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App Development Methods Decoded Not sure what 'waterfall,' 'agile' or 'scrum' are? Here we explain the three most popular app development processes.

By Mikal E. Belicove

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Q: I've heard software development shops talk about various methods--"waterfall," "agile" and "scrum"--for building apps. What's the difference?

Choose wisely: Kim Heldman, senior IT director for the state of Colorado, says app-building methods can make or break your project--so do your research.
Choose wisely: Kim Heldman, senior IT director for the state of Colorado, says app-building methods can make or break your project--so do your research.
Photo© Jacob Pritchard

A: Be assured, the developers who use scrum aren't billing you for a daily rugby match to help brainstorm your product. In this case, the term describes one of more than a half-dozen software development processes used to organize a project's work flow. And whether you need an e-commerce site for your T-shirt startup or a smartphone app for your pizza delivery business, you should decide on the approach to development that addresses the requirements, design, production, testing and deployment phases of the software in a manner that works best for your management style and, ultimately, your business.