Methodology Is Right for Your Project?

Anna Khrupa by Anna Khrupa on 10/23/2019

Methodology Is Right for Your Project?

Note: the article was updated in November 2020.

For those who are planning to develop software, it’s important to choose a fitting software testing strategy. There are five primary software testing methodologies software developers use to create and test their projects:

  • Waterfall Testing Methodology
  • Rapid Software Testing
  • Prototype Methodology
  • Agile Testing Methodology
  • Spiral Software Testing

To determine which methodology is best for your team and your project itself, you’ll need to thoughtfully plan everything out. You have to decide how you’re going to build the project, as the answer to this question will determine the workflow and the delegation of tasks to your team members. Once this information is decided, you can begin to evaluate which software testing services fit the needs of your project and your team best.

Testing Methodologies: What Questions to Ask to Find the Right One?

Oftentimes, teams start exploring testing methodologies to find a right one in a very wrong way.

Instead of choosing a methodology to use based on research, you need to focus on the project itself. In many cases, the problem of choosing the most suitable development/QA testing methodologies can be omitted if your team takes a step back and focuses on the project’s goal and its functions.

Your team should ask some basic questions about the project, and, depending on the answers, build a broader picture of it. In the simplest terms, every project should include a planning brainstorm session. 

QA Testing Methodologies Checklist:

– Do the project characteristics limit you to a specific strategy?

– How does my client prefer to communicate and work?

– Is there a methodology that is particularly suited to my team?

The answers to these questions should give you sufficient information to move forward in choosing an appropriate project methodology to implement and follow. If you find that there are many large tasks or you have sub-teams, it might be best to continue the brainstorm and allocate the tasks even further. Finding out all the workload that needs to be completed during the planning stages will help ensure that you choose the handiest project methodology before you start. In its turn, this will help to narrow down the list of testing methodologies options for your project as well, since QA directly depends on the development.

Common Types of Qa Methodologies You Should Know About

There are many different types of QA methodologies to choose from for your project, but not all of them are proven to work well for a variety of teams and projects. The five project methodologies outlined below are among the most common ones throughout the industry. These QA methodologies are listed in order of difficulty, starting with the easiest one.


1. Waterfall Software Testing

The Waterfall project methodology is probably one of the most traditional project management approaches. It is well-organized and straightforward. It’s simple. It suits projects that don’t require an advanced or overly technical approach.

With a Waterfall project methodology, you’d first set the project’s requirements and then move on to planning the scope of the work. Then, your team should move on to implementation, testing, and ultimately project completion. As you can see, the Waterfall methodology is very procedural and straightforward.

It’s this simplicity that makes Waterfall methodology a popular choice among software engineers. If your team doesn’t have expert management or software development skills, and you want to get the project done making minimal efforts, the Waterfall methodology is the right choice for you.

If your project requires more complexity or fluidity in its conceptualizing or actualization, a Waterfall methodology doesn’t serve your project needs. Waterfall methodology doesn’t involve extra steps for revisions or starting over, making it a less-than-ideal choice for complex software development.


2. Rapid Testing Methodology

If you’re facing a tight deadline, choose the Rapid methodology. It prioritizes and emphasizes the speed of work, and that is the reason why all the other product development aspects should be monitored constantly. 

At its most basic, the Rapid methodology consists of three steps: planning, design + prototyping + construction (all performed simultaneously), and testing. The greatest challenge you’d face is hiring qualified professionals, while all the other progress functions fade into insignificance.

To ensure that your final product is of high quality, you’d need to have an expert team that’s well-versed in software development, marketing, management, testing and design. That’s why Rapid methodology typically results in higher expenses than other project methodologies. 

With that being said, investing more funds into a project that needs to get done quickly is a reasonable trade-off. Moreover, paying more money to skilled professionals can ensure that the job will be done in time, helping you avoid project delays and revisions.

Tasks and issues in Agile software development methodology are treated like post-it notes: you spot a problem, you write it down immediately, and then put it somewhere to be noticeable for your team.
Photo by Unsplash

3. Prototype Methodology

As the name would suggest, the Prototype methodology focuses on the process of prototyping. If you’re not familiar with the term, prototyping is making a draft of a project before completing the final work.

With the Prototype methodology, direct communication with your client is essential. Without proper client-developer communication, the project will not succeed. For example, when the sketch of the software is created, it should be sent for the client to approve and to give feedback/corrections if needed. The methodology presumes the duplication of the development process, as the actual software creation starts only after your client agrees with the current model you’ve presented to them.

While client-developer communication guarantees a satisfied client, putting too much power into the hands of your clients can result in negative consequences. For example, the client may provide you with a detailed scope of a project, but as you are getting feedback, the final scope may change greatly. Moreover, waiting for a client’s response can result in lost resources or wasted time, as well as missed deadlines. Finally, team members will be more exposed to the project’s pressure and deadlines in comparison to some of the other project methodologies.  


4. Agile Software Testing

If you appreciate the Prototype methodology but need a framework that transforms the process to a more advanced and complex level, the Agile methodology would be a good fit for your project and team. The Agile can be described as a sophisticated version of the Prototype methodology.

It divides the development process into numerous iterations. It’s innovative and quite popular among the businesses that work with the “unspecific” projects.

If your client isn’t sure what kind of product they want, the Agile strategy allows your team to discover it step by step. This can prevent wasted time and work, as well as miscommunications throughout the process. Moreover, the Agile methodology encourages constant updates and changes to a project. While this can come in handy for some projects, constant changes can become exhausting for your team members.

The adaptive nature of the Agile methodology is perhaps its greatest advantage. However, as with the Prototype, your team may experience lulls during the work process or vice versa tight deadlines as Agile relies heavily on constant client-developer communication and support.

Additionally, Agile methodologies are notorious for creating scheduling issues for teams, as there aren’t deadlines firmly set until the last minute. As a result, it could create problems for small teams or companies.

5. Spiral Software Testing

If you’re working on a project that requires even more room for constant corrections or iterations that extend beyond the Agile methodology’s parameters, the Spiral methodology might be the best fit for you. This project methodology is one of the most complex options in the industry, but its complexity opens up multiple opportunities for teams.

The name of the strategy illustrates its principle: each spiral of your team’s work entails the subsequent risk calculation, as well as the introduction of new features. This type of approach can help decrease the number of software bugs and errors of the final product. It also allows implementing new features even when the basic work scope is already done.

Of course, Spiral strategy is suitable only for high-risk projects. With this type of project methodology, the expenses are immense, as you’ll need to gather a group of experts to form a strong team. It is unreasonable to choose this methodology if the task you’re facing can be done in any simpler way. 


Next Steps

To conclude, every team and every project implement a methodology differently. There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules or guidelines to abide by when implementing these methodologies. There are some general recommendations you can follow, but the question of choosing the best testing methodology is left at your discretion.

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Written by
Anna Khrupa, Researcher/Marketing Manager

Anna is a self-motivated and curious research analyst who keeps her eye on digital marketing trends, IT market state, audience response to the content our team puts out, and examines content strategies of competitors. Anna’s multi-tasking skills overlapped with an in-depth understanding of IT outsourcing make her a powerful player on our team. In her free time, Anna likes reading crime fiction and swimming.

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