Popular Software Development Models: How to Choose the Best One?

There are many Software development models. These SDLC models include steps like planning, designing, developing, and deploying software. The quality of the project, development time, requirement analysis, and budget largely depends on the software development life cycle.

Any web development company that builds applications and websites follows a suitable software development model. Consequently, it can deliver the product on time by using the particular steps of SDLC. Not following the particular events or steps to complete a project, leads to chaotic situations.

However, due to different project requirements, there are many software engineering models.
This blog will tell you the most essential software development models. But before moving to know them, you should grasp the information on what is software development life cycle model.

What Is a Software Development Model?

A software development model includes activities from the conception of the software to its final manifestation. All the activities have a purpose and are organized logically. It is called a software development model.

Whether it is application software or system software, it should be reliable, accurate, and easy to use. For this type of software development, developers have to analyze which model would be the right fit. The right software development model helps in rapid application development as well. The rational unified process of a model makes it capable of completing the project impeccably.

Also read: What is system software?

Every SDLC model includes phases like Planning, Analysis, Designing, Development, Testing, Deployment, and Maintenance.



  1. 1. Planning

    The development team evaluates the requirements, conducts market research, and collects information. It also has a set of rules that make the planning smooth.

  2. 2. Analysis

    As this phase hinted, you have to analyze what you collected in the planning phase through market research. Here you have to define the requirements and organize them.

  3. 3. Design

    After the requirement analysis and before commencing the development phase, you have to create a design of the software. In other words, create a prototyping model.

  4. 4. Development

    Here comes the actual writing of the programs. Most parts of this phase are related to back-end development. Likewise, various, tools and frameworks are required in this phase.

  5. 5. Testing

    Testing is not an afterward task. It takes place at every stage of development. However, testing requires a specific environment.

  6. 6. Deployment

    Deployment is the last stage in software development in which a product is made available to the public.

  7. 7. Maintenance

    Maintenance is crucial for any software product to keep it bug and error-free all the time.
    So, from the requirement analysis to the deployment of the product, various technologies and tools are used. C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Swift, and many other front-end development frameworks are used in the SDLC model. So, Software development is a complete package of building software products.

    Have a look at the image below with attention. It exhibits the breakdown of software methodologies practiced worldwide in 2021.

  8. chart (1)



Why Is Software Development Life Cycle Important?

Today, almost all software development companies use different development models. Some still use the waterfall model while others have moved to Agile methodology and scrum. But why use the SDLC model? Let’s know the reasons below.

  1. Reliability
  2. Uniqueness
  3. Time Savvy
  4. Cost-effective
  5. Adaptability
  6. Compatibility
  1. 1. Reliability

    Reliability is crucial for the success of any product. SDLC requires analyzing the requirements and developing the product accordingly. It ensures reliability.

  2. 2. Uniqueness

    What makes your product different from others? You can incorporate innovative features in the website and software easily with the help of SDLC.

  3. 3. Time Savvy

    When you follow the tried and tested steps for software development, you can save your product from unnecessary delay.

  4. 4. Cost-effective

    SDLC reduces your software development cost because you use only the necessary resources after analysis.

  5. 5. Adaptability

    You might need to make some changes in the software as per the market needs and changing dynamics. So, it’s important for software being adaptable.

  6. 6. Compatibility

    Your software must work impeccably while streaming it on different platforms. It should be responsive to run smoothly.

People also like to know: Difference between web development and software development

Types of Software Development Models


I have covered the most important and widely used types of SDLC models. Check out them in the space below.

  1. Waterfall Model
  2. Verification OR Validation Model
  3. Incremental Model
  4. Prototyping Model
  5. Spiral Model
  6. Agile Methodology
  7. Extreme Programming
  8. Kanban Model
  9. The DevOps Model

Let’s move ahead to know about all these types of models in SDLC.

  1. 1. Waterfall Model

  2. waterfall-model

    The waterfall was the first software development model to be introduced. You can also call it a sequential life cycle model. It illustrates the software development process in a linear sequential flow. You will not have to struggle to understand any step because there is no overlapping in the phases. It means, the next phase only begins when the last one is completed.

    Development Process

    1. Requirement gathering
    2. Analysis
    3. System design
    4. Implementation
    5. Integration
    6. Testing


    Use Cases

    1. Best for the software requires no changes
    2. Suitable for small and mid-sized projects
    3. Projects where tried and tested technologies and tools are used
    4. Best for Government and healthcare projects in which time restrictions, predictable budget, rules, and regulations are required



    1. Easy to understand
    2. One phase completes at a time
    3. Specific deliverables
    4. Most suitable for small projects
    5. Distinctly defined phases



    1. High chances of risk and uncertainty
    2. Not an ideal model for object-oriented projects
    3. Can’t entertain the requirements in the mid of the development
    4. Can’t identify any bottleneck
  1. 2. Verification OR Validation Model

  2. validationmodel
    1. Highly disciplined model
    2. One phase completes at a time
    3. Simple and easy to understand
    4. Each phase-specific deliverables
      1. Business requirements and Analysis
      2. System design
      3. Architectural design
      4. Module design


        It is popularly known as a V-shaped model. It was created to overcome the demerits of the waterfall model. Early test planning was introduced for each development stage in the waterfall model and gave it a new name “V-shaped”.

        It is a parallel development because every testing phase is planned with the development phase. Check out the image provided above for a better understanding.

        Development Process

      Use Cases

      1. Small and mid-sized projects
      2. Projects in which failures and downtimes are unacceptable (E.g. Medical software, Aviation fleet management software)



    1. High chances of risk and uncertainty
    2. Not the right model for long projects
    3. Difficult to go back once entered the testing phase
    4. Working software can’t be produced in the middle
  1. 3. Incremental Model

  2. Incremental-Model
    1. Easy to manage risk because of effective risk analysis
    2. Issues and risks are identified with each increment
    3. Testing and debugging is easy with small iterations
    4. Not expensive to introduce requirements
      1. Effective for the microservices and web services such as mission-critical enterprise applications
      2. Project for which requirements are clearly defined
        1. Requirements analysis
        2. Design
        3. Development
        4. Testing
        5. Implementation


          It is called an incremental model because new software modules are added in each iteration. However, there would be no change in the previous phase. The development stages of the incremental model can go either sequentially or parallel.

          As the name implies, it evolves and grows in each stage. Only small changes are allowed during the development. This model doesn’t need to start with the full specification of requirements. Collect the crucial information for the software project development models and begin work on it.

          Development Process

        Use Cases



    1. More attention is required for management
    2. Not effective for smaller projects
    3. Sometimes become more complex
    4. Risk analysis is costly
  1. 4. Prototyping Model

  2. Prototyping-Model (1)

    The prototyping model is used for software application prototypes. Software developers use it to show a visual representation of the minimal features of the application or website before its completion. It helps to get the client’s feedback and work on them to improve the final prototype in the development stage.

    Consequently, it leads to rapid prototyping and rapid application development with quality. It is because you can understand the customers’ requirements a the early stage.

    Development Process

    1. Basic requirement analysis
    2. Initial prototyping model building
    3. Review of the prototype
    4. Revision and improvements


    Use Cases

    1. The requirements of the project are not clear or unstable
    2. Best for developing interactive user interfaces, intensive systems, systems with complex algorithms, and high technology software
    3. Requirements change frequently



    1. Reduces time and cost
    2. Increases user involvement in a project
    3. Better solutions because of feedback
    4. Rapid identification of missing functionality



    1. Risk of unnecessary requirement analysis
    2. Differences between the final product and prototype can create confusion
    3. Continuous changes in the plan


  1. 5. Spiral Model

  2. Spiral-Model

    the Spiral model focuses on intense risk assessment. So, you will need to hire highly skilled developers with a strong background in risk evaluation. This model combines the idea of the iterative model and the waterfall model.

    You can say it’s a waterfall model with a very high emphasis on risk analysis. Likewise, it takes around 6 months to complete. Customer satisfaction is the motive so intensive customer feedback involvement is crucial. However, at the development stage requirements are not accepted, instead analyzed before.

    Development Process

    1. Requirement identification
    2. Design
    3. Development
    4. Evaluation
    5. Risk analysis


    Use Cases

    1. For too ambitious and innovative projects
    2. When project requirements are unclear
    3. For medium to high-risk projects
    4. For R&D and introduction of new service or product



    1. Changing requirements are considered
    2. Extensive use of prototype
    3. Better identification of requirements
    4. Effective risk management



    1. Management is time-taking
    2. The type of project is cleared at the end
    3. Spiral may go indefinitely
    4. Process is perplexing


  1. 6. Agile Methodology

  2. Agile-Methodology

    Agile methodology is a mindset rather than a combination of protocols to adhere to. It is based on 12 principles mentioned in the Agile manifesto. Collaboration, communication, and frequent changes are integral processes of this methodology.

    Agile development is a combination of iterative and incremental development processes. The development team breaks the project into small incremental builds. This way, it can develop value on time and focus on customer satisfaction. The most popular agile model is scrum.

    Development Process

    1. Planning
    2. Requirement analysis
    3. Design
    4. Development
    5. Testing


    Use Cases

    1. Project in which customer satisfaction is more important
    2. Project in which end users’ early feedback is required
    3. Mid-sized projects like custom software development
    4. A project that can be divided into small functional parts



    1. A realistic approach for web development domain and software development
    2. promotes teamwork and cross-training
    3. Resource requirements are lesser than other models.
    4. Effective for fixed and changing requirements
    5. Fewer chances of flaws due to transparency



    1. Not the right pick for the complex dependencies
    2. High risk of maintainability, sustainability, and extensibility
    3. It depends on customer feedback heavily


  1. 7. Extreme Programming

  2. Extreme-Programming

    the Extreme Programming model allows making changes even after the iteration’s launch. Likewise, the team has not started their assigned work still the product can be launched. Meanwhile, continuous integration happens.

    However, sometimes such flexibility can lead to chaos in the software development life cycle and eventually the delivery of the impeccable product. Pair programming, continuous integration, simple software design, and test automation can mitigate this drawback.

    Development Process

    1. Requirement analysis
    2. Planning
    3. Design
    4. Development
    5. Testing



    1. Saves cost and time
    2. Focuses on timely delivery
    3. Simple to implement
    4. Constant feedback
    5. Promotes employee satisfaction



    1. Focused on code more than design
    2. Doesn’t measure the code quality assurance
    3. XP model is not for developers who reside in different geolocations


    1. 8. Kanban Model

    2. Kanban-Model

      Kanban was originally a management model. Teams can visualize their work and eliminate bottlenecks. It shows the representatives, responsible persons, their numbers, and project activities clearly.


      So, visualizing the workflow, limiting WIP, and measuring the lead time are crucial concepts of the Kanban model. Furthermore, this software development methodology shows bottlenecks in real time. New requests can also be entertained at any time. Resultant, it shows up as a strong and flexible model. It is one of the simple yet popular software development models.

      Development Process

      1. Requirement analysis
      2. Divide the development process
      3. Product Backlog
      4. Development
      5. Testing
      6. Deployment


      Use Cases

      1. When need to manage work-in-progress
      2. To keep the consistency in the work



      1. Visual metrics
      2. Shortened time cycle
      3. Fewer bottlenecks
      4. Regular visibility
      5. Easy to identify areas on which need to work more



      1. Require an intense tracking system
      2. Some sort of experience is required
      3. An outdated Kanban can create confusion


    4. 9. The DevOps Model

    5. The-DevOps-Model

      DevOps improve value delivery for the clients. It is one of the best software development lifecycle models. This SDLC model focuses on both operations and development teams. It promotes shared responsibility, and end-to-end ownership of services automates the tasks and leads to continuous improvement.

      Moreover, new development practices prove beneficial for operation and development teams. It improves the quality of work and delivers value on time. A development team can improve from the coding phase to deploying the product.

      Development Process

      1. Product requirements
      2. Designing
      3. Development
      4. Deployment
      5. Maintenance


      Use Cases

      1. Projects require changes regularly
      2. When the product’s end state is unknown



      1. Higher productivity
      2. Efficiency Efficiency
      3. Better customer experience
      4. Fewer chances of product failure



      1. Dealing with a legacy system is challenging
      2. Getting the right pool of developers is difficult
      3. Lower business security due to outsourcing
    7. SDLC-model-would-be-the-right-for-your-Mobile-app

How to Choose the Right Software Development Model?

There are several popular SDLC models. It can confuse you to choose the right model for your project. Well, this is indeed a challenging task for software development firms and developers. But, following a few steps can resolve this issue. Consequently, you can find the right model from the various software development models with ease.

  1. Study the Software Development Models
  2. Find the Requirements of the Client
  3. Analyze the Resources and Budget
  1. 1. Study the Software Development Models

    Until you know all the important software development models, you can’t decide which is the right for your project. So, you need to study software development process models meticulously.

  2. 2. Find the Requirements of the Client

    Understand the business model of the client and the features and functions he wants in the software. It makes development easy for you and the client also feels satisfied.

  3. 3. Analyze the Resources and Budget

    How many and which resources will be required for building a particular software? Analyze it, and check which SDLC model will be the right fit for your project.

How Long Does Software Development Process Take?

The software development time depends on several factors. For example, simple software can be built within 3-5 months. But the development time increases with the size of the project. A large project can take around 5-10 months or more than it is.

Many times, clients want specific features as per their business needs. To offer a satisfactory solution, developers have to put more effort into integrating required features and functions. As a result, software development takes more time.

It affects the cost of development as well. A custom software development cost can be somewhere between $20,000-$120,000. While a simple software development cost is around $5000-$25,000.

Wrapping Up

This is all about the software development models and their features, use cases, pros, and cons. You can choose the right model after knowing about all the SDLC models mentioned in the blog and analyzing the system requirements. Technource is a leading software development company and follows the Agile model for iterative development. It has experience in handling education, real estate, transport, healthcare, and food and beverages software products.




Mr. Sanjay Singh Rajpurohit, An early-aged entrepreneur who always leads his team from the front and achieved success. As the founder & CEO of Technource, a top mobile app & Web development company, he made a global presence in a short time by offering custom software development, premium mobile apps, and website development services to global clients. In his free time, he loves writing. He is featured on Hackernoon, Dzone, Enlear Academy, Articlesfactory, and much more websites.

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