7 Most Popular Software Development Models (SDLC) of 2024.

Nidhi Inamdar|January 29, 2024|21 Minute read|
/ / 7 Most Popular Software Development Models (SDLC) of 2024.



Selecting the best development model is no longer a guessing game in this age of automation and artificial intelligence. Discover the cutting-edge models that will influence software development in the future.  

What are Software Development Models?  

The methods, procedures, and roles involved in developing and maintaining software systems are described in software development models, organized approaches or techniques. These models give teams a methodical approach to managing the software development life cycle (SDLC) and assist them in producing high-caliber software within a predetermined time and financial parameters. Different models are available to meet other project requirements, team configurations, and organizational goals.   

Stages of the Software Development Life Cycle

Depending on the model selected, specific steps may change. However, the fundamental stages usually consist of the following:  

  • Requirement and Need Analysis: Specifying requirements, defining goals, and detailing features.  
  • Design: Converting needs into technological details and architectural layout.  
  • Development: The process of creating the actual program, line by line, from the design.  

Stages of the Software Development Life Cycle

  • Testing: Carefully checking the program for errors and making sure it works.  
  • Deployment: Making the application available to users and releasing it.  
  • Maintenance: Resolving problems, fixing errors, and updating the software after it has been released.   

Why Selecting the Right Software Development Model Is Important in Today's Tech Landscape? 

Determining the appropriate software development model is a strategic need rather than a luxury in the fast-paced IT industry, where features are added at an accelerated rate, and deadlines are getting shorter. It's the difference between being swept away by inefficiencies or riding the wave of innovation.  

  • Today users want flawless experiences and upgrades at the speed of light. Agility is king. It is impossible for rigid, waterfall-style models to keep up with the demand for continuous iteration and adaptability. Agile approaches, such as Scrum and Kanban, enable teams to react quickly to change and provide value in manageable portions.  
  • Risk control is essential as accepting ambiguity is necessary in the tech industry.   
  • Selecting a risk-reduction model, such as the incremental model's iterative methodology, allows you to test features early, find and fix defects quickly, and prevent later expensive rework.  
  • Efficiency yields benefits, especially in the quick-paced field of software development, time truly is money. With their focus on automation and teamwork, models like DevOps expedite procedures, eliminate bottlenecks, and accelerate product launch, providing you with a critical competitive advantage.  
  • The dynamics of a team matter. No two people fit the same. While a large, scattered team could need the established roles and well-defined structure of the waterfall approach, a small, self-organized team might thrive in the autonomy of the RAD model. Collaboration is facilitated by selecting a model that complements your team's communication style and strengths.  
  • It goes beyond simply selecting the appropriate model to include understanding the trade-offs. Every strategy has advantages and disadvantages. The secret is to evaluate your team's skills, risk tolerance, and project requirements before selecting the model that strikes the optimum balance between control, efficiency, and flexibility.  

Selecting the appropriate software development model is more than merely checking a box in today's ever-changing digital landscape. It involves choosing a course of action that affects the project lifecycle from idea to implementation. You are not just creating software when you invest in the correct model but laying the groundwork for future success in the rapidly changing technology industry.  

7 Software Development  Models   

1.) The Waterfall Model

The methodical, phase-by-phase technique provided by Waterfall is like water cascading past a sequence of obstacles. Though its predictability might be severe to changes, it gives structure with clear goals and extensive testing. It is also known as Sequential Model or Structured Development.  

SDLC - The Waterfall Model


  • Analysis: Specifying the needs and the scope of the work.  
  • Design: Creating the architecture and system requirements.  
  • Development: Using design as a guide, create the actual software.  
  • Testing: Carefully checking the program for errors and functionalities.  
  • Deployment: Software release to users.  
  • Maintenance: Resolving problems and applying bug fixes following deployment.  


  • Well-defined structure: Every phase has explicit expectations and deliverables, facilitating resource management and monitoring progress.  
  • Clearly defined milestones: Project planning is made more accessible, and a sense of achievement is generated by having distinct completion markers for every step.  
  • Extensive testing: The period devoted to testing helps guarantee a high-quality final product.  


  • Lack of adaptability: Once work gets past the preliminary stages, it becomes harder to make changes, which could cause delays and rework.  
  • Later stages of high risk: Fixing significant mistakes found during testing can be expensive and time-consuming.  
  • Slow initial progress: Before any physical product is seen, much effort must be made behind the scenes. Thus, development may seem slow at first. 

2. Agile Model

The Agile Model promotes flexibility, adaptability, and continual improvement while tossing off the strict guidelines of traditional development. Imagine an agile dancer reacting to the constantly changing music of evolving requirements and user feedback—not a lumbering giant.  

Agile is centered on iteration. Agile divides software development into brief cycles, known as sprints, where teams produce functional software piece by piece instead of a sequential march from point A to point B. Because of this continuous feedback loop, they can create features that genuinely appeal to people, respond quickly to difficulties, and adjust to changing needs.  

Popular Agile techniques:  

  • Scrum: Teams concentrate on delivering a particular set of user stories during time-boxed sprints, which usually last 2-4 weeks. Transparency and cooperation are ensured by holding regular meetings, such as sprint reviews and daily stand-ups.  
  • Kanban: Visualize a board that shows tasks as cards that move through several stages, such as "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done." Kanban strongly emphasizes ongoing flow and prioritization, modifying work in response to capacity constraints and shifting priorities.  

SDLC - Agile Model

Benefits of Agile   

  • Flexibility: The approach is designed to allow for adjustments and user feedback, resulting in a more pertinent and user-focused final product.  
  • Faster delivery: Using sprints makes it possible to release essential features more quickly, providing users with frequent and early access to the product.  
  • Constant refinement: Every sprint offers the chance to learn from success and failures.   


  • Improved interaction requirements: Regular cooperation and feedback loops call for effective communication techniques and well-defined procedures.  
  • Maintaining scope creep in check: Agile's flexibility can result in scope creep if it's not adequately controlled, which is why it's so important to prioritize and oversee features during each sprint.  

Even if Scrum and Kanban are the best of the Agile world, never forget that diversity adds flavor to life and software development! Let us look at three alternative Agile methods that might work well for your upcoming project:  

1. Development Based on Features (FDD):  

Imagine constructing a home using bricks for every element. FDD prioritizes projects according to their business value by breaking them into discrete, observable aspects. Developers collaborate on design before beginning coding in two-week cycles to guarantee quality and alignment with overarching objectives.  

Pros: Excellent for reducing integration risks, emphasizing business value, and suitable for big, complicated projects.  

Cons: Because of the upfront design, it may take longer and include more stakeholders.  

2. Lean Software Development:  

Reducing inefficiencies in software development. Lean is based on the Toyota Production System and emphasizes the rapid delivery of minimum viable products (MVPs) and eliminating non-value-adding activities. Iterative improvement and constant feedback are essential for producing effective, user-centered software.  

Pros: Promotes time to market, decreases waste and overproduction, and enhances communication and teamwork.    

Cons: This may not be appropriate for all project types; it calls for a cultural shift and a dedication to lean concepts.  

3. XP, or extreme programming:  

Testers and developers collaborate closely through methods like pair programming, test-driven development, and continuous integration; XP strongly emphasizes tight cooperation. High-quality code is produced via this rigorous and demanding method, but it also requires committed teams and a strong emphasis on feedback and communication.  

Pros: Offers error-free code, quick feedback and modification, and encourages ownership and learning.     

Cons: Requires a high level of dedication and discipline from developers; unsuitable for large teams or projects with tight deadlines.  

3.The Iterative and Incremental Model: Foundational Elements of Success  

The fundamental idea of the Incremental and Iterative Model is to create working software in small, incremental steps with frequent testing and user feedback. This dynamic approach is built brick by brick. It involves an ongoing dialogue with your users, where you make their suggestions and improve your program until it achieves its maximum potential.   
Key features:     

  • Delivery of functionality step-by-step: Each function is provided in digestible chunks that build upon the one before. Because problems are found and fixed early on, risk is decreased.  
  • Constant feedback loop: User input and frequent testing are essential components of the procedure. It helps keep the program in line with customer requirements and saves money on rework.  
  • Iterative refinement: Every step forward offers a chance to grow and learn. In later iterations, features are improved, and new functionalities are added in response to feedback.  


  • Reduced risk: Early problem detection and resolution lessens the effect of possible difficulties, resulting in a more stable and dependable finished product.  
  • Early customer feedback: Getting feedback from users as soon as possible guarantees that the program meets their needs and expectations, boosting user happiness and adoption.  
  • Cost-effectiveness: Development expenses are spread over a more extended period with smaller increments, facilitating budget management and establishing goals.  
  • Flexibility: The approach is well-suited for changing requirements because of its iterative structure, which makes modifications and adaptations simple to include.  
  • Adequate preparation and communication: Effective implementation of this paradigm necessitates much preparation in advance.  


  • Robust planning and communication: To execute this model successfully, extensive preliminary planning and well-defined communication channels are needed.  
  • Risk of scope creep: If flexibility is not adequately managed, it may result in unplanned feature additions.  
  • Possibility of delays: When the team adapts to new requirements, delays may happen if feedback loops are not well specified.  

4. The V-Model: Integrating Testing and Development in Real-Time  

The V-Model distinguishes itself from the competition with its method of software development. It is like a bridge that connects testing and development at every level through detailed verification and validation procedures. The core of the V-Model is its parallel testing, which ensures early fault detection and promotes a culture of quality across the project.  

SDLC - he V-Model Integrating Testing and Development in Real-Time

Key Feature:  

Synchronized testing: To replicate the "V" form of the model, a parallel testing phase is conducted at each development step. Therefore, unit testing occurs similarly to coding, integration testing with system integration, and so forth.  


  • Better quality: When defects are discovered early in the development lifecycle, it takes fewer resources and time to fix them later. This results in a finished product that is more dependable and stable.  
  • Reduced risk: Project risks decrease by proactively testing possible problems before they develop into bigger ones, and predictability is raised.  
  • Optimized resource utilization: When developers and testers collaborate, resources are used more effectively, possibly cutting down development timeframes.  


  • Complexity of managing parallel tasks: Effective project management and open lines of communication are necessary when supervising and managing several teams that are working at the same time.  
  • Less flexibility: Compared to more iterative approaches, the V-Model's rigid structure may be less able to adjust to shifting requirements or unforeseen problems.    

5.The Spiral Model

Software development is approached differently by the Spiral Model, which combines Agile's flexibility with Waterfall's predictability. It aids in closely evaluating the hazards at every step and modifying your course considering what you learn. This iterative, risk-driven process lets you produce useful software while managing uncertainty.  

The Spiral Model - SDLC

Key Features:  

  • Cycles driven by risk: The Spiral iterates by identifying and reducing the most critical risks associated with that stage. Taking a proactive stance reduces surprises and the project stays on schedule.  
  • Blending Agile and Waterfall: The model adapts the procedure to the project's requirements by taking cues from Agile's iterative development methodology and Waterfall's staged approach.  
  • Early prototype: Prototyping is frequently used in every iteration to get early feedback and validate essential features and functionality.  


Controlled risk management makes the development process more stable and predictable by emphasizing detecting and reducing risks.  

  • Changing needs: As the project moves forward, requirements and priorities can be changed because of the iterative approach's adaptability.  
  • Early prototyping: Keeping the project in line with user needs and lowering the risk of developing incorrect features are two benefits of validating concepts through early prototypes.  


  • Added complexity: Handling Agile and Waterfall components fusion can be challenging, necessitating excellent project management abilities and transparent communication.  
  • Demands proficient project management: Using the Spiral Model successfully requires skilled project managers who can manage risk.  

6. DevOps Model

The DevOps Model is destroying the conventional barriers separating development and operations teams, which is revolutionizing the software industry. Cooperation, automation, and shared accountability are essential for software to be delivered more quickly and reliably. Envision development and operations teams collaborating closely, akin to two sides of a single coin, to promote ongoing enhancement and swift releases.     

SDLC - DevOps Model

Key features:     

  • Continuous Integration/Delivery (CI/CD): By removing manual handoffs and delays, automated processes smoothly integrate, test, and release code changes to production environments.  
  • Shared responsibility: From coding to delivery and beyond, the development and operations teams own the complete software lifecycle. This dismantles silos and promotes cooperation.  
  • Automation: Routine tasks are freed up by tools and scripts that automate them. Automating repetitive operations, tools, and scripts increases productivity and allows team members to concentrate on strategic work.  


  • Faster deployments: Features and updates are delivered to consumers more quickly thanks to streamlined CI/CD pipelines, which provide frequent and dependable deployments.  
  • Better communication: Teams who collaborate and share responsibilities communicate more effectively, which avoids misunderstandings and bottlenecks.  
  • Increased creativity: Enhanced productivity allows developers to concentrate on novel features and functionalities, fostering creativity and maintaining a competitive edge.  
  • Reliable software: Automated testing and monitoring ensure high-quality software, which also lowers defects and enhances user experience.  


  • Cultural shift: Some organizations may find it challenging to implement DevOps since it calls for a change in how people think and operate.  
  • Tools for automation are needed: Investing in and implementing the appropriate automation tools is essential for success; these tools come with upfront expenses and training.  
  • Skills gap: To adjust to the DevOps methodology, teams may need to pick up new abilities and expertise.  

7. Rapid Application Development (RAD) Model

The RAD Model promotes speed and flexibility over all other considerations, throwing caution to the wind (safely, of course). Imagine a sleek rocket that, propelled by its powerful engine of prototyping and quick feedback, zooms past conventional development schedules. This iterative process ensures that the finished product enters the market quickly by including users frequently and early on.  

Key features:

  • Prototyping: Rapid Application Development (RAD) emphasizes the rapid creation of functioning prototypes that enable users to engage with the program and offer early feedback. Their needs are met by the final product thanks to this iterative process that helps refine features.  
  • Quick feedback loop: Throughout the development cycle, user and stakeholder feedback is included, reducing the possibility of creating incorrect features and resulting to  
  • Iterative development: RAD divides work into brief iterations, sometimes called sprints, which enable prompt modifications in response to feedback.  


  • Faster time to market: By prioritizing quick iterations and prototypes, you may provide the finished product more quickly, providing you with a competitive advantage.  
  • Lower risk: Prompt user feedback reduces expensive rework and project delays by helping to recognize and address possible problems early.  
  • User involvement: By incorporating users at every stage of the development process, you can ensure that the program meets their requirements and expectations, increasing user happiness and adoption.  


  • Possibly unsuitable for complex projects: The RAD technique may not be appropriate for complicated projects with complex requirements and dependencies.  
  • It may require many resources: Prototyping and its iterative nature demand committed resources and careful planning. Therefore, they might not be appropriate for all projects. 
  • Vital user requirements are necessary: The success of RAD largely depends on the early definition and clarity of user requirements. The rapid iteration process might become disorganized and ineffective without this basis.  

Selecting the Appropriate Software Development Model:  

Getting Through the Maze to Complete the Project  

Selecting the appropriate model might be likened to negotiating a convoluted maze in software development. All three delivery methods—Waterfall, Agile, and Spiral—promise quick completion, but taking the incorrect turn can cause delays and annoyance. Considering these essential elements, you can choose the ideal model to steer your project toward success.  

Selecting the Appropriate SDLC Model: Rapid Guide Model 

Waterfall: Clear, well-organized documents that are inflexible. (Optimal for projects with stability) 

Agile: Adaptable, needs good communication, and provides early feedback. (Optimal for changing requirements) 

Spiral: Handles risk, requires skilled management, and manages complicated projects. (Optimal in high-risk undertakings) 

V-Shaped: Less flexible, higher testing. (Best for needs of the highest caliber) 

Prototype: Time-consuming, unclear needs, lower risk. (Optimal for requirements that are not obvious) 

Iterative/Incremental: Adaptable, lowers risk, needs careful handling. (Optimal for flexible projects) 

Rapid:Quick prototypes at a high risk (uncertain needs, urgency)    

Remember that the ideal model is based on understanding the unique requirements, risk tolerance, and team dynamics of your project rather than a strict formula. Investigate further, weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and be open to adjusting as your idea develops.  

The ever-evolving landscape of technology requires constant updating. Your knowledge must keep up with the potential emergence of new models and the improvement of current ones.  

  • Waterfall: Establishing a sizable, precisely defined banking network.  
  • Agile: Developing an interactive mobile application with regular user input. Develop a sophisticated e-commerce website incrementally.   
  • V-Model: Assuring a medical software's quality that is essential to its mission.  
  • Spiral: Controlling risk in a crucial government initiative. Streamlining communication between teams working on development and operations is known as DevOps.  
  • RAD: Rapidly launching a social networking platform with lots of features.  

Become Partners with a Custom Development Powerhouse to Achieve Your Software Vision.  

Selecting an appropriate software development model is merely the initial stage. You need an experienced partner, a custom software development business that can translate your vision into lines of code and success stories, to turn your idea into a remarkable reality.  

We create opportunities at Lucent Innovation not simply software. We expertly combine the strengths of several models—Waterfall, Agile, and more—to create solutions that precisely match your requirements. Our expert team, entire of versatility and experience, will lead you through every stage, from initial concept to flawless implementation.  

Ready to bring your vision to life?    

Let us discuss your project: Schedule a free consultation with our team and discuss more!  

Also, read: Software Consultants: What They Do and Why Do You Need Them? 

Nidhi Inamdar

Sr Content Writer

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