Iterative development is a process methodology in software engineering. It refers to a process where the different phases that make up a development lifecycle aren’t done in a step-by-step series, but are instead repeated multiple times in a smaller and repetitive process, without formally sticking to the individual steps that are part of the traditional process.
Technipages Explains Iterative Development
It’s a more flexible approach to coding, and it has one particular big advantage – the traditional SDLC or software development life cycle will traditionally struggle to cope with changes brought forth by a client’s inability to express exactly what they want, and at the beginning of the project.
Iterative development can adapt to changes partway through the development process and include the new information in the next ‘mini-cycle’ as it were. Other development processes don’t have that luxury, and thus struggle a lot more to include things that fall outside of their assigned ‘step’ in the development process. It can be done, of course, but it causes more problems in other styles of development.
A complete development cycle of a program involves planning, design, development, testing, and implementation. In an iterative process, these steps repeat multiple times over, for different parts of a project. One mini-cycle could run for a user interface, followed by another for the presentation aspects, and yet another for the core functionality. Cycles can adapt to the needs of each individual team and project.
Common Uses of Iterative Development
- Iterative development is a more flexible development process than, say, the waterfall-model.
- Through iterative development, each major step of a development project goes through its own mini-development cycle.
- Because of unreasonable client requests and failure to communicate, iterative development can be a great alternative to other types of SDLC.
Common Misuses of Iterative Development
- Iterative development describes a step-by-step software development process.