Most Popular Software Development Models


The software development model largely determines the project's success. It is responsible for the processes and their sequence necessary to achieve a quality project on time (and sometimes within a set budget). Below, we will help you figure out how to choose the right one from the six of them.

What Is Software Development Model?

Models in software development describe the stages of the product life cycle. They define a set of methods that make the development process more efficient and faster. The practice of applying software development models has existed since the second half of the last century, and to this day it proves its effectiveness.

Top-6 Versalite Models in Software Engineering

So, how to choose the best generally recognized scenario that determines the order and timing of tasks within the life cycle stages, as well as evaluation and control methods? Just learn about the features of the six most popular models in software engineering and find out which one corresponds to your requirements the best.

#1: Waterfall

This is one of the oldest software design models that has been practiced since the 70s and is based on a phased implementation: each next step begins only after the previous step ends. Many developers consider this obsolete however it is not. 

As for the main advantages, this software model allows project managers to quickly and easily control work processes and determine the cost of a project at an early stage. On the other hand, under Waterfall, testing is carried out at the last stages of software development. Thus, revision comments are fixed quite late, causing delays and extra costs. So we can conclude that this type of software engineering modeling is not well suited for complex and large products. 


#2: V-model (Validation and Verification model) 

The V-model is the second model from our development model's top and is an improved version of Waterfall. In its implementation, each stage of development includes control of the current process, which helps to make sure that it is possible to move to the next level. At the same time, testing begins by documenting the requirements, and each subsequent stage has its own level of test coverage.

The advantages of V-model include testing and verification of the system, which are carried out at an early stage, as well as improved time management compared to the previous model. At the same time, it is not flexible enough, carries certain risks, and also does not allow dynamic changes. Usually, V-model is suitable for projects with strict time and financial constraints.


#3: Incremental and Iterative model 

The Incremental and Iterative software process model combines the incremental approach and the iterative model. The first ensures that the software development process is broken down into smaller pieces, increments, that build on the previous version. The second defines the cyclicity (iteration) of software development activities, which means that each new version of the product will be created at the end of the iteration. Iterations last as long as necessary to obtain the optimal quality of the product.

This model enables changes in the early stages of product development and guarantees its final high quality (as it requires some customer involvement). In general, it is aimed at maximizing the efficiency of the workflow and is perfect for building mission-critical enterprise solutions.



#4: Lean

Lean is one of the most popular software development process models that allow teams to provide value to the final solution while reducing the cost of its production. As it is not a methodology, it does not have a set of ready-made practices. Moreover, it was originally invented in the mid-50s to optimize the production of Toyota cars. Over time, its viability was confirmed in the field of software development.

When applying Lean, instead of the standard division of responsibilities between managers and staff, a team is formed only by multifunctional experts, whose resources are used to the full: everyone can suggest an improvement, everyone can test their idea in practice, and everyone is responsible for the final result. This flexibility allows teams to make changes instantly, and therefore respond to customer requests, competitor updates, and market unrest.

This one is commonly used in the development of start-ups and minimum-viable products.

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#5: Agile

When answering the question: “What are software models?” you just cannot miss the Agile development model. Nowadays, it is used by over 70% of software development companies because of its versatility (as it suits projects of all sizes) and implements three key aspects: iterative development, intensive communication between departments, and early customer feedback. Iterations in Agile last several weeks and each of them is intended to deliver a working version of a product, from a basic one to a full-fledged one. 

Agile implies the use of such popular methodologies as:

  • Scrum, when the teams improve the product over successive sprints and better team velocity


  • XP (or Extreme Programming), aimed to produce high-quality software by changing requirements dynamically, using collaborative extended teams, and focusing on automated unit and functional tests.


  • Kanban, when teams track the time of the development cycle and optimize for lead times through their shortage and predictability However, it is not suitable for projects that need to deliver against very specific requirements (for example, industry standards or legal requirements) and thus, have to have very flexible timeframes for their delivery.


#6: Spiral

Finally, to answer the question: “What is software modeling?”, let’s consider a Spiral model that focuses on risk assessment and implies the engagement of risk-evaluation experts. According to it, an iteration lasts around six months and needs thorough planning, the creation of a prototype, and testing of the previous product version, where the customers’ amendment can take place.

It is a perfect choice for projects with frequently changing business needs, as well as innovative ones that are developed in R&D centers.


Choosing Software Development Models: Main Aspects to Consider

First, you have to learn about existing options (you can do it by reading the paragraph above). Then, you have to ask yourself the next questions

  • Does the software development model you choose matches the size and interaction format of your development team, as well as their skills?
  • Are software engineering models from your top compatible with the technologies which have to be implemented in your software?
  • Will the option you choose help stakeholders to achieve their business goals?
  • Does the option you have chosen correspond to the size of your project?
  • Does the option you choose minimize the risks associated with your project?

You may also need to create a rating system, answering each of the above questions in the form of points and adding them up at the end of the survey. In this case, you will receive a more objective answer about the optimal choice.

After that, you will have enough arguments to make an informed decision about choosing the right software development models. 

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Final Thoughts

Now you know what is software modelling and thus, you can solve the problem of choosing the optimal one to start the model-based software development process and achieve the desired performance and reliability of workflows within your team. So, we wish you good luck and bring your business idea to life with minimal time and money expenses. If you need assistance with selecting the optimal software model for your business, please contact us.

Download our report

We have provided information on the cost of launching an MVP for three projects of varying levels of complexity, enabling you to compare what each project entails.


Waterfall is one of the most widely used software development models, as it has been in use for decades. In this model, all stages of development are sequential — meaning that a team must complete one stage before moving on to the next.

The Agile model is the most cost-effective software development model. It combines an incremental approach with iterative development and is better suited to projects with flexible requirements.

V Model is a software development model that is considered superior to the Waterfall model. In V Model, the development and testing activities are carried out side-by-side in the downhill-and-uphill shape. Also, testing starts at the unit level and spreads toward the integration of the entire system.

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