Creating a Software Development Life Cycle that Works



Software Development Life Cycle is a set of steps used to develop software applications. It is also referred to as a collection of standard business practices for developing software applications. This development process is written down and divided into tasks, assigned to team members, and measured. Many software developer teams follow this method to meet customers’ needs in a given time frame; while reducing costs and resources. There are several software development life cycle that can be adopted in software development, all resulting in greater efficiency; these include the waterfall models, spiral models, agile models, and so on. The agile development model is considered by most developers as the most reliable and popular model.

Software development life cycles (SDLC) typically include six to eight steps which are Planning, Requirements, Design, Build, Document, Test, Deploy, Maintain, but developers may add, subtract, or combine steps based on the scope of the project. Having these steps in place allows you to remain focused throughout the development process, thus enabling you to evaluate and improve the quality of the software. This cycle enables you to analyze each step of the process in great detail, define the requirements of your project, anticipate mistakes and come up with the best solution when you know what your project’s requirements are.

It is important to determine if the tool you intend to use is appropriate for your project before implementing any software development life cycle modelling. Picking the right process is dependent on a few factors, such as the size of your team, their capabilities and experience, the complexity of the project, and how you want your team to use it. Companies need to reduce costs, deliver software faster, and meet or exceed customer expectations. The software development life cycle (SDLC) helps achieve this goal by identifying inefficiencies and high costs and correcting them to ensure smooth operations.

Phases of software development life cycle

The software development life cycle demands that certain steps are followed and these steps are called phases. Below is a list of them.

1. Planning

Brainstorming or planning occurs at the beginning of the software development lifecycle. This process begins with:

  • A concept note
  • A discussion about the best way to implement it.
  • Conducting an in-depth review of the project; this includes creating team assignments, developing a leadership plan, allocating time for each step, and determining labour and material costs.

All the essential elements of the process are explained in detail so that everyone stays focused on the same goal and avoids confusion.

2. Requirements Definition

In defining requirements, one determines what the application is supposed to cater for and its functionality. The requirements also contain a description of the resources required for the project. Besides creating a catchy design and clean code finding an actionable solution requires your team to gain a thorough understanding of the project. An inventory software, for example, might need a search feature.

3. Design and Prototyping

In this phase, the requirements document is referred to by the developers to design an appropriate architecture for the software. The designs created by the development team which can be referred to as the design document specifications (DDS) should be documented. The documents should be reviewed by stakeholders, and the final design should reflect parameters such as risk, modularity, robustness, time constraints, and budget. This design serves as the blueprint of the software application to be developed.

4. Development

This is the actual writing of the program, which process includes coding and converting the prototype into the final software, it is the longest process in the software development life cycle. The development of a small project may be assigned to a single developer; a large project may be divided among several teams. In this phase, use a source code management application or an Access Control system is required; these systems help developers track changes to the code. They also help ensure compatibility between different team projects and to make sure target goals are achieved. Documentation is important in this phase as it explains what code was used and why. Documentation may take the form of video guides, written articles, or comments on the source code.

5. Testing

Once your team completes the development process, it is critical to test the application before making it available to users. The quality assurance team will conduct tests, including system integration, functionality, and interoperability. Much of the testing like security checks can be automated while others can only be performed in a specific environment. Testing ensures that each function operates correctly. The purpose is to ensure that the application meets business goals.

6. Deployment

This phase involves the actual installation and implementation of the data and other components of the project. This phase can be as simple as a payment portal and download link on the company website or download an application on a smartphone; it can also be as complex as upgrading a company-wide database to a newly-developed application. The time and effort required to complete this phase depend on the complexity of the tool.

7. Operations and Maintenance

This phase is the final phase of the software development life cycle. The operation and maintenance phase involves solving issues faced by the customers when they use the software. When a problem is solved by developers or software engineers, it must be tested to ensure it functions well. This phase involves satisfying end-users by adding new capabilities and improving performance through regular upgrades. In the maintenance phase, the software may be enhanced to offer other new features. The software can also be upgraded so that a new version is established.

For developing high-quality software products, a software development life cycle is a valuable resource. This tool provides a framework for guiding developers in the process of software development. Many SDLC models such as waterfall, V-model, iterative, spiral, and agile models can be employed. A suitable model can be selected based on customer requirements and the organization’s objectives. Software development life cycle (SDLC) benefits are realized if developers follow the documented plans and understand the customer requirements.

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