I received a good question from one of our readers. He wanted to know how to decide which methodology to follow for Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). He was also debating whether it is better to use Waterfall or Agile for big projects. His hunch was that Agile should be used for big project as they are most likely to be unsequential and often prone to change in requirements, cost, and time frame.

Is he right? While it is true that Agile does work best for big projects, it doesn’t mean it is always the right solution.

It’s a tricky situation, and realizing that many of our customers struggle with the same questions when it comes to choosing a methodology for their SDLC process, I thought I would share my thoughts with you all.

Choosing SDLC Methodologies

Choosing which methodology to follow for SDLC is not easy. The truth is, there is no “right” methodology for SDLC. The best methodology depends on your company. Before choosing a methodology, you need to understand what your company’s goals are, and how the people in your company work.

Agile works best in small to medium sized organizations because it requires tight collaboration and a disciplined team that will stick to the process. Not all teams are willing to adapt to this type of work culture; it also requires a good leader. Agile is also possible with big teams, through the use of collaborative project management software. Teams would need to be trained on using them. With proper training, dedication and management, Agile can yield better results.

Waterfall is easier to understand, especially if the team is inexperienced. It’s the best method to use if you are more concerned about quality than with going over budget or schedule.

Only way to know if a certain methodology is the right one for your organization is to try it out. You may run into obstacles the first time you use it, but don’t let that discourage you. Evaluate your strategies and projects and try to find the grey areas and try different solutions. Perhaps only slight adjustments need to be made, such as more team meetings, shorter sprint cycles, or adopting Agile or collaborative software.

We want to know: How did you choose which methodology to use for SDLC?

Related blog posts:
Waterfall vs. Agile
Agile Adoption Statistics 2012


  1. John Pereless

    After reading this and as per my knowledge and understanding on SDLC, Agile is much robust and is more persistence in terms of on going development. Also, Agile provides some chance in reverse engineering as well as run time space to get it more useful for the business owners or client.

  2. Barbara Chinzunza

    I have always thought agile is for small teams because they can easily collaborate compared to a bigger team. However, it looks like applying both depending with the environment will be more effective.

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