The traditional waterfall model of software development often proves to be a buttoned-down and inflexible approach. Over the years, developers have realized that the waterfall model’s strict planning routine makes it difficult to maintain client timelines and incorporate their feedback. Hence, the Rapid Application Development (RAD) model was introduced.
RAD (Rapid Application Development) not only removes the shortcomings of earlier methodologies of software development but also enhances the flexibility and agility of your development processes.
The Four Phases of RAD
Every application developed using this methodology has a defined cycle that it is processed through. Let’s discuss in detail the steps involved in rapid application development and how they help build the ultimate product.
Planning is critical for every methodology that you adopt. It helps define the project development blueprint. However, the planning in this agile methodology is precise and concise compared to other proven methodologies.
- Understand the problems faced by the business
- Why do they need a software product, and what is the premise for this product?
- What are the business requirements and goals defined by the business?
Once you have defined the requirements and the goals, make sure to get them approved by the business stakeholders. Streamlining communication from the requirement stage helps ensure smooth development.
The user design is the most crucial phase of this methodology. It drives quicker iterations and ensures the edge over the competition. During this phase, the development agency works in tandem with the client to design prototypes for the application. Testing the wireframes ensures that the prototypes align with the goals and requirements.
- Are there any bugs within the prototypes?
- Do they look intuitive and user-friendly?
The developers will tweak and customize the designs such that they meet the end user’s requirements.
Once the client has approved the user design, it is time to build and convert the prototype into a product. The user design phase helps remove the probable bugs and issues from the product. As a result, the development phase is faster and helps accelerate the launch.
- The developers concentrate their efforts on creating a rapid development
- This phase includes application development as well as defined coding processes
- Defined testing methodologies to remove bugs that exist
At this point, coders work in tandem with testers, developers, strategists, and clients to release the best outcome.
Implementation is the final phase of this methodology. During this time, the testers and the deployment engineers work towards releasing a refined and perfectly tuned product.
- Final testing before the launch
- Changes and approvals from the clients incorporated
- User training before the product is available for use.
The cutover phase gives the final touch to the product.
Should You Use the RAD Model?
While there is no denying that RAD can help enhance software development, there are certain limitations to the model that you cannot ignore. You can use this agile methodology for specific business requirements alone.
- If you believe that the software development components can be modularized, you should use this methodology.
- Flexibility in business requirements can be accommodated with RAD, as it can adopt new requirements within an ongoing project with ease.
- If you have expert engineers who can process your needs into a controlled application, RAD is for you. The methodology can be maneuvered with the right talent alone.
- If your client will provide the right inputs for the project and is very much engaged in the project, you can proceed with this engagement. The model requires frequent interactions with client and user, and both need to be active for well-defined software products.
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