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RAD Model vs Traditional SDLC – Software Engineering

Last Updated : 21 Dec, 2023
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Software Development is the development of software for distinct purposes. There are several types of Software Development Models. In this article, we will see the difference between the RAD Model and the Traditional Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

What is Traditional SDLC?

In the traditional SDLC model what happens is that it works sequentially one phase is complete then only it will go to the next phase and this deployment happens in the end.

  1. The output of one step is used as input for the following one.
  2. The most popular traditional SDLC models are Waterfall, Iterative, Spiral, and V-shaped Models.
  3. Models like RAD are reshaping the design of modern businesses to incorporate agile procedures.

Various Phases of Traditional SDLC

  1. Planning: The Planning phase is the first and foremost stage which requires all the planning as well as gathering the requirements of the project.
  2. Designing: The design phase is the next stage, in this, the requirements which are listed previously are converted into the architectural or system design.
  3. Implementation: The third stage is the main development stage which involves real implementation, here the developers do the code followed by the testers who test the code.
  4. Maintenance: The last stage is the deployment and maintenance stage. In this stage, the application gets deployed and if any bug or defect is there, then it will be maintained and fixed in this stage.

Where Traditional Model is used?

Traditional Models are used in the following scenarios:

  1. When the technology which we are using on software is not going to change nearly.
  2. When the project is not going to stay long.
  3. When the project delivery speed is not a priority of work.
  4. When the requirements are perfectly defined and documented.

What is RAD Model?

Unlike the traditional SDLC model in which the end product is available in the end, in the RAD model (Rapid Application Development) after each iteration the model is shown to the client and based on the feedback of the client, necessary changes will be done, hence in this, there is the total involvement of the client in every phase of the model.

  1. It represents a Radical shift in software development.
  2. In this model, the product is continually demonstrated to the user to provide the required input to help enhance it.
  3. It is suited for developing software that are driven by user interface requirements.
  4. It emphasizes on delivering the incremental and iterative delivery of functioning models to the client.

Various Phases of RAD Model

  1. Planning: Initial phase is planning, which involves requirement gathering, discussing the timeline of the project.
  2. Prototype: In this phase the model is built, or the prototype will be constructed so that it can be shown to the client and necessary changes can be done quickly, despite the traditional SDLC model where the complete model is constructed first.
  3. Feedback: Once the prototype is available now it can be shown to the client and necessary feedback can be taken and depending on their requirement further actions will be taken, if clients require any change then those changes will be done until there is no modification from client side.
  4. Deployed: Once the above three phases are completed, the application will be deployed to the client.

Benefits of RAD Model

  1. Better quality software: It provides better quality of software that is more usable and more focused on businesses.
  2. Better reusability: RAD Models has a better reusability of components.
  3. Flexible: RAD Models are more flexible as it helps in easy adjustments.
  4. Minimum failures: It helps in completing projects within time and within budget. Failures are minimum in RAD Model.

Differences Between Traditional SDLC and RAD Model


RAD Model

Traditional SDLC


Stages are not well-defined.

Structured Methodology and well-defined stages.

Application Development Approach

Different stages of application development can be reviewed and repeated as the approach is iterative.

Follows a predictive, inflexible, and rigid approach to application development.


Follows a predictive, inflexible, and rigid approach to application development.

Follows a predictive, inflexible, and rigid approach to application development.


It is not necessary to know all the requirements beforehand.

All the requirements should be known before starting the project due to the rigidity of the models.


Easier to accommodate changes.

Difficult to accommodate changes due to the sequential nature of models.

Customer Feeback

Extensive customer feedback leading to more customer satisfaction and better quality of final software.

Limited customer feedback.


It involves minimal documentation.

Stringent and extensive documentation of the entire project process is necessary.

Team Size

Separate small teams can be assigned to individual modules.

As there is no modularization, a larger team is required for different stages with strictly defined roles.

Preferred Projects

Generally preferred for projects with shorter time durations and budgets large enough to afford the use of automated tools and techniques.

Used for projects with longer development schedules and where budgets do not allow the use of expensive and powerful tools.

Components Used

The use of reusable components helps to reduce the cycle time of the project.

The use of powerful and efficient tools requires highly skilled professionals.

Reusability of Elements

Usage of identified and ready-to-use themes, templates, layouts, and micro apps that have been predefined.

Elements are not reusable since they must be created from scratch in accordance with project requirements.

Previously Asked Questions 

1. Software Engineering is an engineering discipline that is concerned with: [UGC NET CS 2017 Jan – II]

(A) how computer systems work

(B) theories and methods that underlie computers and software systems.

(C) all aspects of software production

(D) all aspects of computer-based systems development, including hardware, software and process engineering.

Solution: Correct Answer is (C).

2. __________ are applied throughout the software process. [UGC NET CS 2014 Dec – II]

(A) Framework activities

(B) Umbrella activities

(C) Planning activities

(D) Construction activities

Solution: Correct Answer is (B).

3. Software engineering primarily aims at: [UGC NET CS June Paper – II]

(A) reliable software

(B) cost-effective software

(C) reliable and cost-effective software

(D) question does not provide sufficient data

Solution: Correct Answer is (C).


1. Which is most commonly used SDLC model?

Most commonly used model is Agile model and even in industries also it is mostly preferred

2. What phase of SDLC is the most critical?

Initial phase in which all the requirements are gathered are critical, on its basis rest steps depends

3. What type of model is RAD ?

RAD is an incremental model where each phase is done incrementally until product is finished

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