Introduction to Iterative Methodology
A Software that will be deployed in production can be developed by adopting a process or model and these can be of different types. The iterative methodology is one such model in software development. And this has also gained popularity amount the users. Basing on the objective of software requirements a type of model is chosen and sometimes multiple models can also be implemented in the software development life cycle. The model that is selected will also impact on our testing and defect tracking. Some of the most popular models include Iterative, Agile, Incremental model, Waterfall, RAD, etc.
What is Iterative Methodology?
- Iterative model is one of the popular models which can be adopted in software development life cycle SDLC.
- This model particularly focuses on small chunks of development and enhancing or evolving them to final software.
- So basically it begins with simpler implementations of smaller sets of requirements from the software objective and iteratively evolve the versions until the complete system is implemented and gets deployed.
- An iterative will not begin considering full requirement and specification but will the process of development begins but understanding the part of the requirement and implementing part of the software.
- This is then reviewed by the product owners and then the next step of development is decided. This will be one iteration.
- This process will continue to run iteratively to add new versions of requirements at the end of each iteration and at the end of the final iteration the full requirements or specification expectation from the software is ready,
Iterative Methodology Phases
The iterative model require below stages to be part of its iteration to generate one version. Each stage is thoroughly implemented and it is made sure the requirement of that particular iteration is met.
1. Requirement Phase
Software development is one of the important phase and in iteration development this phase is repeated iteratively as the full specification of the software is divided into the smaller requirement chunks and developed. This iteration requirement is gathered and carefully studied to work further in the particular iteration. This requirement can be a new requirement or an extension to the already build requirement
2. Design Phase
After the iteration requirement is gathered then we need to implement the design phase. Effective design is decided to implement the requirement out of many alternatives. This is one of the critical phases as proper design can provide the most optimal outputs will low pressure on the funds from client. This design can be a new one or extension to the already build requirement.
3. Implement or Development Phase
The design that has been decided will be implemented by the developer with decided coding and metrics standard. The developer needs to implement a unit test at each stage of the development while developing the code.
Once the code has been implemented then this testing phase is implemented to identify any defects that are present in the code and if present then they need to be reported back to the developers. The tester can write new test cases or use existing one which they have written in previous build but the through testing is a priority as any miss will impact the specification of software.
5. Review Phase
In this phase, the developed requirement is reviewed to meet all the standards as per the currently decided requirement. Basing on this further plan requirement plan is drafted and implemented as part of the next iteration cycle.
These are the phases where the requirements in an iteration need to go through for effective development.
What is the use of Iterative Model?
- In Iterative Model at each and every iteration decision will be taken to further go-ahead with next iteration or reject existing iteration to implement in more better way.
- This in technical terms is referred as incremental prototyping.
- By doing this we are making sure that we are not compromising on the software requirement at all and carefully developing it with good precision.
- Once all the iteration gets completed then the full software with all the requirements is ready to deliver to the customer or to be deployed in production.
Importance of Iterative Model
The iterative model has found its importance in many cases and depending on software requirements we can decide on the model to use and whether the iterative model is apt or not.
- It is better to use this model when we clearly understand the requirements or specification of the software.
- Also when new technology is used to implement the iteration requirements then we can prefer the iterative model as this model provides adequate time and many reviews and testings are gone through to identify the defects and rectify.
- Also if there is a plan to enhance the software further with some high risk features and requirements the iterative model is best to go.
- Iterative model also found its importance when the software to be developed is very large.
Advantages of Iterative Methodology
The iterative methodology has many pros when considered along with its competitors.
- Since multiple testing and reviews are carried at each stage we are making sure that our developing software specifications are defects free and is highly reliable.
- Also testing and debugging the smaller iteration makes the task easy and effectively compared testing complete requirements at on go.
- With iterative methodology a parallel development can also be planned which will sva time.
- The changes requested can be easily implemented at each stage. Doing this once the entire software is developed will be difficult.
- With all the reviews where all the coding, business and metrics standards are reviewed, all the risks can easily be identified and corrected.
- Since each stage has dedicated design phase the product will be more optimized.
- Since we have tested at each phase, the team can easily identify the functional and design related flaws at the beginning stages of the software development which can be corrected easily.
A software can be developed by adopting different methodologies and iterative model is one of such popular model which recommended and followed by the organizations. This model can be implemented in combination with other models such as Incremental model, Agile methodology, etc. Due to ample advantages provided by this model, this is preferred.
This is a guide to Iterative Methodology. Here we discuss the introduction to iterative methodology with the phases, importance, uses and advantages. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –