Every software product is designed and developed in a way that makes it perform certain tasks or jobs when the user wants it to. That’s why a lot of thought, planning, attention to detail, and expertise goes into building a software system that can function how a business intends it to for itself or its customers. The two most preferred software development methods or ideologies are traditional and agile methods. However, this isn’t where the classification ends. You can go even deeper, dividing all those specific processes that constitute the software development lifecycle. However, we will just be focussing on these two categories and their differences. To start this discussion, we would like to say that the agile software development methodology is the evolved version of its traditional counterpart.
What are traditional and agile software development methods?
Depending on their needs and nature, every software project can take their own course when it comes to their software development lifecycle or SDLC. In simple terms, SDLC defines how the entire work is going to take place. As we already alluded to a little earlier in the post, there are two main types of software development methodologies: traditional and agile. The traditional software development methodology takes a sequential course. In this method, development goes through several pre-defined phases and flows steadily towards its completion. On the other hand, when you work with an agile development company, you can expect them to put your interests at the forefront by providing continuous and timely delivery of software.
Differences between traditional and agile software development
- Involvement of the customer: This is one of the biggest differences between the two approaches. The traditional approach asks its customers to provide a detailed idea of how they want the product to look and work like. On the other hand, as agile follows an iterative approach, customers remain in the loop through the entire development lifecycle. This gives them a chance to review the development work at every phase and suggest improvements. Unlike the traditional approach in which the system has to be completely dismantled and built from scratch again if it is not to the liking of the customer, the agile approach by involving the customer at every stage of development can address the error and fix it before moving on. Agile guarantees an improvement in customer satisfaction.
- Cost: This is one of the major concerns of most companies. Unlike traditional development in which reworking costs are very high, agile development not only has fewer changes of going in the reworking phase but also results in lower costs if it does. Agile development doesn’t classify testing as a phase. It instead takes it as a step that needs to be reiterated just like all the other steps in every phase of development. This helps in not only quickly identifying an issue but also fixing it. This is the reason that the corrective maintenance costs for agile software development are very low.
- Size of the software: Choosingthe agile approach is perfect for building software systems that are not too large in size. This is because systems that are small to medium in size work well with elastic or flexible approach that agile is known for. There is a reason why large software systems aren’t compatible with the agile approach – they are more resistant to iterative changes. In this case, you have two options. You can either compromise with the benefits that agile offers and go with the traditional approach or divide the large software into smaller systems developed using agile. The latter can still backfire due to compatibility issues.
Whether you choose traditional or agile consulting services in the UK or anywhere else, you choice will depend on the specific needs of your project, including quality, cost, timeframe, and others. Make sure you choose the path that is right for your product.