A Detailed Write Up on Software Product Development Methodologies and Steps

Custom software product development makes sense when your business needs a specialized or unique approach. In our rapidly changing world, opportunities continuously emerge to develop new software for specific purposes, users, functions, organizations, or third parties.

Software product development enables companies to create custom solutions that meet specific business requirements. For example, your business can optimize internal business processes and automate logistical functions by developing a custom solution.

Let’s discuss the phases of software product development, and common methodologies used in the process.

What are the 7 Software Product Development Stages?

Software product development follows seven specific steps from start to finish. These steps are…

  1. Idea and Planning Phase: Every project starts with an idea, and then requires careful planning. That includes defining the project scope, business objectives, budgets, resources, and timeline.
  2. Requirements Phase: The next step is to document all requirements for the software product development. This phase also identifies potential risks, as well as strategies to address those risks.
  3. Design Phase: Now the design of the software begins. Using the project requirements, developers create software workflows and structures, including prototypes or mockups.
  4. Development Phase: As the backbone of the process, the development includes writing code and turning design documentation into the actual software.
  5. Testing Phase: The testing process checks to determine if the software matches the expected requirements and is free from bugs or defects.
  6. Implementation and Deployment Phase: Next, the software is moved to the implementation and deployment phase where it’s introduced to the market.
  7. Operations and Maintenance Phase: The very last phase involves regular updates and maintenance of the software based on user feedback.

What are the most common software product development methodologies?

There are different software product development methodologies, and each offers a different set of advantages: from minimized risk to improved process efficiency and continuous iterations to enhanced scalability.

Here’s an overview of the most popular software product development methodologies.

What Are Common Software Product Development Methodologies?


DevOps is a flexible practice specifically designed for software development. DevOps combines two key elements: software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). DevOps methodology enables the collaboration of both development and IT operations teams throughout the entire software development lifecycle with tools that extend automation beyond the build phase. The result is a seamless workflow between the two teams. It improves both collaboration and communication within software development to shorten the development lifecycle, while also enabling continuous delivery and high quality.

Waterfall Methodology

If you imagine a waterfall in nature, you’ll understand how this methodology got its name. In the software development lifecycle, the waterfall development model encompasses a logical progression of steps, just like water cascading over a series of rocks or cliffs. The Waterfall method is an older model, but it’s still used in the software development industry. In comparison to some of the newer models, the step-by-step methodology is straightforward. It starts with the initial idea and then builds on each step until the project is complete and the software is launched.

Agile Methodology

Agile software development is actually a group of methodologies focused on cross-functional cooperation to achieve results. As the name suggests, the Agile approach was designed for flexibility. Software is built incrementally, creating an iterative process to plan, produce, test, release, and revise high-quality software applications while also lowering costs and shortening the timeline. Each iteration includes all the components of software development: planning, requirements, analysis, design, code, testing, and deployment. Then, a working product is demonstrated at the end of the iteration. Multiple iterations might be required to release a product, and customer feedback is considered before the process repeats itself with new features and upgrades.

Hybrid Agile Methodology

A Hybrid Agile approach blends plan-driven principles and practices with Agile principles and practices to fit a given situation. It combines components of the more traditional Waterfall methodology with aspects of Agile. For example, Hybrid Agile is a particularly useful approach when a customer prefers to define schedules and requirements early on in the process, yet still has some flexibility in the development phase that would benefit from incremental iterations.

SysOps Methodology

SysOps is short for “system operator.” SysOps uses information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) guidelines that work to align business goals with IT services. Those guidelines create the baseline for the design, execution, and measurement of a project. SysOps overlaps with DevOps in some aspects. While both manage infrastructure, DevOps uses automation tools in its process. The main goal of SysOps is the continuation of services with minimal risk. As such, it is not flexible to change like DevOps. When aiding a developer’s team, the SysOps team typically tends to favor a consistent code change rate and code deployments.

While each software product development methodology differs, many overlap with each other. Your choice of software development approach will depend on several factors, including your organization’s culture and business goals.

Contact InApp to learn more about our approach to software development.