Software development methodology: If you’ve done any research into a custom software solution you’ve probably come across this term before. And, if you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered what it is and how it affects your business.
The short answer is a software development methodology can have a major impact on your business. That’s why we’re going to dig a little deeper into this topic to help you understand just what a software development methodology is and — more importantly — how it impacts you.
Software Development Methodology: Think Framework, Think Process
In your company you have guidelines or workflows. Your software development company, however, has a methodology and it dictates their process from the very beginning until the project’s completion.
There are several different software development methodology models, and you may have heard of companies who use a scrum, spiral or waterfall methodology. At Saturn Systems, we employ a methodology known as Agile software development. We use this methodology because it keeps key tasks top of mind and allows our clients to have an active voice in their project from beginning to end.
Which leads us to …
The Methodology’s Effect on Your Company
If every methodology has the potential to successfully complete your project, does the process really matter?
The software development methodology a company uses lays the groundwork not only for how they work on your project, but how they work with you. Companies employing a waterfall approach, for example, do all of the design first, then all the coding, and then the testing before repeating. This means you, as a stakeholder, have to wait until the very end of the process to see if the project delivers on your expectations.
That’s a long time to wait and see if they got things right.
On the opposite end, an Agile methodology breaks the project down into a series of “sprints,” each of which generally last two weeks. For you as a stakeholder, these sprints provide you clear dates when you can expect to see results and daily stand-up meetings keep you informed of every step in the process — so you can enter feedback continually as the project moves along.
Finding the Right Methodology for you
Is an Agile methodology right for you? Maybe, maybe not, but we’d advise you to discuss methodology with any development firm before starting a new project. Ask them what their development methodology is and how that methodology will include you and when. Be sure that the answers you receive work for you and match your needs. After all, there are a lot of methodologies out there and your project deserves a software developer and a methodology that equals your expectations.