What is Rapid Application Development RAD?

In this model, the development team and the client or client network work collaboratively to determine the goal of any given project. This is an example of a platform where the rapid methodology is used to create apps quickly and efficiently. Another difference to note is that, in RAD methodology, the primary method of calculating progress is to deliver functional prototypes as frequently as possible. But in Agile, progress is achieved by delivering a high-quality product at the time of delivery. James Martin first developed the development approach in the 1980s when he was working with IBM.

As we know, usually the most time-consuming process is to get something started, like PoC, design implementation, deployment, and so on. Even so, there are some core development principles that remain the same and they all derive from the commonplace concept that you’re not constructing a building. It has the flexibility to alter and become a product that more closely reflects the needs of end-users. To do so, you need to utilize certain RAD steps and phases that proved to be a successful formula for crafting better-quality solutions. Components are moved to a live production environment, where full-scale testing occurs to identify product bugs.

Business Modelling

The Rapid Application Development is unlike the waterfall model that emphasizes strict planning. And that makes it difficult to bring in feedback during the development phase. It is hard to change the core features of the application later in the waterfall model.

what is rapid application development

Clients work hand-in-hand with developers, who have the opportunity to frequently present work, and gain confidence that they are on track with satisfying the client when the final product is delivered. The incorporation of testing throughout the project lifecycle improves the overall software quality, validating and refining requirements based on user feedback. The RAD framework was introduced by technology consultant and author James Martin in 1991, who recognised and took advantage of software’s infinite malleability to design development models. RAD was a precursor to agile project management, becoming increasingly popular with agile businesses looking for methods that keep pace with their growing business and client needs. Focusing on rapid prototyping, release cycles and iterations over costly planning, rapid application development is driven by user feedback, rather than strict planning.

Increased customer satisfaction due to high-level collaboration and coordination between stakeholders . Lack of emphasis on Non-functional requirements, which are often not visible to the end user in normal operation. While it still remains the champion, a lot has changed in 20 years. In the end, Centric Consulting not only met the demands of their client but was also able to meet their needs and grow its business.


Without client buy-in from the start, your project is more likely to fail due to communication breakdowns. Think about buying a new mobile, you’ll first and most probably check the latest model of the brand that you already own. In a few cases, there is a high possibility of family members owning a mobile from the same… You need to look into the above-mentioned and few other criteria to go ahead with RAD. While Rapid Application Development seems enticing and pursuable, as repeated throughout the blog, it requires expertise. It might be complicated to execute and manage the process well.

what is rapid application development

If you’ve got a pool of users who can give consistent and reliable feedback on the prototypes you make, then rapid application development is a great model to follow. Prototypes built through the rapid application development model depend on feedback from previous iterations, so reliable feedback from dependable sources can be immensely helpful. Rapid Application Development or RAD means an adaptive software development model based on prototyping and quick feedback with less emphasis on specific planning. In general, the RAD approach prioritizes development and building a prototype, rather than planning.

But not all applications/software can be divided into modules. So, RAD cannot be used for those applications that cannot be modularized. Everyone involved must possess equal and adequate technical expertise. It’s because anyone lagging in the team can slow down others as well. This means there’s almost no chance of them being disappointed with the output. At every step and every progression, users are asked for their views and feedback.

And then the application is ready to be moved to the live environment. The developed application is continuously tested for bugs and issues. If anything as such is found, the team works on resolving it on the go. Clients give thorough input throughout this stage, suggesting alterations, changes, or new ideas that solve problems as they are discovered. With this input, developers either resume prototyping, or if feedback is strictly positive, move onto the final step. So before you choose a rapid development environment for your project, ask yourself the following questions.

The 5 phases of RAD

In 1991, he formally introduced it as a concept, which was built on the work of people like Barry Boehm. The success of a Rapid Application Development prototype relies on the ability of designers and developers to deliver precise work at pace. This means that RAD might not be the best model for teams without the level of expertise needed to do this.

With a single click, Decision.io allows you to design and manage processes. Car manufacturers can now use 3D printing technology to create prototypes. The chance of failure and lack of functioning is less in the RAD framework. When it comes to the waterfall, organizations can hire both senior and junior developers if the specifications are explicit, making finding a suitable contractor much more accessible.

Top 7 Books Every Product Owner Should Read

During this phase, the developers, software users, and team members will outline the goals of the project. Lucidchart makes this possible—our intuitive visual productivity platform allows you to map out every step of the process from scoping to build. With a shorter planning phase and a focus on highly iterative design https://globalcloudteam.com/ and construction, RAD teams are able to accomplish more in less time without sacrificing client satisfaction. By reducing planning time and emphasizing prototype iterations, RAD allows project managers and stakeholders to accurately measure progress and communicate in real time on evolving issues or changes.

  • With RAD this kind of information can be discovered and acted upon earlier in the process.
  • Nevertheless, it is an important step and will determine the success of the project.
  • The low-code platform OutSystems easily integrates complex existing systems with your own for development without boundaries.
  • By having users interact with evolving prototypes the business functionality from a RAD project can often be much higher than that achieved via a waterfall model.
  • The need for rapid application development has seen the emergence of a plethora of low code and no code platforms.

Talk with your clients and understand their willingness to be a part of their process. If they aren’t ready, you need to reconsider choosing this developmental model. And, the feedback cycle brings in different perspectives and regular changes. This demands a quick shift of mindset according to the changing contexts. Your team on the whole must be skilled enough to face every challenge the process brings up. RAD is usually done by separating the application into several modules and developing them.

Both development techniques have distinct prerequisites in terms of developer abilities and experience. Rapid Application Development has changed the trend of how software is developed. Companies can no longer afford to wait around for months and years to implement a single idea.

What is the History of rapid application development (RAD)?

This feedback is processed and implemented in the next iteration. Now the team can carry out activities to make the application live. Even though a number of iterations and testings are done, there might be few gaps. It’s essential to clearly set the goals before kick-starting the development activities. This way you can ensure that no time is wasted on unwanted tasks/activities. Is your client willing to adhere to project timelines and a schedule for model completion?

This enables you to model behaviors with your prototype without going the extra mile to build connectors in advance of needing them. With a recent prototype prepared, RAD developers present their work to the client or end-users. They collect feedback on everything from interface to functionality—it is here where product requirements might rapid development methodologies come under scrutiny. This prototype may cut corners to reach a working state, and that’s acceptable. Most RAD programming approaches have a finalization stage where developers pay down technical debt accrued by early prototypes. The use of powerful development tools results in better quality products in comparatively shorter time spans.

Disadvantages – Or the Things to Keep in Mind Before You Jump Straight to Agile

Instead of producing actual automobiles, automakers create physical prototypes and scaled models based on the design. One thing the Rapid Application Development model promises over traditional software models is speed. But that’s not the only reason why developers should take it seriously.Read on to know more. RAD methodology is difficult to implement with multiple teams and a large number of developers. Agile development is designed to take advantage of a lot of developers on a single project. T is designed to be flexible to changes and to accept new inputs, like features and functions, at every step of the development process.

Phases of Rapid Application Development Methodology

It is also suitable for projects where requirements can be modularized and reusable components are also available for development. This model should be used for a system with known requirements and requiring a short development time. The team leader must work closely with the developers and customers to close the project in time. Buddy provides a platform that decreases lag time and allows you to develop and deliver applications using CI and CD in minutes.

This means the product is developed incrementally and the progress is obvious. This brings the development process in line with the schedule and the budget. Another important fact is that the clients are involved in this process as well.

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