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Agile, Waterfall, or RAD: Which Methodology Is Best For Your App Development?

There are three types of methodology when it comes to software development. But each one of these methodologies has its pros and cons. At the beginning of the development process, it is essential to choose a method based on the final product’s different factors and requirements.

In this post, we will go through each of these methodologies and learn about the pros and cons.

What Is Waterfall Methodology?

Waterfall methodology is a linear management method. 

At the beginning of the project, both the development team and the stakeholder team gather to build a project plan based on the project requirements. The goal is made to fulfill these requirements. 

Each phase of the project follows into the next stage; therefore, it is called Waterfall methodology. It is worth mentioning that each project phase happens once, so you can not come up when you come down.

The main stage of the Waterfall is planning. All of the project requirements, list of features, and application functionalities must be clear to get mapped between the team members.

In the planning phase, both the development team and the customer needs to have a clear vision about the final product.

According to the specifications, the development team works on the architecture and design of the app.

What Are The Pros of Waterfall Methodology?

Waterfall is very precise. Hence, with a unified vision, this methodology is useful for big projects.

Also, it is beneficial for junior development training. You can hire them for one stage of the development process without handing them the entire project. The prospect is not very active in this methodology. They are only interested in the final product based on the unified vision you agree upon. 

Who Should Use Waterfall Methodology?

If you have already done a similar project, have a fixed budget, and don’t anticipate many changes in the development process, Waterfall is just right for you.

What Are The Cons of Waterfall Methodology?

Building an app or developing any software can become challenging.

There might be some bumps on the road to keep the development phases as linear as you anticipated. 

Because of the rigidity of the Waterfall methodology, making changes is difficult. Therefore if your team followed the Waterfall steps accordingly and found out they need to change the project parameters, this might distribute much of the work you’ve carried out to that point useless, which can sabotage the entire timeline.

The end-user and/or the prospect or the investors are not going to be very involved with the development process. Therefore, if the investor wants a change during the development process, it won’t be possible. 

The testing of the product happens later in the development process. In this stage, the project most likely has taken a considerable amount of time and resources, and therefore any kind of revision will cause significant delays.

What Is Rapid Application Development (RAD)?

As you can see in RAD’s name, Rapid Application Development is the methodology that focuses on developing applications rapidly through stable release and constant feedback. 

With RAD during the development process, the development team can build many iterations and updates to the project. Most importantly, they don’t need to start the developing process from scratch. 

Because of the competitiveness of the app development industry, RAD has become quite popular for app development. RAD methodology gives the opportunity to develop at a higher speed focus on user feedback. 

In contrast with the Waterfall methodology, with RAD, the main focus is a prototype. With this mindset, the development team works rapidly to build the simplest working version of the final product (in our case, an app). With each iteration, the prototype looks like the final product more and more.

What Are The Pros of Rapid Application Development (RAD)?

With RAD, the development team is working very closely with the investor or prospect. 

The RAD development team is small, and the members are seasoned and experienced developers. If a project needs rapid change, with RAD, the process will go very quickly. 

The greatest thing about RAD development teams is their quickness and their flexibility. 

The RAD team is always willing to change the prototypes to meet new requirements and needs.

Who Should Use Rapid Application Development (RAD)?

Suppose you have a tight schedule, have access to skilled and experienced developers, want to be engaged in the development process, and do not need to worry about your budget. In that case, RAD is the perfect Methodology for you.

What Are The Cons of Rapid Application Development (RAD)?

The high price for skilled and experienced developers might become a problem for start-ups and tightly budgeted projects. 

The backbone of RAD is the investor or prospect’s involvement in the project. This availability might not always be possible. 

The project’s complexity might change day to day; therefore, setting a precise deadline and budget might become problematic for the development. According to the time-frame, the whole story might not happen because the main focus is adding more features to the final product.

Managing RAD software development is a lot more difficult than other methodologies. 

What Is Agile Methodology?

According to the agile manifesto, the development process is based on these four principles. Based on these principles, Agile is made to secure a better software development process:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Agile, Just like RAD, is iterative, but the focus of Agile is to build features one at a time. 

Each segment is constructed methodically, and the customer needs to approve each component before starting a new development process for the next one. In Agile, the whole project time is divided into Sprints. In each Sprint, a mini-project goes through a Systems Development Life Cycle or an SDLC

SDLC is planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system in a Sprint. With this approach, the development team follows a schedule, and the customer review and proof every step of development.

What Are The Pros of Agile?

With Agile, the bulk of the project is known and plannable beforehand. Therefore project predictability helps with the risk deduction. 

You also can use professional project leaders and divide the responsibilities. Unlike RAD, you will need more than developers on your team. In your development team for app development, you need testers, UX designers, technical writers, and many others. Also, your approval is a must to move on in the project cycles. 

Who Should Use Agile Methodology?

If your project is large enough to divide it into Sprints, consider agile methodology. You also need to have access to a team of specialists who can work together on your project. 

What Are The Cons of Agile?

If the communication between the development team, the consumer, and the founder, investor, or prospect is not as straightforward as possible, the Agile methodology will fall of- track.

Documentation in Agile is less detailed. Thus, if a new member joins the team, they do not fully know the past features and the past project processes. 

The prospect or investor should have some training to be beneficial for the development cycle. Also, the prospect’s commitment is necessary for the project’s success. 

To use Agile, you need a very cooperative team. If you are new to Agile, the fear of unknown requirements and processes, especially at the beginning of the planning process, might become problematic. 

Conclusion:

Based on the scale, resources, and requirements of your project you can choose the methodology that works best for your development process.

MethodologyWho Should Use It?
Waterfall– Done similar projects
– Fixed budget
RAD– No budget problems
– Tight schedule
– Wants to be involved in the project
– Has access to high skill developers
Agile– Large project
– Has access to a team

If you decide on RAD we suggest WINaTALENT developer renting service for this matter. 

But if you decide to work in Waterfall or Agile, consider becoming our client now! 

We will assign a dedicated project manager to your work and take care of keeping things on track!

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