What Is Rapid Application Development RAD?

Requirements planning phase – combines elements of the system planning and systems analysis phases of the systems development life cycle . Users, managers, and IT staff members discuss and agree on business needs, project scope, constraints, and system requirements. It ends when the team agrees on the key issues and obtains management authorization to continue. Prototypes can be usable and can evolve into the completed product. One approach used in some RAD methods was to build the system as a series of prototypes that evolve from minimal functionality to moderately useful to the final completed system. The advantage of this besides the two advantages above was that the users could get useful business functionality much earlier in the process.

For example, they do the analysis for the entire project, then they do the design for the entire project, etc. There are eight stages in Waterfall and they must all happen in sequential order. For example, the development team can’t go back to the analysis phase if they are in the testing phase. For RAD to succeed, clients need to be understanding of the time frame of the project and need to be made aware of any changes or delays. Clients will also need to be proactive in making trajectory-based decisions.

Building out the core of your application and righting the wrong assumptions made along the way sap time and energy from delivering working prototypes. And beyond development, you need a design and product team willing and able to rapidly context-switch between ideation and assimilation (processing feedback from clients and end-users). Conceived in the 1980s, rapid application development, or RAD, was the first development methodology to challenge traditional waterfall development practices… The core element of RAD is to quickly design and deploy prototypes that are later updated and modified into production-grade code. RAD is also known as the agile model, where the software development lifecycle is divided into sprints. Analyzing these essential elements can help you get a clear picture of the project you are working on, no matter what type of software or mobile app development methodology you will choose.

And one of the first decisions you’ll make is choosing which project management methodology to follow. Enterprise See how you can align global teams, build and scale business-driven solutions, and enable IT to manage risk and maintain compliance on the platform for dynamic work. Project management Plan projects, automate workflows, and align teams.

Kanban vs Scrum

Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with preference to the shorter timescale. This article will cover the differences between Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall vs Kanban. We’ll talk about the advantages, disadvantages, stages, and when you should use each one. Streamlined business apps Build easy-to-navigate business apps in minutes.

The RAD team is always willing to change the prototypes to meet new requirements and needs. Kanban promotes continuous collaboration and encourages active, ongoing learning and improvement by defining the best possible team workflow. The agile method focuses on efficiency and practical priorities instead of the documentation. As testing is done at the end of the project, rectifying and rebuilding takes a lot of time and resources.

Rapid Application Development (RAD): What it is, its phases, and benefits

So, we can say that RAD is a kind of agile method used in project management as well as Scrum, Kanban, Disciplined Agile, and Extreme Programming. In this framework, the user and developers must go hand in hand to ensure that all needs are met. Alekh Verma is the CEO and Founder of eSearch Logix Technologies Pvt. Ltd., a digital positioning and branding firm that provides web development, mobile development and digital marketing services for clients across the globe. Overseeing the company’s operations worldwide, he has been responsible for end-to-end management of service and support with a creative and futuristic vision.

rad vs.agile

The waterfall model of development was established many decades ago as a definitive way to approach engineering projects. Its name comes from the fact that progress flows down sequential steps. There are two main approaches to successfully https://globalcloudteam.com/ get you from start to finish when it comes to managing software development. These development models are known as the Agile model and Waterfall model. Each development model offers its own unique advantages and ideal use cases.

Is Rapid Application Development Right For Your Team?

Often, a barrier to modularization occurs on the backend where your project must integrate with multiple third parties before delivering a business use-case to the end-user. Rapid Application Development is a form of agile software development methodology that prioritizes rapid prototype releases. There are three types of methodology when it comes to software development. But each one of these methodologies has its pros and cons. At the beginning of the development process, it is essential to choose a method based on the final product’s different factors and requirements.

  • Addresses the most difficult feature/part of the product first.
  • Because of the rigidity of the Waterfall methodology, making changes is difficult.
  • Let us have a quick look at the principal attributes of agile development methodology.
  • Kanban and Scrum also work toward continual improvement and optimization of the process, and want to keep work highly visible.
  • This division optimizes time, in addition to the reuse of ready-made modules that make the development meet tight deadlines.

In your development team for app development, you need testers, UX designers, technical writers, and many others. Also, your approval is a must to move on in the project cycles. The project’s complexity might change day to day; therefore, setting a precise deadline and budget might become problematic for the development.


Scrum requires a high level of experience and commitment from the team and projects can be at risk of scope creep. If you want to make the complete switch to Agile all at once, you may want to start with understanding why the team and organization want definition of rapid application development to make this change. Then, you could conduct an Agile assessment, getting a complete view of the people, skills, and technologies used. There are not many case studies of teams using Agile for things outside of software, but there are a couple.

rad vs.agile

For example, Kate Sullivan, a corporate lawyer on The Lonely Planet legal team, has transformed the legal affairs service delivery with Agile. The team uses whiteboards and cards, morning stand-up meetings, prioritization, weekly iterations, and regular retrospectives. Learn all there is to know about Agile project management and tips to help you start implementing Agile PM best practices. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

They gathered valuable user feedback, tweaked the software accordingly, tested the code, and repeated the cycle until each component was ready. Happier clients, increased transparency, faster deployment, and a scalable product. As mentioned, rapid application development emphasizes rapid prototyping rather than more expensive planning, contrasting with Agile’s focus on production time. The client knows exactly how the mobile application would look like and doesn’t plan to be involved much during the process of app development. The planning stage involves feedback from potential customers, sales representatives, developers, and subject matter experts.

What Are the 4 Phases of RAD Methodology?

Finally, analyze app development software and tools to select the most suitable ones for your company. It should fit your budget and comply with all the requirements. The whole team must be able to use this methodology efficiently. A number of raw prototypes should be created during a series of iterations. The developers and designers should work together with testers to achieve the best user experience.

Agile vs Scrum

In the old days, custom software was designed for huge corporations with deep pockets. Because of the similarities between the two, rapid methodology and Agile development have often been thought of as one and the same. James Martin first developed the development approach in the 1980s when he was working with IBM. In 1991, he formally introduced it as a concept, which was built on the work of people like Barry Boehm.

And because inventory matched consumption, the supermarket improved efficiency in inventory management. Some Waterfall projects may have a dedicated team to capture, collect, and gather these requirements. They may use questionnaires, face-to-face or phone interviews, white boards, and software tools to capture stakeholder and customer requirements. Working with Scrum often means changing the team’s habits. They need to take more responsibility, increase the quality of the code, and boost speed of delivery.

A Powerful Tool for Digital Agencies to Attract New Clients and Manage Projects

When comparing Kanban versus Scrum, there is no definitive winner. The best framework depends on your project, team, and your goals. Because both Kanban and Scrum are flexible Agile methodologies, you could easily take principles from each and apply them as you see necessary. To create a Scrum board, the Scrum team must first create sprints, assign points to user stories, and plan which stories go into which sprint.

Also, the prospect’s commitment is necessary for the project’s success. Thus, if a new member joins the team, they do not fully know the past features and the past project processes. If the communication between the development team, the consumer, and the founder, investor, or prospect is not as straightforward as possible, the Agile methodology will fall of- track.

This is normal, and the final product is only created during the finalization stage where the client and developer are in alignment with the final product. Rapid Application Development was conceived in the 1980s, so it’s definitely not something new. It’s a continuous evolution of development philosophies according to the requirement at that particular time. Although the planning phase is condensed compared to other project management methodologies, this is a critical step for the ultimate success of the project. And project managers have taken notice—particularly among teams in industries like software development where technology, objectives, and targets are in constant flux. Better risk management as stakeholders can discuss and address code vulnerabilities while keeping development processes going.

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