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What Is RAD Model: When to Use It

RAD stands for Rapid Application Development. But what is RAD? It is a model where functions are developed in a parallel manner just as if each one of them was a subproject. These are then assembled or integrated into a working prototype in a time-boxed manner.

This application development methodology makes it easier to develop or rapidly change the product or its components. Creatio application development is therefore made seamless with the rapid application development process that improves customer experience. In addition, the model encourages active customer feedback especially by the process open and much more visible to customers even at the very early stages.

In this article, we discuss the RAD model in detail. Covering the phases involved, pros, cons and when to use the model.

RAD model is basically an incremental model in which smaller and multiple chunks are picked and developed in a systematic order that contributes to the bigger picture. This is to say, that the major feature that is to be developed is usually subdivided into smaller, achievable portions that are individually developed into the final incremental model.

Rapid Application Development Phases

Let’s look at the steps in a typical RAD model. These are divided into:

  • Planning phase
  • Designing
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment 

Planning And Analysis Of Requirements

One of the most important RAD software development phases is planning. This is the stage where all the initial requirements for inclusion in the design are assembled and properly analyzed. Remember, without proper planning and analysis of the initial requirements, the end product will be a face of failure. It is therefore imperative that adequate planning should be done in order that the final product meets the actual expectations of the model.


This stage is as important as the initial planning stage. Without a clear road map, you can never get to the destination on time. This is the reason why clear designs are needed with better rapid application methodologies.

Once all the project requirements are gathered, architectural design is the next main thing. It is however important to note that the resulting architecture should be made as flexible as possible. A flexible design is easier to adjust as it is made in a way that it can easily accommodate additional file and folders.


Once there is a clear map showing what is needed and how to fix every feature in place, the next step is to follow the steps in developing the project.

At this stage, several piles of code are written in order to acquire the product in a more practicable state. This project phase is therefore also referred to as the programming stage. This is because it involves long coding processes and is the main stage that contributes to a viable demonstrable product.


Once the project is completed and the application is well developed, it has to be tested against pre-set standards. This stage, therefore, involves testing of the product that has been developed. Usually, a skilled team of IT experts are involved in testing the product.

If test results show that the product is practicable, it is taken to the next RAD phase.

Deployment and Maintenance

This is the last stage in the RAD life cycle. It involves the deployment and maintenance of the application. This is usually done on a server.

Usually, a project that has been deployed may require routine maintenance. This may involve adjustment or addition of missing features or even the inclusion of extra features to scale it up. This is exactly the reason why designs should be flexible in the first place.

Advantages of RAD Models

The rapid application development model has a number of advantages. Some of these include:

  •  Constructive feedback
  • Rapid product development reduces development time
  • Saves effort by integrating reusable features at the initial stage
  • Development of small features that are reusable
  • Repetitive review in the process of development which improves efficiency
  • Encourages customer feedback

Disadvantages of RAD Methodology

Some of the disadvantages of this model include:

  • RAD can only be used to build modularized systems
  • Expensive and therefore not suitable for smaller projects
  • More effort required at the initial stage when gathering project requirements
  • Modeling skills dependency is high

When to Use RAD Models

  • When there is a need to develop a product within a short period of time, RAD is the best model to use
  • When there is the availability of a large number of designers and the budget is large enough to accommodate the modelling costs
  • When the system is needed in a short time of between 2 – 3 months and the resources are available

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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