How Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Works and How to Choose a Proper Model

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This blog post describes how the software development life cycle (SDLC) works and how you can choose the right SDLC model for your software product development.

Web Development technology and tools have been undergoing constant evolution and enabling us to create complex systems that were considered to be impossible a couple of years back. However, if you don’t have a proper approach and haven’t got the right technical knowledge and expertise, then even the most advanced technology cannot guarantee successful outcomes.

When deciding over programming languages, development frameworks, or libraries, you must put your business needs at the utmost priority. Because all these factors are meant to solve the business problem and come along with a unique set of benefits and challenges. Another most important factor is to determine the set of actions, blueprint, or roadmap that your project team will follow for developing the final version of your software solution. This mainly includes the fundamental steps to be taken and the rules & procedures that must be followed to complete the project development. In the technical world, these steps and rules are termed the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). One of the most important things that one must never forget is that SDLC should always be chosen in compliance with the specific requirements and demands of the business.

What IS Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) And What Is Its Significance?

SDLC involves a well-thought set of predefined activities that must be completed to develop a certain software product or for updating an existing one. Professional Software Development Companies choose the SDLC model as per your business specifics and then follow it strictly during the entire development process. Following such a systematic approach ensures high software quality workflow optimization and cost-effectiveness.

If you will start looking for the right SDLC model, there is a wide variety available in the market, also Software Development Companies choose them according to their talent and technology stack. You might have heard about all of them, but if you have heard about Scrum, Agile Approach of Waterfall approach, then you can develop a general understanding of SDLC. For Project Managers, it is very crucial to choose the right SDLC method, to avoid high development time, without compromising the software quality. SDLC plans that are strictly defined help remove any kind of pitfalls and ensure smooth development and execution of the project.

When SDLC is done correctly, it not only simply processes for managers, but all the team members. The Software Development team must develop a thorough understanding of the activities to work on them with precision, meet time limits, and ensure the quality of all the deliverables. Also, they must understand that how their performance will be assessed and evaluated. When choosing an SDLC approach, every party involved must have a clear understanding of the plan and agreement over core objectives.

As mentioned above, there is a wide range of SDLC techniques available out there, and each of them responds differently to the project type and specifics. Despite the fact, each of them consists of similar basic stages. Stages names may differ among companies, but the purpose and meanings are almost the same.

Phases of Software Development Life Cycle

Stage 1: Need Analysis & Problem Identification                   

This is the first phase of any SDLC, and at this stage, all that is needed is to get the input from all the involved parties such as business analysts, developers, customers, vendors, etc. This stage identifies customers’ problems and determines how the proposed software solution will help them overcome their business issues. All the information gathered during this stage can be used by the team throughout the development process and will help in selecting the development approach which involved the least possible risks.

Stage 2: Outlining & Documenting Software Product Requirements

At this stage, the primary focus is to define and document all the software product requirements in detail. It is very important that product requirements are well-explained and approved by all the stakeholders involved. This document works as the blueprint or guideline throughout the development process and any stakeholder or team member can refer back to it in case of any confusion.

Stage 3: Designing

This stage begins with the creation of Design Document Specifications. This phase is mainly dependent on the requirements collected in the previous stage of SDLC. Design Document Specification fundamentally sets the architecture of the software product in place. It is also crucial to review the design document specifications with all the involved parties or stakeholders to discuss all the possible factors such as design modularity, potential risks, budget overruns, development time, etc.

Stage 4: Product Development

This is the stage where all the magic happens, and all the designs and ideas of the software product are transformed into realization. At this stage of SDLC, software developers came into play and start developing the software product as per the provided specifications and initial plan. If the design document specification is well-defined and performed as per standards, then the development process could be completed without any uncertain delays or obstacles.

Stage 5: Software Testing

Nothing is perfect in this world, and hence every software product comes up with some glitches and bugs that can be fixed through testing. The testing phase is completely unavoidable and it should be the primary goal of every SDLC so that maximum bugs can be fixed before the final release. Testing a software product is a must to make sure that the product is developed in alliance with the provided design and specifications.

Stage 6: Deployment & Maintenance

This stage of SDLC is all about the deployment of the software products to the production environment, where users are allowed to test the software in real settings. Many software development companies usually prefer moving the software through multiple tests and deployment environments before the final product release. This tactic helps in examining the overall behavior of the software, and improvements are then made on the ground of this information.

How to Choose the Right SDLC Model?

Choosing the right SDLC model is a challenging task for both software engineers and organizations. But what makes the situation more challenging is that majority of the business organizations lack an understanding of SDLC models and the potential value that they can add in return.

Selecting the right SDLC is itself a complete process that can be exercised internally or professional software development companies can be hired for professional consultation. Below listed are some of the steps that can help you find the right SDLC model for the development of your software product.

1St Step – Acquire Knowledge About SDLC Models & Learn About Them

All SDLCs are similar when it comes to their usage, therefore, to choose the right methodology for your, you need to have sufficient knowledge and experience with them. As discussed in the beginning, SDLC models are just like the tools that are similar but fit into different contexts, differently. It is just like the carpenter’s job, that if he doesn’t know how to correctly use the tool, he might end up messing things up and wasting time, money, and resources.

2nd Step –Stakeholders’ Need Assessment

Stakeholders’ need assessment is critical for the success of any process. Analyzing their business priorities, concerns, domain, technological constraints, technical abilities and capabilities, and also their business requirements is a must choose the right software development lifecycle model. This will help set selection criteria for the next stage.

3rd Step – Define Selection Criteria

There is a wide range of selection criteria that you may use to select SDLC depending on the context and the factors listed above; For instance, to find the right SDLC model for you, we recommend you ask these questions to yourself.

  • Will the selected SDLC be suitable for the skills and size of our team?
  • Will the selected SDLC be relevant to the technology that we are going to implement?
  • Will the selected SDLC efficiently serve the complexity and size of our software product?
  • Will the selected SDLC efficiently address the priorities and concerns of our stakeholders and clients?
  • Will the selected SDLC be suitable for our project type?
  • Will the selected SDLC be suitable for our technical abilities and software engineering capabilities?
  • Will the selected SDLC be suitable for quality insurance and project risk involved?
  • Will the selected SDLC be right for our team’s geographical arrangements (in case of remote work options)?

 

4th Step- Decide & Select

An example of some recommended criteria is given below, however, you can always add up to any new criteria that you find relevant and valid to your project scope.

5th Step – Optimize

You can always optimize your chosen SDLC model, even during the execution process, if you find out any changes coming ahead of your way, and you think that these changes won’t fit in with your SDLC. Hence, it is completely fine to align your SDLC accordingly to cope up with these changes. You can make your customized SDLC model that works optimally for your business type or project scope.

Final Words

SDLC is a comprehensive domain to be studied, and it requires a thorough understanding and professional expertise to find out which model will work best for you. Although you can always determine a suitable SDLC model using the information provided in this blog post, if you need professional consultation and advice then Code Creators Inc. is the ideal software development company to go to. Click here to connect.