expanding iterations.

Following methodologies are used to develop software;
– Agile Software Development
– Crystal Methods
– Dynamic Systems Development Model (DSDM)
– Extreme Programming (XP)
– Feature Driven Development (FDD)
– Joint Application Development (JAD)
– Lean Development (LD)
– Rapid Application Development (RAD)
– Rational Unified Process (RUP)
– Scrum
– Spiral
– Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
– Waterfall (a.k.a. Traditional methodology)

The challenge in selecting and following a methodology is to do it wisely — to provide sufficient process disciplines to deliver the quality required for business success, while avoiding steps that waste time, misuse productivity, demoralize developers, and create useless administration. The best approach for applying a methodology is to consider it as a mean to manage risk.

Software development companies deploy different software methodologies in the software development process, selected by software teams based on a variety of reasons. While different software development methodologies have emerged, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.