Software Processes in Software Engineering

Software Processes in Software Engineering

24 May 2023 • 18 min read

The software market is booming, having reached $659 billion in 2023. As businesses increasingly turn to building their own applications, they require a structured approach for successful project outcomes. Establishing a proper software development process is critical in this regard.

But what software process models are there, and how to implement them? Keep reading this post to learn more about choosing a suitable process — a framework guiding software development from conception to deployment and maintenance.

To illustrate this topic better, we’ll draw from Softermii’s experience, a software development company with a proven track record of delivering practical solutions like Scrollme, SmartStart, and MediConnect. Using this profound expertise, we’ll guide you through the intricacies of software processes.


Types of Software Processes

When diving into software product development, you may face multiple software processes, each with unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. How to choose the suitable approach for your particular project? First of all, discover your options in greater detail.

Waterfall Model

Software engineering

The waterfall model is a linear, sequential approach to software engineering. It has several phases: requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance. As the name implies, you must finish every stage of software development one by one. It makes this model relatively rigid since you must plan and schedule all tasks beforehand. On the other hand, the waterfall is easy to manage if your project requirements are clear.


  • Easy to understand and manage
  • Well-defined stages and deliverables


  • Not suitable for complex projects or projects with evolving requirements
  • Changes can be challenging to implement once a phase is complete
  • Can lead to delays if requirements are not clear or change throughout the project

Suitable for:

  • Small, straightforward projects with well-defined requirements
  • Projects where requirements are unlikely to change during the development process

Agile Model

The agile model is an iterative, incremental software development approach emphasizing flexibility and collaboration between cross-functional teams. It consists of short, time-boxed iterations called sprints, where the team develops and tests small project increments. Core values of this methodology include incremental and continuous delivery, customer involvement, and change responsiveness.


  • Flexible and adaptable to changing requirements
  • Focusing on collaboration between teams and stakeholders
  • Early and continuous delivery of working software


  • Requires a high level of collaboration and communication
  • May not be suitable for projects with rigid timelines or fixed budgets
  • Can be challenging to estimate the effort required for each iteration accurately

Suitable for:

  • Projects with evolving requirements
  • Projects where collaboration between teams is critical
  • Projects where the delivery of working software at the end of each iteration is desirable

Spiral Model

Software process models

The spiral model is a risk-driven approach to software engineering, highlighting the iterative nature of the development process. It comprises four phases: planning, risk analysis, engineering, and evaluation. Each iteration of the spiral model involves completing these four phases, with an increased emphasis on risk management as the project progresses.


  • Focuses on risk management and evaluation throughout the project
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing requirements


  • Can be time-consuming and expensive
  • May not be suitable for small projects and projects with well-defined requirements
  • Requires a high level of expertise in risk management

Suitable for:

  • Projects with high levels of risk and uncertainty
  • Projects where risk management and evaluation are critical
  • Projects where flexibility and adaptability are necessary

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Iterative Model

An iterative software process model is an incremental approach to software development involving the delivery of working software at the end of each iteration. This methodology comprises several iterations with unique requirements, design, development, and testing.


  • The delivery of working software at the end of each iteration
  • Provides opportunities for feedback and improvement throughout the development process


  • Can be time-consuming
  • Requires a high level of involvement of the teams
  • May require frequent updates to documentation and project plans

Suitable for:

  • Projects with changing requirements
  • Projects where feedback and improvement throughout the development process are desirable
  • Projects where flexibility is critical

Prototyping Model

Software processes

A prototyping model is one of the iterative methods of software development. It involves creating a working model of the software to demonstrate its functionality and design.


  • Provides a basic working version of the software
  • Helps to clarify and refine requirements


  • Can be time-consuming and expensive
  • May require additional resources and expertise to build the prototypes
  • Can lead to a lack of focus on non-functional requirements

Suitable for:

  • Projects with high levels of user involvement
  • Projects with unclear or vague requirements
  • Projects where a working prototype is necessary to clarify the requirements

Rational Unified Process

The rational unified process (RUP) is a software process framework that provides guidelines, templates, and best practices for software development. It’s based on iterative and incremental delivery of working solutions after each iteration.


  • Provides a comprehensive framework for software development
  • Highlights the delivery of working software after each iteration


  • May be time-consuming and expensive to implement
  • Might be too rigid for small projects

Suitable for:

  • Large, complex projects with a high level of structure and control
  • Projects where a framework for software development is necessary
  • Projects where a high level of customization is required

The above are the most common software process models used in the industry. But are there any specific approaches to software delivery? Read on to learn more.

Specialized Software Models

On top of the software process models we discussed above, some project-specific approaches are worth knowing about. Let’s take a quick look at them:

Component-Based Development

Software components

This model involves reusing existing software components. In such a case, the software solution is built by assembling pre-developed components into larger systems rather than creating new software from scratch. The component-based approach works well for projects requiring flexibility, scalability, and maintainability.

Formal Methods

Formal methods is an approach to software development that involves using formal mathematical specifications to verify the correctness of software systems. It means all project requirements are described in mathematical equations. This model is helpful in projects where safety, security, and reliability are critical.

Aspect-Oriented Development

In software development, there is a concept of a concern. It’s a specific area of functionality or a cross-cutting aspect that requires particular attention or consideration during development.

The aspect-oriented approach involves the separation of concerns in software development and implementation. As part of this process, the software is divided into distinct, self-contained modules called aspects, each addressing a specific concern. This model is perfect for projects where cross-cutting concerns, such as logging, security, or error handling, must be handled separately from the software’s core functionality.

Comparison of Different Software Process Models

We’ve already discussed multiple software process models. With so much information on each, choosing the best fit for your project can be challenging. That’s why we’ve summarized the characteristics and differences between these models in the table below.





When to Apply



Clear documentation, easy to manage

Inflexible, limited feedback, high risk

Simple, small projects with clear requirements



Flexible, adaptive, continuous feedback

Requires active user involvement, can be chaotic

Complex projects with fluctuating requirements


Iterative, risk-driven

Highlights risk management, flexible, adaptive

Time-consuming, can be expensive

Large, complex, high-risk projects



Delivery of working software, suitable for evolving requirements

Can be time-consuming, requires a high level of collaboration

Projects with changing requirements


Iterative, user-driven

Provides a working model, clarifies requirements

Time-consuming, expensive

Projects with high user involvement, unclear/vague requirements



Provides guidelines, best practices, emphasizes delivery of working software

Time-consuming, expensive, requires expertise

Large, complex projects with a high level of structure



Emphasizes reuse of existing components, flexible, scalable, maintainable

Requires well-defined components, may not fit all projects

Projects that necessitate a high level of flexibility, scalability, maintainability

Formal methods

Formal, mathematical

Accentuates correctness, safety, security, reliability

Time-consuming, expensive, requires expertise

Projects where preciseness, safety, security, reliability are crucial


Separation of concerns

Addresses cross-cutting concerns, modular, flexible

Requires careful design, may not fit all projects

Projects with cross-cutting concerns that need to be handled

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Even though there may be additional factors to consider before choosing the appropriate software processing model, the above comparison will guide you in the primary distinctions between each.

Phases of Software Processes in Software Engineering

While the engineering processes slightly differ in distinct software development methodologies, each has several universal phases. Let’s go through them in greater detail.

1. Requirements Gathering and Analysis

It’s the initial phase of software development, which involves identifying, documenting, and analyzing software requirements. The goal is to gather as much information as possible about the software’s intended use, features, functionality, performance, and constraints.

2. Design

In the design phase, the team defines the software’s architecture and designs it to meet the requirements identified in the previous step. This stage is the product’s official flag and ensures it’s created effectively.

3. Implementation

At this point, the actual coding takes place, meaning the team translates the design into code using various programming languages and development tools. By the end of this phase, you get the working software product.

4. Testing

In this phase, the team tests the software to ensure it meets the previously defined requirements and specifications. This process involves running the product through various tests to identify bugs, errors, or defects.

5. Maintenance and Continuous Improvement

After the software is deployed, it enters the maintenance and ongoing improvement phase. That involves regularly updating, modifying, and improving your product to keep up with changing requirements or address any issues arising during use.

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Best Practices for Managing Software Engineering Processes

At this point, you know nearly everything about software engineering models. But how to organize software process management properly? The following tips may help you with that:

  • Establish clear goals and objectives. Well-defined goals are halfway to your project’s success. That helps your team clearly understand how your software should look and function, getting closer to the desired result.
  • Involve all stakeholders in the process. Software development projects typically have multiple stakeholders, including clients, end-users, developers, project managers, etc. To address their needs and requirements adequately, involving all of them in the dev process is essential.
  • Develop and implement process guidelines and standards. Establishing a straightforward strategy ensures consistency, quality, and efficiency in software development. It includes defining coding, documentation, testing, and project management standards.
  • Provide adequate training and resources. As stated earlier, the clear goals are halfway to the project’s success. Another part is on your team. Sufficient training and learning resources will make your employees competent enough to deliver a high-quality product.
  • Monitor and measure the effectiveness of software processes. Collect and analyze project duration, defect rates, customer satisfaction levels, and other metrics to identify areas for improvement and implement changes as necessary.

Our Experience in Software Processes

Softermii is a professional full-cycle software development vendor strongly focusing on software processes. With years of experience in software engineering, we deliver customized and scalable solutions to our clients, leveraging various methodologies. Our expertise is evident in successful projects like Scrollme, SmartStart, and MediConnect. Let’s discuss them more precisely.


Software processing model

Our experience developing Scrollme, a video-focused social network, demonstrates our proficiency in software processes. We had to build an iOS application catering to a wider audience. Our experts implemented scalable application architecture, seamless video feed, private audio chat rooms, cryptocurrency integration, customizable 3D avatars, and an in-app store.

As a result of the successful implementation of these features, Scrollme achieved 2 million monthly active users, 1.3 billion videos uploaded, and an average session duration of 19 minutes.


Software engineering processes

Softermii has also worked on SmartStart, a mobile and web app designed to help people improve their finances by providing real-time information on their current spending habits and loans.

We had to make an all-in-one solution that tracks all expenses, loans, and financial goals and analyzes that information. Our software development team decided to deliver a financial application divided into three components:

  • Spending monitoring and market analysis
  • Financial portfolio
  • Loan opportunities

The results were impressive, with 1,296,000 transactions tracked via the app and 24,000 subscribers joining the SmartStart in the first two months after release, and 3,000 properties connected to the application.


Software process management

Our team has also developed MediConnect, a business connectivity tool for physicians and healthcare product companies. It enables simplified communication between the two groups, direct sales channels, and an accessible interface. As a result of our fruitful work, 360 medical companies streamlined their sales via the app, and 9,267 physicians have been using MediConnect for six months since its release.


As you can see, there are numerous examples of software engineering processes to choose from. While our article elaborates on some of them, selecting the perfect match for your project may still be challenging.

Thus, if you’re embarking on a new software development project or looking to improve your current operations, our team is ready to consult on the best methodology for your processes. With our extensive experience in full-cycle software development, we can select a model for your specific needs. So why wait? Contact Softermii for further assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to choose the right software process model?

Selecting suitable software engineering and process models involves several considerations. They are as follows:

  • The nature and complexity of the project
  • The resources available
  • The team’s experience and skills

After considering the above, go through the available software process models to find the best fit for your project.

What are the benefits of software processes?

The advantages you can expect are improved software quality and reliability, increased productivity and efficiency, better risk management, and greater customer satisfaction.

What are the components of software engineering?

Software engineering comprises several components: requirements gathering and analysis, design, implementation, testing, maintenance, and continuous improvement.

Which software engineering processes are most important?

All software engineering processes are essential for successful software development projects. Thus, you cannot skip any phase if you aim for a reliable and robust product.

What are the challenges in implementing software processes?

When implementing software processes, get ready for the following potential challenges:

  • Resistance to change
  • Inadequate training
  • Insufficient resources
  • Difficulty in determining the most suitable software process model

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