Even with the popularity of modern software development methodologies like DevOps and Agile, those processes don’t work best for all project scenarios. Some mature organizations still prefer the venerable Waterfall method with its sharply defined phases occurring in a sequential flow. Still, a design or requirements mistake in an earlier phase can be extra costly to fix, as we’ve previously noted.
What if there was a software development process combining the phases of the Waterfall method with the interactivity of Agile? The V-Model methodology provides well-defined phases, as validation and verification occurs each step of the way. With superior software products in mind, let’s take a closer look at the V-Model.
Giving Equal Weight to Design and Validation
While the Waterfall methodology follows a linear path from requirements gathering through implementation and finally to testing and validation, the V-Model features two pathways. The descending path is where the project gets defined while the ascending path focuses on the validation phases. The coding or implementation phase happens at the bottom of the two paths.
This “V” shape nicely illustrates the relationship between each phase in the project definition path and its partner in the testing and integration path. Validation and interaction between the development, QA, and business stakeholder teams is expected to occur during each phase as the project gets defined. This helps ensure nothing gets missed that ends up being a costly fix after the fact; an event happening far too often in projects following the Waterfall methodology.
This model emphasizes the creation of testing plans and operational implementation strategies at the beginning of a project, so they are able to be modified as the scope of a project changes during its lifecycle. It truly gives equal weight to the entire validation of any software project.
Enhancing Waterfall with a DevOps Approach?
Considering the interaction occurring during every phase of a V-Model software project, some observers see it as a version of the Waterfall methodology appropriate for today’s highly-collaborative DevOps era. Test plans are continuously developed from the beginning of the project, as QA engineers work closely with their software engineering counterparts ensuring every scenario is handled. The same interaction happens with the network and operations personnel responsible for the application in production.
Some companies still prefer the flexibility offered by a complete Agile approach, where incremental parts of application are developed to completion, but it is obvious that methodology still doesn’t work for all software development scenarios. Other firms require the formality of the phases within the Waterfall methodology, but still need a more versatile approach to better handle sudden changes in scope. The V-Model allows this freedom while placing emphasis on collaboration between all teams; something valued as a strength of DevOps.
For software development shops looking for a nice mixture of a formal software methodology with a focus on flexibility and testing throughout a project’s lifecycle, the V-Model is worthy of further exploration. Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for additional insights on the world of software engineering and QA.