5 App Development Methodologies To Choose In 2022

Avantika Shergil By Avantika Shergil  |  Jul 20, 2022  |  App Development
Most Popular App Development Methodologies

The full-fledged mobile application that appears as an ordinary solution to the users from the front-end is backed by a lot of hard work, planning, resources investment, and documentation. Conventionally, the app development, designing, and deployment at an accelerated speed cannot be handled by the project management teams without following a process or standard methodology. All the professional mobile app development companies have different combinations of the best app development methodologies in place to ensure that the best mobile apps are developed for the businesses as the perfect solution.

The app development methodology is a framework that enables the project management team to structure, plan, and control mobile app development. The app development methodology shares a resemblance with the software development lifecycle that includes planning, analysis, design, construction, testing, implementation, and support. As an entrepreneur if you are concerned about building an efficient mobile app you need to follow certain rules to ascertain all stages of app development is taken care off in the best possible manner.

However, the various app development methodologies evolved in the last few decades somewhere move around the seven steps that SDLC comprises. Here, we will discuss the app development methodologies that stand at the core of app development project management.

Waterfall methodology for App development

The mobile app development methodology as its name always works in a sequential form from top to down with no chance of going back. This methodology requires solid planning as everything is mapped out by the project manager ahead of development and if anything goes wrong, then the team needs to repeat everything from design to implementation.

Waterfall projects are long-term projects that are completed in a single go. It requires the businesses to specify the project scope to the development team as the team moves to the next task when the previous task is completed with no overlapping involved.

When waterfall methodology is a good fit for App development:

  • Clear structure: The methodology vividly outlines the development process in a set of steps including- data collection, design, development, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance. The team needs to finish the step before moving to the next step, which highlights the issues or bugs so that they are fixed instantly.
  • Commitment to deliverables: With a clear view of the project development goal, the team won’t accommodate the changes in between. The team stays laser-focused on the goal with no deviation or distraction possible.
  • Transparent information sharing: The methodical approach of waterfall ensures a clear transfer of information at every step, which is well-documented. When the team members are added to the project, it becomes easier to cope with the project, that’s halfway.

When waterfall methodology becomes a challenge for App Development:

  • Changes are difficult: Waterfall methodology leaves no room for changes or revisions. When the team working under rigid scope encounters an unplanned roadblock that’s essential to remove or fix, then the team needs to make efforts from top to bottom. It makes the entire work done till that point useless and extends the timeline as well.
  • No client involvement: It prevents the client involvement with clear and unchangeable goal projection from the beginning. As the development move from one phase to another, the internal teams are involved with no update/approval taken from the client.
  • No testing until development: It’s a major drawback of waterfall methodology that inhibits the required testing till the app is developed. When an issue is found, it takes a huge amount of time to complete the revisions or make the changes.

Agile methodology for App Development

An agile development methodology is an iterative approach for mobile app development that comprises short development cycles as opposed to the waterfall methodology. In agile methodology, the entire project is divided into multiple sprints where each sprint consists of a few tasks that are assigned to the development team. Each sprint is sent to the client after its completion for client approval or feedback.

Based on the client review, the functionality or app design aspects are changed as required in every sprint to build a full-fledged solution. The methodology accommodates all the steps of SDLC in every sprint development. The team sticks to the schedule, but changes or additions elongate the timeline.

71% of US companies using agile methodology have experienced a 64% success rate in their projects.

When the agile methodology is a good fit for App Development:

  • Better control: The project manager would have more control over the project due to sheer transparency in project progress facilitated by agile methodology. The feedback integration makes it easier to control project quality. The continuous tracking and advanced reporting tools enable the manager to keep the project goes on as expected.
  • Enhance predictability: The improved visibility into the project progress helps in identifying the risks ahead of time. It allows the team to be ready with risk mitigation plans so that project runs smoothly and is completed before the deadline.
  • Enable flexibility: The unparalleled flexibility enables the team to incorporate the changes in the project for the better. Also, when the team fixes the issues in one sprint, they ensure it will not be repeated in the next sprint.
  • Get relevant metrics: The agile methodology makes it easier for the team to estimate the app development time and budget. It produces metrics such as cycle time, lead time, and more that help in analyzing team performance and making data-driven decisions.

When agile methodology becomes a challenge for App Development:

  • Documentation gets sidetracked: The series of changes made to the app development using agile methodology makes the app up-to-date, but the documentation that’s created at the beginning of the project is not followed accurately.
  • Scope creep: The frequent changes in the middle of development make it difficult to see the end of the project, thus scope creep issues pop up.
  • Lacks design thinking: Agile methodology involves short cycles that won’t give enough time to the team for the design thinking process. That’s why several iterations to engineer the best experiences are a part and parcel of the app.

Scrum methodology for App Development

Scrum methodology brings most of the work on the shoulders of the scrum master who is solely responsible to create a list of tasks along with prioritization order. The scrum team comes to the fore that divides the whole project into small, manageable chunks, and plan the sprints according to their priorities. The timeline is set for every sprint by the team members in a scrum meeting.

The role of a scrum master is to guide the team and make them perform to their peak efficiency in a focused way.

When scrum methodology is a good fit for App Development:

  • Eliminate interpretation: The scrum master clearly defines the roles, rules, events, and more, which simplifies the app development. The semi-prescriptive approach enables removing ambiguities and provides enough space for every member of the team.
  • Transparency improves control: With division of complex projects into small tasks makes it easy to manage the project. The 360-degree view of responsibilities and task allocation brings transparency into the projects as everyone knows who is working on which aspect of the app development.

When scrum methodology becomes a challenge for App Development:

  • Steep learning curve: When moving from conventional project management to scrum development methodology, it’s difficult to adopt the new approach because the team members need to micromanage the task as the scrum master oversee trivial aspects. The training is a must to make the team avoid project hindrance.
  • Large team involvement: Communication stays at the heart of the scrum methodology. When the team is small, documenting every step becomes easy. However, it frustrates the users when the team size gets too large.

Kanban methodology for App Development

The idea of the Kanban board emerged at Toyota when workers started using inventory cards to ensure the required parts are available when needed. Later, it transformed into a poster and whiteboard to improve control over project progress. Kanban board improves the workflow, operational efficiency, and results by allowing the team and manager to visualize the progress and process from start to end.

The improved visualization makes it easy to identify and fix the issues during the app development. In this methodology, the work moves ahead from one state to another with the feasibility of task reprioritization.

When Kanban methodology is a good fit for App Development:

  • Omnipresence: The cloud-based Kanban board is accessible by the employees every time, everywhere. In the age of remote workstyle, the Kanban board keeps the employees connected and allows them to share great ideas on the board whenever required.
  • Enable flexibility: The team is focused on the work as they pick up the task from the backlog when they are done with the previous task. The client can change the task priority in the backlog without interrupting the latest task that the team is working on.
  • Increase efficiency: The improved visualization of the development process highlights the inefficiencies or bottlenecks that the team can fix quickly.

When Kanban methodology becomes a challenge for App Development:

  • Excessive changes: The digital boards facilitate clients to change their priorities and add their ideas limitlessly. It becomes a curse for the development as the project leads to an idea dump.
  • Desk lock: The digital Kanban boards prevent the desk lock by allowing the team members to collaborate on the project with meetings or daily huddles. However, when there is complex information or a critical issue pops up, in-person interaction becomes essential.

Rapid app development for App Development

Developers very well know how to create an app, but when it comes to building and launching an app swiftly, they need a development methodology that makes it done. RAD methodology is the answer.

RAD (rapid application development) methodology aims to increase the project turnaround time and release iterations which makes it an attractive choice for businesses. RAD excels at accommodating the changes easily and refining the application after every iteration.

When RAD methodology is a good fit for App Development:

  • Task management: RAD divides the project into manageable, smaller tasks that are structured in a task-oriented way. It makes task allocation to the different team members on the board based on their experience and expertise becomes effortless.
  • Release efficient design: RAD involves taking the user feedback into account regularly. The continuous interaction with users and considering their feedback helps in improving the build and design process.

When RAD methodology becomes a challenge for App Development:

  • Extend development time: The unexpected changes when introduced by the team in the app development based on the customer feedback frequently, the scope creeps, and thus, the development time gets extended by an indefinite time. The methodology is not a good fit for fixed-time and budget projects.


You are perhaps expecting the answer to the best app development methodology that you can consider for the next app development. It’s implausible to declare a winner among these five methodologies. The right app development methodology for your business project depends on the project size and needs and target audience expectations.

For instance, when the long-term project with requirements is set in stone, then waterfall methodology would be the best pick. When the app requires changes to incorporate in between the project, then agile methodology adoption for app development works great. When micromanagement of a project is not required and the team can handle everything fairly, the scrum methodology takes the center stage. RAD methodology stands out when it comes to building an app rapidly. Kanban board is the topmost choice for the remote development team.

Avantika Shergil Avantika Shergil   |  Jul 20, 2022

An enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co, coordinating and managing the technical and functional areas. She is an adventure lover, passionate traveler, an admirer of nature, who believes that a cup of coffee is the prime source to feel rejuvenated. Researching and writing about technology keeps her boosted and enhances her professional journeying.


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