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Rapid Application Development (RAD)

cplace Glossary

What is Rapid Application Development?

Rapid Application Development (RAD) means fast application development. The concept, which originated in the 1980s, accelerates software development processes and makes them more flexible.

Differences to the waterfall model

RAD is based on the spiral model and provides for a prototypical approach. This means that the requirements for a software are collected and converted into codes as quickly as possible. In this way, the RAD model can adapt to changes more quickly than methods of classic project management such as the waterfall model.

Phases of RAD

Rapid Application Development goes through the following phases:

  1. Requirements Planning 
    The development team discusses goals and possible challenges of the project.
  2. User Design 
    This phase is fundamental to RAD and sets the RAD model apart from other project management strategies. Prototypes are developed (rapid prototyping) and presented to the client for comparison. Change requests and new requirements are implemented in further versions and presented again.
  3. Rapid Construction 
    The team creates a final working model. The iterative cycles which have already gone through reduce time and effort at this point.
  4. Cutover 
    The product is completed and prepared for launch. Final changes are implemented.

What are the advantages of the RAD model?

  • a small amount of preparatory work and pre-planning
  • early feedback by involving users and clients in the development process
  • rapid error detection and error reduction
  • better assessment of feasibility, especially for complex or risky projects
  • more productive results
  • time saving
  • quality improvement and quality assurance

Related terms: Waterfall-Modell, Low-Code Development, No-Code Development

Success Story: Rapid Application Development at BMW

In cooperation with the BMW Group, an interdisciplinary team of experts developed a cplace solution for integrated action and maturity level management in just ten days as part of a fast-development project.

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cplace BMW Fast Development Success Story

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