Top 5 Highly Effective Software Development Methods
Agile Software Development is a broad term given to a group of methodologies of software development which focus on minimizing risks in fast software development, ranging from 1 week to 4 weeks. Usually, it involves close collaboration between the development team and the business clients of the concern. The emphasis here is on taking the concerned consumer party in the loop and taking their feedback in each phase of the development. Software Development companies in USA have resorted to this method of development, primarily because of its advantages over other conventional and orthodox approaches, which include greater flexibility, lesser deployment time and exponentially greater adaptability to change.
Here are some popular methodologies under the Agile umbrella that best software companies actually use:
Scrum is a lightweight framework for dealing with projects that are incremental and iterative in nature. It is known for its simplicity and enhanced productivity. Under this, there is a "Product Owner" who coordinates and directs a team into identifying and prioritizing system functionality in form of a "Product Backlog". A Product Backlog is a list of all the things that need to be done in the project, constituting features, bug fixes, requirements, etc. Cross-functional teams volunteer and come up with potentially deliverable increments of software during back to back sprints. These sprints usually last for 30 days after which no changes are entertained in the Product Backlog. Following this, the Backlog is analysed and the next set of features and functionalities is selected for the next sprints.
With an objective to optimize efficiency and minimize wastage of resources in the development process, this approach is considered to be an integral part of the Agile development methodology. Among others, here are some principles of the Lean approach adopted by Software Product Development companies:
Eliminate anything that doesn't add value.
Focus on learning
Decide as late as possible
Deliver as fast as possible.
At this time when the demand for software is mushrooming, the 'less is more' approach evident in the Lean method really comes into play. With a focus on regular communication with customers, the Lean model continues to grow popular amongst application development companies.
The Kanban approach is used by Custom Software Development companies to be inclined towards contiguous delivery while not overwhelming the development team. The emphasis is on increasing the efficiency of teams working together and synergizing with each other. Some basic principles followed while pursuing the Kanban method are:
Daily visualization of tasks and workflow.
Minimizing the workload for various teams.
Kanban encourages continuous collaboration and its USP is its focus on the most efficient workflow.
Extreme Programming (XP):
This regime is designed for the Custom Software Development companies that need to deliver working software as frequently as 1-3 weeks through the means of high client involvement, rapid feedback loops, continuous planning and highly synchronized teamwork. XP is characterized by some supporting practices such as planning, small releases, customer acceptance tests, collective code ownership, etc. Customers coordinate closely with the development team to define and prioritize specific units of functionality which are called "User Stories". A user story captures the description of a software from the user perspective as describes what users want and why. The development team delivers the highest priority user stories in the form of working, tested software on an iterative basis.
One of the most lightweight and adaptable frameworks used for custom software development, Crystal is of various types depending upon an emphasis on unique characteristics like Team size, system criticality, project priorities. Each project is unique and requires a customized set of policies, practices and processes and this is where Crystal proves itself to be the most flexible and adaptable. Some key principles include teamwork, communication, simplicity, introspection to adjust and improve the process, alleviation of bureaucracy or distractions, high user involvement and many others.
The agile teams in the best software companies choose the development approach that works best for them. Owing to the presence of so many variables when it comes to custom software development, a certain degree of dedication is the bare minimum to make the project work. Ideally, it's better not to fixate on any methodology, because of the frequent changes in the needs of the customers. What serves best is choosing a certain methodology and tuning it to your needs and making it work for your level and frequency of change.