Predictive vs. Adaptive SDLC: Every Notable Difference


Predictive vs. Adaptive SDLC: Every Notable Difference predictive vs adaptive sdlc

All modern companies differ from one another in terms of software development strategies and planning. More and more organizations are moving away from predictive Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and focusing more on adaptive SDLC. But which path should you take?

The answer becomes easier when you compare predictive vs. adaptive SDLC and figure out the best approach that aligns with your business goals. Let’s do so, starting with their pros and cons.

Pros of Predictive SDLC

  • Since a certain phase doesn’t begin till the previous one is finished, the flow of the development is easier to understand.
  • The instructions are laid out clearly before the development phase begins, and the concise workflow follows the instructions, streamlining the entire process.
  • Helps developers finish a project within a specified budget and timeframe.
  • Enables businesses to create a more accurate prediction for project budgets and timelines.

Cons of Predictive SDLC

  • Working software comes at a much later stage, which delays testing for vulnerabilities and other issues, delaying the overall release of the app.
  • If any bug or issue is detected, the process of fixing it becomes highly expensive.
  • Not an ideal SDLC model for more complex projects
  • Not suitable for dynamic projects where the requirements are highly flexible.

When To Choose Predictive SDLC

  • The product won’t require any updates or changes in the future
  • The project specifications and requirements are very clear
  • The roadmap for product development is simple
  • You already have prior experience with similar projects and are aware of the requirements
  • You already have a documented process to work with
  • You prefer predictability
  • The project manager isn’t familiar with more evolved and modern methodologies

Pros of Adaptive SDLC

  • Adaptive SDLC takes an iterative approach with incremental methodologies that offer flexible guidelines with an accessible workflow.
  • Agile practices are highly effective in adaptive SDLC
  • The feedback loops are shorter, making reiteration with improvement much easier
  • App under development gets tested after every iteration, reducing potential bugs and issues in the final product
  • Focuses on high-speed delivery while maintaining product quality
  • Emphasizes in-person collaboration and better team cohesion for effective product delivery

Cons of Adaptive SDLC

  • Requires extensive amount of user involvement
  • Continuous communication can often be a detriment to development progress
  • Since adaptive SDLC requires collaboration from clients and multiple teams, a lack of commitment from any one party can impact the quality of the end product
  • Due to frequent iterations, documentation becomes optional and the documents are less detailed as a result

When To Choose Adaptive SDLC

  • Your project doesn’t have any defined parameters
  • There’s no clear expectation of the final product, as both requirements and the workflow are subject to change
  • Your project timeline is highly flexible
  • You’re part of a rapidly involved industry that demands constant adaptability
  • The project manager has prior experience with adaptive SDLC methods

Predictive vs. Adaptive SDLC – The Ultimate Comparison

Predictive SDLCAdaptive SDLC
Follows traditional software development practicesFollows iterative software development practices
Can be implemented either individually or with a teamRequires partnership
Tougher to correct errors made in the early stagesErrors get fixed more frequently through different iterations
Testing comes after the final product development is completeTesting is done after every iteration
Low customer and client involvementCustomer and client are involved at every stage of development
Focus is process-orientedFocus is people-oriented
All features are included in the final productMost significant features are released first, and more features are added with later iterations
Suitable for software development where the requirements are fixedSuitable for a development environment that is dynamically changing

To Wrap It All Up

Predictive SDLC is the result of following more traditional software development methods, while adaptive SDLC refers to the more modern and evolved iterative development approaches. However, the final choice depends entirely on your business requirements and project scope.

Whether you’re planning to develop your next product with either predictive or adaptive SDLC, Impala Intech can help you develop a full-fledged product with all of the right features and none of the bugs.


What Is the Primary Goal of Predictive SDLC?

The primary goal of predictive SDLC is to deliver a project according to a predefined plan and schedule.

What Is the Primary Goal of Adaptive SDLC?

The primary goal of adaptive SDLC is to respond to changing requirements and deliver a solution that best meets evolving needs.

Is It Possible to Combine Elements of Both Predictive and Adaptive SDLC in a Project?

Yes, it’s possible to use a hybrid approach that combines elements of both models to suit specific project requirements.

Which SDLC Model Is Better for Projects With Strict Regulatory Compliance Requirements?

Predictive SDLC is often preferred for projects with strict compliance needs as it allows for comprehensive planning and documentation.

What Are the Typical Phases in a Predictive SDLC Process?

Phases include requirements gathering, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.