Software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Traditional methods

Posted by Sumeet Rana
Sumeet Rana

Software development life cycle is the most essential element in the software development process. It clearly mentions the necessary phases in software development. This post is dedicated to reviews the Software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Traditional methods and explains the pros and cons of both approaches. It also suggests improvements for current agile development process so that this lightweight SDLC could be adopted more in practical work for organizational project management.

Software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Waterfall

Brief explanation on Software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Traditional methods

The whole review divided into 6 steps

1. Introduction

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a process of developing or maintaining software systems. Basically, it includes various phases from pre-development analysis to post-development software testing and evaluation for better.

It also consists of the different models and approaches that development teams use to develop the software model, which the methodologies form the framework for planning and controlling the entire software development process.

A software application system is designed to perform a particular set of tasks. Often, this set of tasks designed to provides well-defined results, which involve complex calculation and processing. Thus, a systematic development process which is able to force on the understanding of the
scope and complexity of the total development process is essential to achieve.

Currently, there are two types of SDLC approaches which are used by most of the system developers, namely the traditional development and Software development life cycle agile.

2. Traditional method of Software Development

Software approaches like Waterfall method, V-Model are called traditional software development approaches and these are classified into the heavy methodologies. These approaches are based on a sequential series of steps like requirements definition, solution development, testing deployment and maintenance. Traditional software development methodologies require defining and documenting a stable set of requirements at the beginning of a project.

There are four phases to the traditional software development approach.

First Step

The first step is to set up the Requirements for the software and determine the length of period it will take to implement the various steps of the development process while trying to predict any problems that may arise in the project. Once the requirements are laid out, the next step moves into the design and architectural planning phase where a

Second Step

The second step is the Design and architectural phase where technical infrastructure is produced in the form of diagrams or models and blueprints. These bring to the surface potential issues that provide a workable road map for the developers to implement the process.

Third Step

The third step is the Development phase where code is prepared until the specific goals are reached. Development is often broken down into smaller tasks that are distributed among various team members based on their skills.

Fourth Step

The fourth step is the Testing phase. Testing phase often overlaps with
the development phase to ensure issues are figured out early on. Once the project nears completion and developers are close to meeting the project final requirements, the customer will become part of the testing and
feedback cycle and the project was delivered after the customer’s complete satisfaction with it.

The traditional software development approaches are dependent on a set of predetermined processes and on-going documentation which is written as the ongoing work and guides further development. It also makes it easier to calculate the costs of the project.

3. Software Development Life Cycle AGILE Method

Software Development Life Cycle AGILE development method is based on the idea of incremental and iterative development of the software, in which the phases within a development life cycle are visited over and over again. It continuously improves the product by using customer feedback to converge on solutions of the bugs.

 Software Development Life Cycle AGILE
Software Development Life Cycle AGILE

In Software Development Life Cycle AGILE development method, rather than a single long process model that implemented in conventional SDLC,
the development life cycle is divided into smaller parts, called “increments” of the process, in which each of these increments touches on each of the conventional phases of the product development. The major factors of Software Development Life Cycle AGILE development method include the following four:

  1. Initial customer involvement
  2. Ongoing development
  3. Self-organizing teams
  4. Adaptation to update

There are currently six methods that are identified as Software Development Life Cycle AGILE development methods, which are Crystal methodologies, dynamic software development method, feature-driven development, lean software
development, scrum, and extreme programming

  1. Crystal methodologies
  2. Dynamic software development method
  3. Feature-driven development
  4. Lean software development
  5. Scrum development
  6. Extreme programming

4. Comparison Between Software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Traditional methods

The major difference between software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Traditional methods is that the former approaches possess the ability to successfully deliver a quick result and inexpensively even on complex projects with well-defined requirements for the project.

Software Development Life Cycle AGILE methods force on teams, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to update while the traditional methods force on contracts, plans, processes, documents, and tools.

Agile development approach takes businesses Return of Investment (ROI) as its very first priority. While in the traditional development life cycle, the development teams usually hold a meeting with the clients and
grave every detailed requirement during the early phases of the development process. Then the development team would start the design phase of the software, followed by the coding phase. The testing phase will only start when the whole coding process is completed. Then only will the end-product be presented to clients after there is no issue came in the testing phase.

The shortcoming of these traditional approaches is that the development
teams build the system single shot. Assume that an issue arises during the testing phase, In the worst-case scenario would be the entire module would have to be revisited to rectify the issue.

 Software Development Life Cycle AGILE
Software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Waterfall

Another problem with the traditional SDLC development is that in most of the cases, clients will not know what they really want to implement in the software, therefore the requirement model setup at the earlier phases might not necessarily be the actual features that need to be implemented. The problems are even more apparent in larger software. Hence, from a business point of view, the traditional SDLC is not an efficient approach.

In contrast to traditional SDLC, the Software Development Life Cycle AGILE method avoids requirement gathering as clients often could not provide all requirements and sufficient details for start working on the project. It is a common issue that clients could not decide the features to be included in the software. Therefore, some demonstration and release of software in common agile practices help clients to acquire sufficient details on the current release of the software upon actual interaction with software and thus providing feedback to refine the requirements provided earlier before the current release of the software.

The iterative method in agile practices also allows customers to delay their decisions, where decisions may be delayed to some future projects when better information or sources are available to optimize the write choice. It
is also one of the advantages of the Software Development Life Cycle AGILE method to overcome traditional SDLC.

Software Development Life Cycle AGILE methods are well-known for force in communication and customer involvement in the project. For every deliverable iteration, the development team and customers will hold a meeting together, where the members will communicate and summarize their work done in this iteration; whereas customers will provide feedback on the delivered project to refine current features or include additional features in the software.

Developers will find the regular meetings, mostly on a weekly or monthly basis, are tedious and tiring as they would have to show to other members of the team and customers of their responsible modules repeatedly, and
upon each iteration, various changes to the modules will most likely to happen due to change in the requirements.

The time frame allocated for each iteration is typically very short, which usually in the range of weeks or some times days. Developers would often find that the schedule is too tight for them to develop each of the modules. This is even more so if the particular module involves complicated processing algorithms. This draws the delivery of each iteration behind the schedule and thus an efficient communication between the team members with the clients could not be established.

On the other hand, traditional approaches have a well-defined requirement model before the implementation phase and coding process starts, in which this model would act as a reference for the developer during the coding process.

REQUIREMENT Interative reqirement Detailed user requirement
COST Low High
DEVELOPMENT Changable Fixed
TESTING On every Steps After coding Complete
CUSTOMER INVOLVEMENT Highly involved Very low
REQUIRED SKILLS Interpersonal skills &
basic business knowledge
Not defined
SUITABLE PROJECT SCALE Low to medium scale for large scale
Comparison Between Software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Traditional methods

4. Improvement

Software Development Life Cycle AGILE development methods were developed to provide more customer satisfaction from the software, to shorten the development life cycle, to decrease bug rates, and to accommodate changing business requirement during the software development process.

It is a very useful methodology to be adopted in the modern and light software development process to replace the traditional heavyweight development life cycle. However, it is still not perfected yet and faces several barriers in putting it into various practices.

From the previous discussion part, it is revealed that agile methods promote communication over documentation, and this attribute of Software Development Life Cycle AGILE reduces comprehension of the system. There is no guarantee that the designed code can serve as documentation if the software was originally developed using different methods.

Therefore it is important to make the system comprehensive in order to improve its feasibility and stability. This could be done by introducing automated code inspection, where source codes are checked for compliance with a predefined set of rules or best practices for software, by means of software tools. With this, code defects could be identified and improve before the testing process begins, thus saving time and cost.

It also gives complete code coverage and is able to identify defects that testing process might have missed sometime, as well as the root cause of the defect. In addition, refactoring to untangle crosscutting concerns will also improve the comprehensibility as they help to separate code for various business segments and separate business and platform code. In order to enhance the modifiability and deployability of the system.

Another important parameter in promoting the Software Development Life Cycle AGILE in practice is the social skills of developers. Developers who engaged in an agile SDLC project development should have good social and
interpersonal skills in them. This could be achieved by either training provided by the company to the employer, or developers themselves should be well-aware of the importance of these skills and always be motivated to
polish their interpersonal skills, by means of frequent communication and socialisation with people around them. Through communicate more with different people.

A team with no relevant business knowledge most likely will not able to deliver the software which is valuable to clients, thus causing customers to lose trust in the development company. Hence, it is important
for developers not only excel in information technology knowledge but also have a basic understanding of business rules. This can be done through some training provided by the company.

In addition, only those specific tasks that add value to business processes supported by the system should be performed and lastly.

6. Conclusion

Software Development Life Cycle is an approach that depicts the entire software development process, in which a software development organization utilize to ensure successful software development.

While modern SDLC is divided into two main categories, which are traditional SDLC and Software Development Life Cycle AGILE.
As discussed earlier, agile SDLC excels traditional SDLC. However, software Development Life Cycle AGIL also has its disadvantages. While agile SDLC is more suitable for small and medium software project development.

It is still better to use traditional SDLC for a larger-scale project. Therefore, it is important that the software development team select an SDLC that best suits the project.

There are some criteria that development team could use to identify the suitable SDLC for a particular project, these include the size of the team, geographical situation, size and complexity of software, type of project, business strategy, engineering capability of the company, and others where it may be found appropriate for the project.

It is also important for the development team to study the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of both the SDLC before hammering down the final decision. In addition, the team must study the business context, industry requirements, and business strategy to be able to assess the
candidate SDLC against the selection criteria o SDLC.

An SDLC selection and adoption process are Important that it ensures the organization to maximize its chance to deliver their software successfully and on time, therefore selecting and adopting the right SDLC is management decision with long term implications.

So this is our detailed review over Software Development Life Cycle AGILE vs Traditional methods.

Tell us in the comment section which one fits for you

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