8 Most Popular Software Development Methods

If you are just starting to explore software developmentmethods, then you might be surprised there are more than a couple of choices out there. Each of the different options has their own unique set of perks. When you are in need of software development services, you may find that one or more of these methods may actually meet your needs.

Extreme Programming

Sometimes listed as XP, this is known as an agile software methodology. With this approach that was designed by Kent Beck, certain practices are taken to their extreme level. In this case, the XP focuses on the engineers and their daily activities. This is often combined with Scrum, as the approach helps to avoid the problem areas that are attached to it. The unique aspect in this is that it is an advocate of frequent releases and shot cycles of development to boost productivity.


For software solutions, this is the most common skeleton that is used. Crafted from practices and roles that have been predefined, it only requires some simple common sense practices for operation. It is an incredibly simplistic development method and advanced practices are often recommended.

Lean Software Development

Originally used by Toyota, this adaptation offers a lean and agile concept that is part of the lean manufacturing develop domain. It utilises the agile project management framework that is part of the most popular software development methods. This approach has 22 tools and how they are part of the agile practices.

Unified Process

More extensive projects will find that the unified process is a decent approach. It has an extensible framework that can be customized based on the project. Since it is considered a complete solution, it can be an ideal choice for your software solutions.

Rational Unified Process

Developed by Rational Software, this commercial development method is often used by those, thanks to the generic public domain it falls in. However, a more detailed methodology is used by IBM, who now owns Rational Software.

Dynamic Systems Development Method

Created by DSDM Consortium based in the United Kingdom, its concept stems from the Rapid Application Development. This approach is similar to Scrum, so project management creates the skeleton work and the development team handles the remainder of the project. While this does allow for custom software solutions it can prove to be problematic for smaller teams.


From the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom, Prince 2 is an approach that touches on the control, management and overall organization of projects. Since it is not just used for software solutions, it can be a popular choice in a variety of other areas. The problem though, is it is too big, not customizable enough and often is too prescriptive to be an overall effective choice for most developers. Prince2 can be termed as more of a Project management methodology than a software development method, but it does offer really good control and execution model for software development project.

Feature Driven Development

In this approach, focus and time is placed on the up front design. Many professionals who offer custom software solutions will consider this to be one of the easier and more efficient software engineering methodologies available.

When you are searching for a software development services company, you may want to consider one of the above solutions and check with the software development company if they offer this solution. Note that each of the above offers an approach to development that can produce quality results.