Should you switch to a development methodology that is entirely new to you? Or should you stick with what you already know?
Let’s dive into these three popular development methodologies used by numerous software developers worldwide to help you decide which works best for you and the project you’re starting.
Fun fact: If it weren’t for the automotive industry and Toyota, software development methodologies such as Kanban and Lean wouldn’t even exist.
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Kanban software development methodology
The Kanban methodology is based on the lean principles of speeding up process improvement. With Kanban, developers use visual techniques to efficiently reduce the time spent creating new ideas for the client’s feedback.
If you’ve ever seen a commercial with people writing on glass doors with an enormous amount of stickers, that’s Kanban.
With Kanban methodology, the emphasis is on getting visual. It would be best to have the Kanban board and a crate of sticky notes.
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Compared to other methodologies, the beautiful thing about Kanban is that everything is transparent and incredibly simple.
There are no hidden tasks or stages, and it doesn’t specify rituals like Scrum. Besides, Kanban mainly focuses on a visual board that guides your team throughout development.
Core Kanban methodology has four stages:
- Requested or to-do stage
- In progress stage
- Done stage
- Expedite stage
In progress stage can have three additional sub-stages:
- Working stage
- Waiting stage
- Review stage
It’s worth mentioning that these sub-stages are just a starting point. Kanban can have as many stages as the team wants or needs. Also, even though Kanban looks so kawaii, it can be dangerous. When the Expedite stage hits, it performs like Scrum on steroids.
Note to project managers: Kanban is about visually and quickly addressing bottlenecks as they arise. So it would be best if you were lighting-fast on your feet.
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Kanban software development methodology – TL; DR
Here’s a recap of when you should use the Kanban development methodology:
- Use it if transparency and adaptability to a client’s sudden tasks are your cups of tea.
- Use it when you’re dealing with small, ultra-fast-paced projects.
- Use it on projects that are based on software support and evolution.
- Use it for big complex projects, as it allows you to break them into manageable pieces.
- Don’t use it if you need clear timeframes, as Kanban boards have no dates, meaning there’s no way to tell how much time it’ll take to complete an item.
- Don’t use it if you can’t update the board often, as outdated Kanban boards can cause many issues.
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RAD – Rapid Application Development software methodology
Rapid application development methodology combines the prototype models with express customer feedback over a marathon-long project. Avoiding starting from scratch with multiple iterations is the main game of this methodology.
RAD – an acronym for rad developers.
With rapid application development, you can build successful, high-quality solutions in a short amount of time.
The trick with RAD is that it forces you to think outside the box by using low-code or no-code tools. In developers’ words — that’s cheating.
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But there’s nothing wrong with that.
RAD allows customer satisfaction to go through the roof, decreasing risk to an absolute zero.
Now, who doesn’t like that?
Like every other Agile flavor, rapid application development has a vulnerability — documentation. Progress tracking, bug indexing, and how-tos for the support team are the documents that do not exist with RAD.
Note to project managers: RAD doesn’t work without a highly responsive client. And if you’re running on a small budget, this methodology will dry you.
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RAD – Rapid Application Development software methodology – TL; DR
Here’s a recap of when you should use the RAD development methodology:
- Use it when you’re developing minor to mid-size projects.
- Use it when you want to chop down time-to-market.
- Use it when you have a team of highly-skilled devs in your arsenal.
- Don’t use it if your budget is tight and constrained.
- Don’t use it if documentation is one of the priorities.
- Don’t use it if the customer isn’t available 24/7.
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Lean software development methodology
Lean methodology focuses on simplicity, minimizing waste, and achieving flawlessness. It means no bloatware, no advanced features only aliens would understand, and no slacking off. It’s about focusing on the essential features while leaving out what users don’t want.
Coming from the holy Agile trinity (Agile, Scrum, and Lean), this methodology strips down the code and tasks to the essentials. It’s also important to say that Lean typically tries to test the software with its users to the point where A/B testing and funnels are widespread practices.
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Lean is a methodology for MVP (Minimum Viable Product) startups. With high budget constraints and minimum time-to-market, they are the fanboys of Lean.
Note to project managers: Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency! This is what makes lean methodology so lean. If you want tremendous results, you can’t ask your junior dev to fetch you a cup of pumpkin-spiced latte and waste your time.
You can also use Lean when building a complex, feature-rich, eye-candy software or web platform, as it offers better-suited tools, especially heavy user-centric analytics and feature flags.
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Lean software development methodology – TL; DR
Here’s a recap of when you should use the Lean development methodology:
- Use it to minimize waste and go as fast as a Japanese Maglev train.
- Use it when you want to identify and solve the bottlenecks as you go while taking care of efficiency.
- Use it when building a small application and boosting the team by transferring the wheel to them.
- Please don’t use it for a complex project filled with analysis, documentation, and risk assessment.
- Please don’t use it with the fresh-out-of-the-college team. Learning Lean takes a lot of experience.
- Please don’t use it with feature-rich software running on god-knows-how-many scripts.
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Take your time when choosing the methodology.
Before deciding on a specific development methodology, you must consider the nature of your project and your team’s capabilities and experience.
Making the wrong choice can easily set back the entire project, while the right choice can set you on the path to success.
Hello Friends! I am Himanshu, a hobbyist programmer, tech enthusiast, and digital content creator.
With CodeItBro, my mission is to promote coding and help people from non-tech backgrounds to learn this modern-age skill!