5 software development models you should know


A software developer’s aim is always to carve out  a top notch software of the highest quality utilizing most of the available resources. The Software Development Life Cycle, or SDLC, is not just about developing the software, it emphasizes on the process of planning, designing, and testing as well.

Although there are well over 50 software development models available, the choice outsourced development team should be made considering the factors such as customer’s requirements, budget, time constraints, exposure of the software management team etc.

Let’s deep dive into the most popular software development models to have an understanding of their core competencies.

Waterfall model:

This model consists of varied stages, and has a rigid flow, i.e one cannot move onto the next stage unless the previous one is completed.

The model has the following stages that need to be followed: requirement analysis, design, implementation, testing, deployment, maintenance.

Although it’s a simple to use model, it’s very rigid. For instance one cannot test check the accuracy of the work in progress until you reach the testing stage of the model.this adds up to risks and errors identified at later stages are costly.


Uses:  clearly defined Simple small or mid-sized projects.

Projects where a well-known technology

Projects where rules and regulations are to be strictly adhered.

V model: 

Like its predecessor it’s also a linear model. However, after each stage a test is followed to know the implementation of the stage. It is also called the verification and validation model. The flow of the model moves vertically downwards till the coding stage.


This model due to its numerous stages is one of the most cumbersome and time consuming models. Moreover the requirements of the model are assessed at the initiation and cannot be changed during the implementation of the model making it an inflexible model not fit for big projects.


Uses: projects that have zero tolerance to downtime and failures.

Iterative and incremental model: 

The model was originally designed to eliminate deficiencies of the waterfall model. As the name suggests the process of software development is initiated with a small set of requirements and after each cycle the requirements are added allowing the model to continuously evolve and grow during the development phase.

Due to the dynamic nature of the model it’s difficult to predict the requirements clearly, moreover it is more prone to frequent changes, unknown costs and, and deadlines failures.


Uses: microservices or web services.

Spiral model: 

The model emphasizes greatly on risk aversion. Spanning anywhere around 4 tk 6 months the model has 4 fundamental intensive planning, risk analysis, prototypes creation, and evaluation of the activities performed till date.

This model requires extensive customer involvement at each stage and it project management consulting due to its participative nature.

However due to its spiral nature it adds to the time frame of the project. This model is required for team members who are well versed with the various techniques of risk aversion and mitigation. Moreover since the model is highly customized to the user’s requirements it is almost impossible to reuse it.


Uses: Projects with ambiguous innovative requirements.

Complex and big projects 

Research and development for a new product or service.

The Rational Unified Process (RUP)

This model is a combination of both the linear and the spiral flow of activities performed in tandem.

The model has 4 phases of work – inception, elaboration, construction, and transition. Except for initiation all other phases of software development are performed in iterations. This model is quite flexible as the phases are performed  with different intensities.


Uses: fast development of high-end software

use-case based software development


Each of the model was created with a purpose to serve, one must understand the requirements of the task in hand before choosing the software development model. 


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