There are different software development life cycle methodologies (SDLC) that can be used by organizations to manage the software development process. The most used SDLC methodology is the waterfall model, a sequential design approach in which development flows steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance phases.

Other familiar SDLC methodologies include:

  • The Agile methodology is a gradual, iterative strategy that promotes adaptability and quick reaction to changes.
  • The waterfall paradigm and the agile approach are combined in the spiral model.
  • The DevOps methodology emphasizes communication and collaboration between software developers and IT professionals.

Which SDLC methodology is right for your organization? Learn more about the different SDLC methodologies and their advantages and disadvantages.

What are the SDLC Methodologies?

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) can be considered as the software development industry’s spell check. It can identify software development flaws before they are found in later stages and are far more expensive to rectify. But SDLC can do much more than that; it can also help you create a strategy for doing everything correctly the first time.

Software development professionals are no longer about programming. It is also about designing, developing, testing, and optimizing the software to meet the user’s needs. That is why they need to use a specific methodology to do all of these.

While there isn’t a single best or most effective SDLC methodology, one must be familiar with the most popular models used for projects inside a business.

The top seven SDLC methodology categories are shown below.


The Waterfall technique was the first SDLC methodology to gain traction in software development. I believe in this concept, but the above-mentioned implementation is risky and invites failure. It is associated with Winston W. Royce and was first introduced in a paper he wrote and used as an example of a flawed methodology. Despite his cautions and recommendations, the waterfall methodology quickly became mainstream for over 20 years.

The waterfall is divided into stages; other contemporary techniques can borrow from and use these phases. These phases are:

  • Analysis of the requirements
  • Planning
  • Architectural design
  • Software development
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance

The waterfall technique states that the SDLC phases do not overlap, and that the software development process comprises a single development cycle. Because it is a linear-sequential life cycle model, no phase of the development process can start till the last one has finished. Teams are big, and each member—including business analysts, architects, developers, testers, and operators—works in a separate silo.

The development team begins writing the software after the full architecture, data structures, and functional designs are complete. Therefore, integration and validation can’t begin until all the code has been developed. This indicates that no unit tests are run on the code before the testing phase, and only unit tests are run during the development phase.

After completing testing, the program is finally released into production for the first time, allowing users to test it. If the waterfall technique doesn’t satisfy user expectations, adjustments are incredibly sluggish and expensive because they take longer to complete. Defects are frequently never corrected at all.


Repetition is inherent in the iterative model. Project teams execute a group of software requirements, test, assess, and identify further needs rather than beginning with fully known requirements. Each stage, or iteration, results in the development of an updated version of the program. Then, the process is repeated until the entire system is ready.

In comparison to other popular SDLC approaches, the iterative model has the advantage of producing a functioning version of the project early on and making modifications less expensive to adopt. However, repetitive tasks have the drawback of being resource intensive.

Business modeling, analysis, design, execution, testing, and deployment are all parts of each project step.


The Spiral SDLC methodology, one of the most adaptable, is inspired by the iterative model and its recurrence. Planning, risk analysis, engineering, and assessment are the four phases the project repeatedly cycles through until it is finished, allowing for several iterations of improvement.

Large projects frequently employ the spiral concept. It helps product development teams construct a highly customized product and consider consumer input. The risk management aspect of this SDLC methodology is another advantage. Each iteration begins by anticipating possible hazards and determining the best way to eliminate or reduce them.


When using this model, the testing takes place at each step of development, in contrast to the waterfall technique, which performs testing after a project. This is because the subsequent steps in the V-Model do not begin until the prior stage is completely done.

A software tester must confirm the fulfillment of each development phase’s criteria as part of the V-Model. Additionally, they must verify and validate that the system satisfies the requirements of the user, client, or other stakeholders.


The lean manufacturing methods and ideas are the foundation for the lean model for software development. Eliminate waste, magnify learning, decide as late as possible, deliver as quickly as feasible, empower the team, establish integrity, and view the entire system as the seven Lean principles (in that order).

Multitasking is not allowed since the Lean process emphasizes focusing solely on the tasks that must be completed at present. The goal of project teams is to eliminate waste at every stage of the SDLC process, from canceling pointless meetings to minimizing paperwork.

The Agile model is a slightly modified version of the Lean SDLC process. One difference is how each places a high focus on customer satisfaction. Agile does this by establishing a flexible process that allows project teams to react quickly to stakeholder feedback across the SDLC. Lean, on the other hand, emphasizes eliminating waste as a strategy to provide consumers with greater value overall, which in turn helps to increase satisfaction.


The Agile approach originally appeared in 2001 and has subsequently taken over as the accepted business practice. However, some companies place such high importance on the Agile technique that they also use it for non-tech projects.

Fast failure works favorably in the Agile methodology. This strategy results in continuous release cycles, with each one including minor, incremental modifications from the last version. The product is examined after each iteration.

The Agile methodology enables business stakeholders to provide input throughout the development process and assists teams in identifying and resolving minor project issues before they become more serious.

Many teams who use this practice also use Scrum, an Agile framework, to organize more complicated development projects. Scrum teams carry out allocated tasks in sprints, which typically span two to four weeks. In addition, the entire team can track project progress thanks to daily Scrum sessions. The ScrumMaster’s job is to keep the team concentrated on its objective.


In terms of the SDLC, the DevOps methodology is a relative newcomer. It resulted from two trends: adopting Agile and Lean principles in operations work and a broader movement in corporate thinking to recognize the benefits of collaboration between development and operations workers throughout the SDLC process.

In a DevOps paradigm, development and operations teams collaborate closely and, in some cases, as a single team to speed up innovation and release better, more dependable software products and capabilities. Products undergo minimal yet regular updates. The DevOps methodology is characterized by discipline, continual feedback and process improvement, and automation of manual development procedures.

As Amazon Web Services has said, DevOps is a combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and technological advancements that improve an organization’s capacity to deliver applications and services at high velocity, evolving and improving goods more quickly than businesses that use conventional software development and infrastructure management processes.

DevOps is, therefore, like many SDLC models, more than just a method for organizing and carrying out work; it is also a philosophy that calls for a new way of thinking inside a company.


There are many software development methodologies, each with its strengths and weaknesses. This article compares and contrasts the seven most popular SDLC methodologies: waterfall, agile, lean, V-model, iterative, spiral, and DevOps. Reading this article gave you an insight into which methodology is right for your project. If you need help deciding or want to learn more about any SDLC methodologies, contact Artiquare.

Published On: December 6th, 2022 / Categories: Software Development, Software Product Management /
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