The SDLC Models & Methodologies: Agile, Scrum, Waterfall

Popular SDLC Models and Methodologies

Technology, innovations, trends, project management, digitization are all talked about when the conversation runs around software development. Every business today understands the importance of software development and project management which pushes them to adopt various methodologies in order to function well.

A software or a project often runs on a defined method so that all the processes are running effectively and efficiently to keep the software or the project performing well on time and without any hassle. A software development life cycle is very critical, and every business ensures that the lifecycle is maintained to get the project running.

The seven phases of SDLC starts from realizing the idea of a project to its final development and release into operations and maintenance.

Popular SDLC Models & Methodologies

While SDLC is the base of starting a project, there’s another important factor that needs to be considered before SDLC and i.e. the various methodologies available to get started with. Usually, a custom software development company pulls out these methodologies to make sure they are able to deliver an efficient project in no time.

Out of all methods, we are going to discuss three of them.
  • Waterfall SDLC Model
  • Agile SDLC Model
  • Scrum SDLC Model

Each methodology has its own unique qualities, advantages, and disadvantages and from modern technology stacks like Python development to traditional frameworks that typically a Java agency or .NET development agency use them interchangeably depending on the project scope and needs.

1) Waterfall Software Development Methodology

As the name suggests, the waterfall model is a rigid structure model that demands a particular method to be followed without any interruptions. It starts with the step of requirements and ends with maintenance. As stated, all the requirements need to be mentioned and elaborated on at the start of the project only, and then proceeding to the next step is allowed.

On completion of the development, the entire project is tested from the starting stage and in case of any changes are required, it again starts from the first step. Despite being a very old methodology, it is still the first choice of agencies like government contractors and software development for small businesses where budgets and timelines are constrained and need to be defined very thoroughly.

  • The simplest methodology to explain to the users
  • Follows a structured approach
  • Well-defined stages that schedule the project well in advance
  • Very strict and stringent process
  • Cannot proceed to the next step unless the previous one is completed, which usually increases the timeline
  • Not very flexible and cost-effective methodology

2) Agile Software Development Methodology

Agile methodology is the complete opposite of the waterfall model. It does have all the steps that are mentioned in the waterfall model but instead of following it in a sequential manner, agile methodology follows the collaboration process of everyone involved in the SDLC.

Agile SDLC methodology follows the theory of incremental development and all the changes required are discussed with developers, project owners, and customers, and all to make the necessary changes then and there.

The agile methodology requires more engagement as at every step collaboration is expected. The work is divided into a segment called sprints and each sprint is tested before moving to the next step in order to be updated and leave the entire project testing at the end.

  • Quick delivery of the working project
  • Emphasis is on the collaboration of all involved in the project
  • Direct communication with all and instant correction based on inputs
  • Good for small businesses only
  • Documentation is completed at later stages
  • High dependency on customer interaction

3) Scrum Software Development Methodology

Scrum is a framework for projects. It falls under the agile methodology and defines roles, procedures, tools, and processes to make sure to deliver an efficient and effective project well on time through iterative development cycles. As per a report, there are almost 70% of the software teams use scrum or scrum hybrid.

This methodology is basically followed where there is a demand of high development process and high involvement of stakeholders. Scrum methodology repeatedly monitors software development while the project is being developed.

Scrum Software Development Methodology has a major focus on responsibility, teamwork, and iterative progress toward a well-defined business goal.

  • Transparent system pushes developers to comply with their assignments and deliver it on time
  • Defined deadline at every step keep developers motivated and empowered at every step
  • Feedback at every level of the project ensures that quality project is delivered in the end
  • Difficult to plan, structure and organize a project with no clear mission and vision
  • Frequent changes in the project lead to a delay in the delivery time of the project
  • Utilizes more resources and stakeholder’s involvement in every small detail change and discussion


The software development life cycle may seem challenging on the outside but is very simple and planned on the inside. It’s better to manage a project application development by following the approach defined by SDLC. There are many other methodologies of SDLC apart from those mentioned above eg. Iterative, DevOps, V Model, Spiral, Lean, Prototyping and more which enhances the project management performance and improve the productivity of the people involved, and a wide range of these are used by enterprises internally or when hiring offshore software development company depending on the project demand, length, budget and scope.

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