When you want to create a software product that you can deliver to your customers as quickly as possible, not only do you need to have an expert team of experienced professionals, who will be fully committed to the development process, but you also need to make sure that they are efficient and productive in their work. You need to include a lot of planning and organizing in order to ensure that your final product is exactly what you wanted it to be, so that it can satisfy your end users.
However, what if you could develop your product without extensive planning, which would save you a significant amount of time and money? It may seem impossible to successfully complete any project without a planning stage, but it can really be done. All you need is to implement one of the best project management methodologies – Rapid Application Development.
What Is Rapid Application Development?
Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a model for software development that minimizes planning and uses the method of prototyping for introducing the final product. The main goal of utilizing RAD is fast product delivery and, most of all, making sure that the final product is of the highest possible quality and represents the best version of the created prototype.
RAD is becoming more and more popular among software developers and engineers because, by building a prototype of a particular product, they get to see exactly what it will look like and, more importantly, they can see how it will perform, since the prototype functions exactly like the actual product.
Therefore, they can conduct the necessary tests and implement any changes to improve the prototype before the product is launched, thus making sure that it works best and meets every consumer’s need. When you work with a prototype before launching a software product, you can introduce it to the market much faster, since your team will be much more productive. Moreover, you will develop your product at a much cheaper rate and you will start generating revenue sooner than you thought.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of using a RAD model is the fact that it requires little to no coding. Instead of having to do all the coding by hand, your developers can create your software without any coding whatsoever. RAD has an interface with automated coding and design, so it considerably minimizes human errors and, therefore, eliminates bugs and delays.
How Can You Utilize Rapid Application Development?
There are five essential phases that you and your team need to go through when utilizing a RAD model, and each and every one of them can be broken down into smaller chunks that will be easier to complete. You can effectively handle those tasks with the help of an online project management tool, so make sure you find the best one before you get into any of your projects. Here are the phases included in every RAD model.
- Business Modeling
In the business modeling phase, you collect pieces of information from your various business functions in order to understand what information drives your business, where and by whom it is generated, how and when it is processed, as well as how it can be used effectively to help you lead your business to success.
- Data Modeling
Every piece of information gathered and defined in the business modeling phase is thoroughly analysed in the data modeling phase. All of the information is grouped together and used to define data objects that are necessary for your business success. Afterwards, the relationships between those data objects, as well as their usefulness, are carefully examined and defined.
- Process Modeling
In the process modeling phase, all of the data objects that were defined in the data modeling phase are converted into information that can be used to implement a particular business function and achieve certain objectives. Also, any descriptions for processing data objects are created, such as adding, removing, modifying or retrieving data objects.
- Application Generation
The application generation phase includes coding all the gathered information from the previous phase, that is, all the process models. In this phase, RAD uses automated tools to code the information and build the system for creating a prototype.
- Testing and Turnover
Quite obviously, this phase of a RAD model includes testing of all the new components and all the interfaces of the created prototypes in order to make sure that they are effective. Since a RAD model enables reusability of all the components, most of them have already been thoroughly tested before this phase, so the overall testing time is significantly reduced and, more importantly, all the potential errors are successfully avoided.
How to Perfectly Organize and Manage Your RAD projects?
As with any other project, you need to have a good project management tool when you are implementing a RAD model, so that you can seamlessly organize and manage every task needed to effectively complete all the necessary stages for developing your products.
Project management software will enable you to let everyone in your team know exactly what they should do and when they should do it, in order to make sure that the workflow is impeccable and that your goals are achieved effectively. You can create task dependencies and save a lot of time, managing to meet your deadlines faster. You can easily create reports and get a clear insight into your project status and data, making sure that every task is completed with flying colors.
Moreover, project management software will enable you and your team members to easily communicate and collaborate, not to mention share different files and stay on top of your every project. One of the main purposes of project management software is to help you improve your efficiency and productivity, which is very important for a RAD model, which requires full commitment and a strict schedule in order for it to be successful.
Rapid Application Development can be truly outstanding when it comes to fast product delivery to your customers, so you should seriously consider it. If you decide to utilize it, make sure you establish the best project management before you start with all the information gathering, data analysing, and prototype making.