Technology is constantly evolving in today’s competitive business environment; hence it is important to build new and innovative software where the features serve the customer better. The building and delivery of the software need to become faster, and the evolving needs of customers require to be catered to before your competitors.
According to BusinessWire, the rapid application development market is expected to reach a compound annual growth rate of 42.6% between the period 2021 and 2026. The next few years will see many enterprises adopting rapid application development.
Rapid development means that the application development model provides prototypes at a high velocity. There is constant feedback from the customer which is used to extend the product’s life cycle on the market.
As building software is a very dynamic and constantly changing field, rapid application development services are built in a way that less stress is put on planning tasks, and more emphasis is put upon the rapid development of the prototypes. Let’s look at why rapid application development (RAD) is important in today’s IT environment, and the phases included in the process:
The Significance of Rapid Application Development (RAD)
Rapid application development is one of the most efficient software development program methodologies today. Discussed below are some advantages that come with adopting rapid application development services:
- Flexibility to make Changes: Rapid application development is useful in a situation where the product needs to constantly go through quality checks and changes to the prototype. The client can give continuous feedback which can be incorporated into the application development cycle so the end product is satisfactory to the customer.
- Comprehensive Knowledge of Features: The RAD model can be effective for software engineers and developers to gain knowledge on exploring different functionalities, user experience features, and graphics. Specific client requests can be met and the overall rejection levels can be reduced by receiving more comprehensive feedback from the customer.
- Focus on Iterative Design and Teamwork: The overall structure of a rapid application development model allows to improve the teams’ efficiency. This is done by picking and choosing tasks according to the members’ specialties and past experiences. Thus, the process is streamlined, enabling constant communication between the team members and stakeholders, which significantly increases the quality and efficiency of the build process.
Phases of Rapid Application Development
There are four distinct phases in the process of rapid application development. The steps included are as listed down below:
- Phase 1: The first step includes the requirement planning stage which helps to flesh out what the overall project scope is. In this stage, both developers and team members deliberate on the goals and expectations for the project. Hurdles that may arise are easily mitigated after this step. This is achieved, as research for defining requirements is done and finalized according to the stakeholders’ approvals.
- Phase 2: When the project’s goals are listed down, it is finally time to get into the development and building stage of the application. This is done by getting different user designs by creating a number of prototype iterations. This interactive phase allows the product to take the right path and meets user expectations. Each product is tested and feedback is sent to the developers to fix any bugs or defects in the iterative process.
- Phase 3: The construction phase converts the prototypes acquired from the user design phase into a working model. Users get to suggest improvements and changes as the software is developed in the pipeline. As the previous phase covers most of the issues that can arise, the construction of the model is a lot faster as compared to a traditional project management strategy.
- Phase 4: The final phase in the rapid application development process is very similar to that of the implementation or final phase in a software development life cycle (SDLC). It includes a number of tasks such as the conversion of data, the changeover to newer systems, user training, and testing across platforms.
How RAD can help your Business Boost Revenue
There are some key factors to consider before adopting the rapid application development (RAD) methodology. RAD works in models where the systems can be broken down into separate modules.
- Increased Customization and Flexibility of Products: As systems can be distributed into separate forms, RAD allows frequent changes in the build of the prototype. This allows for the project to be broken down into smaller and more manageable activities for the team. The integrations can be applied from a very early stage which also helps to identify bugs early.
- Skilled Capabilities in Workers & Technology: Highly skilled designers are sought out in order to build the perfect model for the client’s requirements. Code-generated tools make it cost-effective to create multiple prototypes as there require frequent changes to be made during the development process of the project.
- Cost-Effective Models in Development: Rapid application development helps in reducing fixture and machine costs. This is alongside also making sure that the lead time is reduced by constantly setting up molds for products in real-time. Depending on the nature of the product, it can be expensive to purchase or create fixtures that can accommodate new technology. The reduced rates on material and lead creation can be utilized in conducting more marketing and testing activities.
- Oversight with Collaboration until Deployment: The RAD process requires all the members of a team to be fully committed to the approach. As it is different from the traditional methodology of creating applications, there is always a need to ensure that all stakeholders are on-board with the strict timeline that needs to be adhered to. The success of any RAD process is fully dependent on the project manager’s capabilities to outline the development phase and have a successful communication channel established with the team members and stakeholders all in real-time.
What the Future Holds for RAD
Although rapid application development as a process is a few years old, it remains very relevant in the current state of IT. There is a need to deliver products to the market a lot faster to keep up with market trends. Traditional approaches come with strict planning and documentation which can be both time-consuming and expensive for businesses.
Since the product needs to be tailor-made to the customer’s expectations, the fast development needs to come with ample client participation. As the client can see the prototype at any point, RAD emphases on rapid prototyping where the process can be used on all project sizes.
Fast-project turnaround, a rapid working pace, and constant customer feedback loops are some integral parts of the rapid application development process. Leveraging rapid application development can help in reducing the overall planning time and help focus on multiple prototype iterations to satisfy customers at every step of the development process.