Wondering which software development model is best for building complex programs or software?


June 2021

The importance of softwares in our lives can’t be underestimated. Regardless of whether you’re using a computer or mobile, following the GPS in your car, or playing a game on your Playstation, all of these tasks depend on the software of your device. Software development process involves the employment of different systems, known as software development models.

Today we will be talking about top 3 software development models, which are:

  1. Waterfall
  2. Agile
  3. Iterative and increment

Each model comes with its own characteristics and features. However, the main purpose of all three models is the same – organizing project management, allowing software developers to design robust software.


Top 3 software development models

Read down below to find out which sdlc model is best for developing software.


1. Waterfall Model

The waterfall model is one of the oldest software development models. Though this model was the most popular ones a few years back, its use has subsided over time as new and better software models have been introduced. However, since all other models are based on the classical waterfall model, its significance can not be ignored. 

The waterfall model basically categorizes software development into linear sequential phases. In order to move on to the next phase, it is important that the previous phase is completed. This is because the outcome of the first phase is needed to begin the next phase. Hence, it’s name waterfall.

The different subsequent phases of the waterfall model are:

  1. Feasibility study
  2. Requirement analysis and specification
  3. Design
  4. Coding and unit testing
  5. Integration and system testing
  6. Maintenance

Advantages of Classical Waterfall Model

  • It is fairly easy to understand this model
  • Its approach is highly methodical
  • It is a good choice for smaller projects

Disadvantages of Classical Waterfall Model

  • It is not flexible

2. Agile Software Development

  • Though relatively new, the Agile development process model is currently being used by a huge number of IT companies. In fact, the model is so much preferred by some businesses, that they have even started using it for their non-tech projects.

    This model allows software developers to find and repair small problems that can arise during the software development process. This helps stop them from transforming into larger issues later on. Under this model, the cycle releases are continuous, where minor additional alterations from the previous cycle are applied. Every iteration involves product testing. 

    The different phases of agile software development model are:

  • Concept
  • Inception
  • Construction
  • Release
  • Production
  • Retirement


Advantages of Agile Model

  • It is flexible
  • Testers, developers, and customers are in contact with each other continuously 
  • As compared to other models, the end product of agile development is more robust and effective


Disadvantages of Agile Model

  • Necessary documentation and designing lacks emphasis.

You might also want to read: Agile Software Development Lifecycle


3. Iterative and Incremental Method

The interactive and incremental model is built on repetitions. This model does not require a full set of requirements to be started. In fact, the development usually starts with specifying and implementing just part of the software which can be tested and evaluated later on.

A new version of the software is produced with each phase. Before finalizing  the product, there is a lot of reviewing and repeating involved.

The different phases of iterative software development model are:

  1.  Planning
  2. Analysis
  3. Implementation
  4. Testing
  5. Evaluation

Advantages of Iterative model

  1. During iteration risks can be identified and resolved
  2. Progress can be measured easily

 Disadvantages of Iterative model

  • Not the best option for small projects


What software development model is best for building complex programs or software?

The type of software development model that would work best for building complex software depends upon the type of project that is being developed, the expertise of the team working on the project, and the deadlines. Wondering how to choose sdlc model for a project?

You might want to use Waterfall software development model if:

  1. Timing and planning are an issue.
  2. If the features and requirements for your project are well-defined and cant be altered.
  3. If the product owner is not willing to be very hands-on.

You might want to use Agile software development model if:

  1. If your project can be divided into modular tasks
  2. If there are no well defined features or vision to your project, or if there’s a possibility of the requirements being altered later on.
  3. If you want the development process to be flexible.

You might want to use Iterative model if:

  1. The requirements are easy to understand and defined clearly
  2.  When there’s a possibility that the requirements might change later on
  3. You have to deliver a large project in a short period of time


Regardless of whether the project development process is simple or complex, the best software development methodology for a project depends upon the project’s requirements. So, that’s something you’ll need to look into before you head on and choose a suitable software development model.


Fahad Ali, Author

Fahad is PM at ARFASOFTECH but has a knack for writing. He enjoys writing about the latest technologies and evolving trends. Most of his writings revolve around trending technologies and their integration into operations.

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