Enterprise Software Development Methodologies: A Comprehensive Guide

Enterprise software development methodologies offer a robust framework from initiation to completion of  a project.

Enterprises aim at custom software development that fulfills and suits their businesses needs and goals. These goals include rapid time to market, scalability, cost savings, and incorporation of exclusive features.

However, to achieve these goals, its vital to choose the appropriate enterprise software development methodology. Here are five software development methodologies that can be used by enterprises –

Top 5 Enterprise Software Development Methodologies

1. Agile Methodology

 Source: educba

With agile methodology, enterprises can manage software development by breaking it up into stages and by collaborating with stakeholders for continuous improvement. This method starts by defining users for a product and addressing problems, values, and opportunities. The agile methodology revolves around four essential values –

1. Working software is vital over comprehensive documentation.

2. Interactions and individuals are important over tools and processes.

3. Responding to a change is crucial over following a specific plan.

4. Customer collaboration is important instead of contract negotiation.

Agile methodology decreases risks associated with scope, delivery, and budget of a software development project; this method helps to build collaboration between the team and customers.

Here are top five reasons why enterprises should consider Agile methodology for software development –

a. Quick Time-to-Market

Software products developed by using agile methodology get shipped faster. As per a research by QSM Associates, agile teams were on an average 37 percent quicker in delivering software to the market as compared to waterfall or plan-based method. Agile teams were also 16 percent more productive in software development.

This method is capable of showing quicker time-to-market despite having a geographically dispersed or large team. Software development teams are able to deliver products quickly due to task prioritization feature in agile method.

Further, enterprises can use agile method to gather input from customers and offer constant iterations based on the feedback.

b. Excellent Quality of Product

In agile methodology, quality of product is determined both reactively and proactively. Reactively with product testing; and proactively with face-to-face communication, pair programming, and coding standards. Quality of product is maintained by testing at every stage of the development process.

The software development team enables automated testing in every sprint and verify whether all requirements are developed. Continuous testing not only controls the quality of product developed, it also fixes issues or errors that can result in bigger problems in the later developmental stages.

Agile method helps to maintain the quality of product by prioritizing working software and focusing on changing customer needs.

c. Customer Satisfaction

Agile methodology boosts customer satisfaction, experience, and engagement. In agile projects, customers or their representatives are part of the team; this ensures that customers get a primary say in the project and can change the product anytime they want.

Substantial project investment keeps customer active and engaged; also this is an indication to give outcomes and buy-in plans.

With agile methodology customers receive highest value in increments with each sprint. This helps to bring in products quickly to the market and to tackle business challenges. Agile method encourages collaborations with the team and strengthens relationships.

Further, customers give feedback for every product demonstration, this helps to improve and determine priorities while developing software.

d. Risk Reduction

Agile methodology is tailored to reduce risks, and thus increases value of software products. This is of particular significance in industries such as healthcare which deal with sensitive data and regulatory requirements like HIPAA.

This method mitigates risks by decreasing sprint duration to the lower end as this approach helps to build frequent cycles for every feature, determine accuracy of the agile team, thus making it predictable and reducing risks. Agile software development in healthcare is therefore becoming increasingly popular.

Further, backlog grooming for sprint and product backlog helps to revise and review the priority of features that’ll be build in every iteration. The more frequently backlog grooming is done, the more are the chances of decreasing the risk of ROI loss.

Agile methodology promotes transparency amongst the stakeholders, clients involved, and software development team. Transparency reduces risk of going off track and allows everyone in the team to know exactly what is going on.

e. More Flexibility

The goal of agile method is to be flexible and adapt seamlessly without affecting the delivery of software product. With advanced technologies gaining traction in the market, business models and marketing strategies have changed, hence clients and stakeholders demand for new user stories as per shifting markets and businesses.

This is when agile methodology comes in the picture because addition of new user story or any other changes are welcomed; unlike traditional methods where any extra alterations leads to increased investments and extended deadlines (due to lack of flexibility).

Agile methodology adds new user story to the backlog and prioritizes it according to owner’s requirements. These changes are made in sprints, timeboxed, and expenses are predictable. Flexibility helps to manage budget, time, and scope of the software project smoothly.

Enterprises looking at healthcare software development in particular should opt for Agile methodology as their preferred model of software development.

Sub-Methodologies Under Agile

1. Scrum

Scrum breaks down the developmental stages into cycles called as sprints. This agile method allows developers to adjust priorities according to overdue and incomplete sprints.

2. Kanban

Kanban method utilizes visual methods for managing and developing projects. A Kanban Board is used to oversee all projects  and this helps to increase visibility amongst the team as they can see progress each day. Kanban method maintains transparency and interaction for a cohesive workflow.

3. Extreme Programming (XP)

Similar to scrum and kanban, this method also uses short developmental cycles or sprints. XP emphasizes communication, teamwork, and feedback.

This method is supportive in situations of varying and constant customer demands. Feedback from customers helps to test at initial stages of development.

4. Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

DSDM method offers a structure that is modified and defined to execute, plan, manage, and scale the software development process. This method was designed to address standard industry charter for quick delivery.

5. Crystal

Crystal method is further divided into Crystal Clear, Crystal Yellow, Crystal Orange, Crystal Red, and more. Each of these have an exclusive framework and are characterized by facets such as team size, system criticality, and project priorities.

6. Feature Driven Development (FDD)

FDD’s main aim is to produce a working software consistently in a timely manner. This is a customer-centric, iterative, and incremental agile methodology.

7. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

SAFe method allows to take benefit of a framework that’s light and maintains centralized decision-making, which is required by enterprises for efficient software development. This method sets organizational patterns and workflows at an enterprise level.

8. Lean Software Development

Lean software development method is based on quality development, knowledge creation, and eliminating what’s not important.

This method helps in prompt delivery and encourages the team to focus on estimating ideas without prior knowledge of business needs.

Each of these agile methodologies are used individually during the enterprise software development process as per requirements and suitability of the project. Enterprises can consider implementing these methods under agile as well.

2. DevOps Enterprise Software Development Methodology

Source: Medium

DevOps brings together information technology and software development teams; this collaboration helps to enable communication between both the teams to create, test, and deploy a software faster and with high efficiency.

DevOps is being adopted speedily by companies due to shortened development cycles, as this provides better experience for end users and companies. According to statista, in 2021, 36 percent of the respondents used DevOps or DevSecOps for software development, followed by agile/scrum at 31.8 percent, and kanban at 13 percent.

DevOps is preferred by enterprise software development teams because it prevents them to fall into the trap of thinking that the end goal is a great software, instead urges the teams to think on the lines of what a customer wants – a solution and functional product.

Furthermore, the operations team struggled to keep up with the development team as they were able to release products faster due to agile method. DevOps compels the operations teams and the development team to work in sync and release products faster.

DevOps automates processes to save time on releases that occur frequently in a year and to promote seamless deployment process. In a nutshell, DevOps is capable to provide the following –

1. Stabilized workplace

2. Faster deployment rate

3. Substantial improvement in product quality

4. Enhances agility in businesses

5. Automation for repetitive tasks

6. Continuous software deliveries

7. Minimum expenses

8. Reliable and fast problem solving techniques

3. Waterfall Method

Source: medium

The waterfall methodology is a bit dated, however it remains relevant to this day because of its logical sequencing abilities, which makes it easy to implement and understand.

This method offers a linear approach to software development, in other words previous stage of the software project must be completed before advancing to the next stage. Enterprises leverage the waterfall software development methodology due to the following benefits:

a. Promotes Structured Work

As compared to other enterprise software development methodologies, the waterfall method aims at clearly defined steps. The structure of waterfall method is simple and goes through the following steps –

1. Collecting requirement

2. Analysis

3. Design

4. Coding

5. Testing

6. Operations

Software development teams are required to complete each step before moving on to the next, this approach helps to remove any roadblocks right away. The nature of waterfall method allows development teams to be disciplined and structured.

Furthermore, waterfall method helps large projects to define every faucet from start to delivery. This eliminates confusion and assures that every person on the project is aware of the procedure to follow across all stages.

b. Clarifies End Objectives

Steps in the waterfall enterprise software development methodology are committed to the end objectives from the start. By being aware of the end objective from the start, a software development team is less likely to divert and keep moving forward.

Clarity in objectives helps to be more focused and determined towards the project, also brings out the best outcome possible from the project.

Furthermore, end objectives sets a suitable deadline to concentrate on achieving project milestones and bolsters productivity. This helps to measure daily, weekly, and monthly progress.

c. Better Communication and Transfer of Information

The waterfall enterprise software development methodology is highly structured, hence this promotes accurate and efficient communication of information. This helps to ameliorate software development process for the enterprises.

Aim at every new step in the waterfall method is to document information, as this helps in knowledge transfer if an employee quits or when the project is handed over to another team. Providing access to project information helps to speed up the software development project and maximize efficiency.

4. Spiral Method

Source: researchgate

The spiral enterprise software development methodology is utilized for risk management that amalgamates iterative development procedure with the components of the waterfall method. Spiral method is preferred for expensive, large, and complex software projects.

A spiral model looks like a coil with several loops; the number of loops fluctuates based on the project and every loop represents a phase of the software development project. Enterprises can consider using spiral method for the following types of projects –

1. Long-term projects that aren’t feasible due to varied economic conditions.

2. For projects that need changes at any given time during the development process.

3. Projects in which risk and cost analysis is essential.

4. Complex and unclear projects.

5. Software projects with frequent releases.

6. Projects that benefit from a prototype.

The progressive nature of the spiral method helps enterprises to break a complex or large project into smaller elements, and tackle one feature after the next. Since, the entire project is carried out progressively, it’s easier to estimate expenses.

Furthermore, the spiral methodology offers flexibility, which means that any changes made to the requirements post development can be incorporated and adapted easily. This method is designed to handle risks at every software developmental stage, thus improving security and minimizing breakages or cyberattacks.

The iterative development facilitates risk management as well. A spiral method is such that a customer is able to evaluate the product at every stage, and suggest changes if any, thus saving time and money for the development team. Customers are able to provide their feedback instantly. Spiral method allows addition of features systematically and quickly.

5. V-Shaped Method

Source: researchgate

The V-shaped method provides a sequential model of software development, and is also known as the Validation model or the Verification model. The development of every step is directly linked with the testing phase, and the next stage starts only after completion of the previous stage.

The V-shaped method is a disciplined model and all phases are finished one at a time. This method is utilized for projects where requirements are clearly stated. Further, this enterprise software development method is easy to use and understand, and tracks projects accurately.

V-shaped methodology focuses on validation and verification of activities in the early stages of life cycle, thus augmenting the possibilities of establishing an error-free and quality software product.

This method isn’t recommended for object-oriented and complex projects. The V-shaped method doesn’t support iteration of stages and cannot handle concurrent events. In addition to this, this method isn’t suitable for projects that don’t define clear requirements and produces high risks.

Final Thoughts

These top five enterprise software development methodologies are persuasive and each one possesses its own strengths and weaknesses; and works efficiently in different situations.

While choosing a method of your choice, consider thinking on the lines of whether the project is complex, large, or requires additional changes while development. This is because methods such as V-shaped don’t support complicated projects, whereas method such as agile is suitable for incorporating changes during the developmental cycle.

To know more about enterprise software development methodologies and to develop software for your organization, get in touch with Arkenea – the experts in the field of software development!