A development method is the backbone of any IoT project as it determines the system operation later. However, the process of choosing a methodology can put a strain on business and startup leaders because there are many different criteria to consider. Aside from a clear objective and vision, decision-makers also need to take into account the project’s management side while picking an IoT development method to ensure that it delivers desirable values. 

As such, a good understanding of standard development methods and a thorough checklist of all the criteria will be useful when choosing the right IoT development method for your project.

Different types of IoT development methods

Each IoT development method has different characteristics that suit specific projects. Let’s dive into a quick recap of each of these approach and how to utilize them best:

Waterfall development method

Waterfall is the traditional and linear model that divides the entire project into different phases. The method is strict in order since it requires the project to be completed in sequence; the next stage will not be able to start until the one before it finishes. 

The waterfall cycle commonly includes these 7 steps: 

  • Gathering information and requirements 
  • Analysis
  • Design 
  • Development
  • Testing 
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance
Waterfall for iot development method

Source: Binmile

This methodology suits projects with concrete end goals and is subject to only a few changes throughout the cycle. Waterfall is a method of predictability and consistency since it does not leave much room for flexibility and adjustment. 

Waterfall is also advisable for projects where decision-makers know what they want to achieve and stick to that vision the entire time. Additionally, this method allows stakeholders to view the progress through clearly defined stages that will enable transparent reporting and budgeting.  

Agile development method

Agile is not just your ordinary development method. In fact, the approach is viewed as the guiding principle in project management. Agile gains its ubiquitousness within the field of software development due to its flexible and collaborative characteristics. The methodology puts an emphasis on reassessment and usually includes short phases that enable frequent testing and adaptation. 

Agile is compatible with complex projects that require a higher frequency of modification and changes. As a matter of fact, agile methodology enables inputs and data feedback throughout the cycle which will give room for swift adaptation if needed. Additionally, the approach is also suitable for projects that are looking to expedite their process and receive speedy results. However, decision-makers should remember that changes and adaptations adopted in this method can incur extra costs on your project. 

 Agile development methodologies commonly follow these principles: 

  • Iterative development 
  • Continuous loops of feedback
  • Self-organizing teams

Scrum and Kanban are also two development prevalent methods that are built on the principles of Agile. Despite principle similarity, these two approaches possess distinctive characteristics that will serve different project types. 

Agile methodology

Source: Nvisia

Scrum development method

Scrum separates the entire project cycle into sprints that usually last 1 to 2 weeks. Within this approach, small, cross-functional, and self-managed teams are formed and led by a Scrum Master throughout the sprints. These teams will work collaboratively and reflect on their performance at the end of each sprint to find room for improvement. 

This approach is optimal for projects at a smaller scale instead of expansive ones since the time and costs needed to train personnel to become a Scrum Master are quite onerous. 

Kanban development method

This method incorporates the principles of the Kanban board into the IoT and software development processes. Tasks will be logged on the board and moved to each column representing stages until all the tasks are completed. 

Kanban is an excellent method that provides a quick snapshot of the current status of all tasks. Kanban principles are also used to assist teams in anticipating and avoiding potential bottlenecks. When there are several tickets in a certain column, project managers may focus on improving that part of the workflow.

This IoT development method is suitable for projects that favor a visual representation of progress and alignment between goals and execution. However, the method is constrained when it comes to building demos since progress updates to stakeholders do not stay at the core of this approach.

the pros and cons of iot development methodology

How to best choose your IoT development method

After understanding how each IoT development method works, let’s dive into different factors within your organization that can influence the decision to choose a specific development method. The following factors are critical to consider for the most informed decisions. 

  1. Timeline

Always ask your boards, team players, and other stakeholders how long it takes for them to complete their assigned tasks so that you can estimate how versatile you can be in timing and choose the development method that will serve best under this timeframe.  

  1. Team characteristic

Team formation plays a significant role in deciding which development method works. Your business should understand the dynamics and processes within the current squad to pick the approach to boost such dynamics and processes. 

  1. Cost and budget

  Estimate your budget and how much your business can afford when it comes to adaptation and changes is crucial in deciding whether to go with a static and stage-based or dynamic method. 

  1. Stakeholder collaboration

How involved stakeholders will be in your project is also a primary concern when choosing an IoT development method. If the level of involvement is high, you will want to select a method that facilitates better reporting on progress.  

  1. Flexibility

Collect information on the project’s goals to figure out the nature of your project to see whether there is room for flexibility and changes or not. This information is vital in choosing an IoT development method as it is the characteristic that distinguishes two of the most prominent methods that we mentioned above: Waterfall and Agile. 

Final Thoughts  

Choosing a methodology is the cornerstone of any IoT development cycle. If decision-makers make an informed decision regarding development methods, it could save the business time and money to rectify. As such, a comprehensive knowledge of different types of IoT development and which criteria to consider while choosing one is vital for business and startup leaders who are looking to utilize the power of IoT technology.

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