I have been using and will continue to use a couple of methods and development processes for my graduate project.
Top down approach:
Along side the top down approach I will be using the spiral approach for my development process. Starting by defining all of the areas I need to develop, ordering them in importance, start developing said, area testing it to see how well it works and if it accomplishes my aims. Then repeating this process, assessing my defined areas, adding to or subtracting from that list and choosing a new area to develop.