What is Rapid Application Development and What are its Essential Stages?


    Mobile app developers usually use the waterfall application development model, which many consider the go-to approach for software development. While using this approach, you create a strict and specific development plan, which has little room for adding client suggestions.

    And if the client requests to make some tweaks after the development, you need to start the development stage again. And it is, of course, a big hassle.

    According to research, RAD is set to flourish at a CAGR of about 42 percent by 2026. You should research and organize company development practices to leverage this billion-dollar industry.

    The rapid application development model allows you to create an application without obeying some hard and fast rules, saving you time and money.

    Many think that RAD is a programming language or tool to develop software. However, it is a different approach to developing software where you focus on prototyping and user feedback.

    What is Rapid Application Development?

    Rapid application development is a progressive app development methodology focusing on faster prototyping and quick feedback over extended software development and testing.

    Here we will focus on rapid mobile application development. You might have heard of agile software development, which developers invented in the eighties. 

    They came up with this approach to remove some disadvantages of regressive standard development models like the waterfall software development model.

    The core issue with the waterfall approach was once you completed the development phase and started testing out, it became very challenging to change the app’s main features and functionalities.

    The results: you got a final app product that might not fulfill your changing needs. Then RAD came into the scene to challenge this.

    The Fundamental Stages of a Rapid Application Development Model?

    The RAD approach consists of multiple steps. In this blog, we have divided the process into four core steps. (https://tabsnation.com/)

    1- Creating A Proper Plan

    Do you know that according to Geneca (a software development firm), more than 75% of companies get inconsistent with their app’s requirements? 

    That is why the first step of the RAD approach is to get all stakeholders to sit together to discuss and create a project outline. These involve mobile app developers, project managers, IT guys, testers, etc.

    They will determine the objectives, project-related scope, intended features, limitations, or issues to make a practical development plan.

    2-  User Feedback

    Mobile app development company should ask users to provide their input during this stage. This input relates to many aspects, including the application’s usability, look, feel or interface.

    80 percent of businesses reported they spend about half of their app development timeline on rebuilding (Source: Geneca).

    For this reason, user feedback is at the front and center of the RAD methodology. 

    It ensures you apply the same functionalities to your product that the consumer requires.

    Some consumers will hold sessions with mobile app developers to assist them in creating prototypes. These prototypes consist of the core app features to 

    To cover the major project requirements.

    As the success of an app depends mainly on how a user perceives it, this stage is of prime importance. Therefore, this phase will continue, and users will keep giving their input on the prototypes until the perfect product is built with the required features.

    3- Rapid Building

    When you create the final prototype with the help of consumers’ suggestions, you enter the rapid building process.

    Rapid construction of the app is the most crucial stage in the RAD model. As you might have guessed, this phase involves the conversion of prototypes or beta systems into a running version of the app.

    Since you have applied iterations while collaborating with users in the second step, you have less work to do now. It speeds up the mobile application development process, hence the name of this stage, rapid construction.

    While the previous phase involves only developers, this one also requires the other programmers and testers to team up to ensure the creation of a premium product.

    This stage comprises these steps:

    Rapid Development Preparation

    Programmers and developers study the prototype carefully and prepare for rapid construction.

    App Development

    Developers create the application through rapid construction.


    You test your mobile app’s functionalities to spot bugs in this step. Usually, it includes integration testing, unit testing, and system testing.

    4- Finalization

    So, now the construction part is over. Developers and testers then finalize the application, fully ready to get published on the app stores.

    In this phase, you need to concentrate on various aspects like conversion, interface, how will be the user experience, and more. 

    Additionally, you should analyze how the application will meet the requirements of the present app market, its future objectives, and other stability aspects.

    Consumer training comes under this stage as needed depending on your application.

    Bottom Line

    A question might come to your mind on when you can utilize the RAD approach. You can use it when a client wants that you build their app solution quickly. 

    Or when you have some people ready to offer honest suggestions on your prototypes. Because then you can apply the RAD methodology easily.

    You can also use the rapid application development model when you can afford its costs. RAD is comparatively cheaper than the other development approaches.

    However, sometimes applying the RAD approach asks you to splurge a lot more as you might need to hire expert mobile app developer and pay them well.

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