Many software development firms use various methods during the development process, and certain products might necessitate advanced and complicated techniques. However, the success of your software development project is mainly dependent on your ability to go back to the basics.
As a systematic approach, the software development lifecycle (SDLC) won’t let you down when addressing the most fundamental questions of “who, what, when, where, and how” in your custom software development project. However, in this blog post, you’ll learn about the SDLC stages and techniques that can help you get your project development process up and running.
What is the software development lifecycle?
The SDLC, or software development life cycle, is a framework for documenting the activities involved in creating software from start to finish. SDLC isn’t a linear framework, as the name implies.
From an idea to a complete plan to a functioning prototype, every stage is the foundation for your next move until your application is finished. You may think of your launched program as a launchpad for developing your software project.
What are the five steps of software development?
The following are the SDLC stages of getting an overview of the development process:
1. Planning and requirements gathering
The client describes a problem that needs to be addressed, which serves as the foundation for completing the rest of the software requirements. Requirements documents are generated from the data obtained from the client and users (if necessary) to ensure that the development team understands what they’re creating. If you’re outsourcing your software project, this is the step that you don’t want to skip.
After that, there are preparations such as assigning tasks to teams, establishing milestones, establishing deadlines for delivery, obtaining cost estimates, performing a risk analysis and devising a strategy to avoid risks. This step involves developing a proof of concept and checking and validating the technical feasibility before proceeding with the software development process.
This is the second stage of the software development life cycle, which entails developing architecture, prototypes, and user experience design. Here’s a quick rundown of what this stage involves:
- Software architecture: Refers to the process of establishing an ordered chain of elements in a software program for quality control, readability, and accessibility. You may think of software architecture as the development team’s blueprint.
- Prototype: The software’s user interface/user experience (UI/UX) team creates a prototype edition of the program to verify its appearance and flow of software design elements. It allows the team and stakeholders to envision the software’s visual appearance.
The next stage is the coding phase, in which the software developers work to bring their idea into reality. The software developers write KLOCs (thousands of lines of code) in programming languages they are familiar with. The development team’s goal is to increase developers’ velocity while maintaining high quality.
The software development team may choose to release the program in one go, as is done in waterfall development, or it can break it down into parts (segments) and provide them separately (Agile approach).
The software development team may choose to release the program in one go, as is done in waterfall development, or it can break it down into parts (segments) and provide them separately (Agile approach). After the code is complete, the development team delivers it to the testing team for evaluation.
4. Testing and quality assurance
This stage of the application development process is concerned with validating the written code for flaws and other anomalies. This is when the testing and quality assurance team collaborates to verify and report bugs to the team.
The testing team can either use hands-on methods or automated testing (based on their skills and established procedure). In this case, the testers and team work together to ensure seamless software delivery.
After the software is created, tested, modified, retested, and certified in production conditions, it goes into production environment deployment. If you use the Agile SDLC approach, development and deployment may refer to the introduction of MVP and other features.
However, when it comes to Waterfall, deployment refers to introducing a fully operational product into the market. If the users encounter a problem with the program, it goes back to the software team for reconsideration and repair.
After Significant Development is Completed: Maintenance
New standards are likely to emerge as new technologies and user requirements change. The software development team must complete each software development life cycle stage to address the new change to meet these standards.
In general, it refers to the fact that software requires updates regularly, which must be handled for its value proposition to remain valid.
The major types of maintenance include the following:
The term “corrective maintenance” refers to eliminating faults from software to enhance its performance. User comments or feedbacks are the most common method for detecting these issues.
New requirements are constantly being developed and modified. The program must be updated to meet these changes to remain competitive and vital. That is the logic behind perfective maintenance.
A software life cycle model is a graphical representation of the software development process.
Software development life cycle model
A software life cycle model is a graphical representation of the software development process. The software development life cycle (SDLC) models and activities are the same for all models, even if the approach is different.
The waterfall model is the first approach implemented in the SDLC. It’s also referred to as the linear sequential model. In this approach, the result of one stage serves as the input for the next. The next phase is only planned when the current one has been completed.
- The first step is to gather and analyze requirements. After the requirement is frozen, system design development begins. The SRS document produced is the output of the Requirement phase and serves as an input for System Design in this method.
- Documents that guide the following phase, such as architecture and design, are generated in System Design Software implementation and coding.
- In the implementation stage, coding is completed, and the software created is the input for the following phase, testing.
- The developed code is thoroughly tested in the testing phase to find any bugs in the software. Defects are recorded in the defect tracking system and retested after being addressed. Regression testing, test invalidation, and bug reporting continue until the software is in a go-live state.
- The completed code is submitted to the customer for sign-off in the Deployment phase, after which it is put into production.
- The developers who come under maintenance are responsible for any problems in the production environment.
The V-shaped model is also referred to as the verification and validation Model. Verification and Validation are closely linked; parallel development and testing occur. The V-Model and waterfall models are identical, except V-Model’s test planning and execution begin early.
The prototype model is one in which the prototype is created before the final software. The prototype models have less functional capabilities and poor performance than the software. Prototypes are created using dummies. This is an effective tool for comprehending customers’ demands.
Prototypes are created before the final software to acquire critical feedback from clients. Customer feedback is obtained, and the prototype is reviewed again by the consumer for any modifications. The procedure then continues until the customer accepts it.
When the need analysis is completed, a rapid design is produced, and the prototype for evaluation is provided to the client. Customer feedback and the refined requirement are utilized to modify the prototype, then presented to the client for review.
Once the prototype has been approved, it becomes a specification for creating the actual software. The primary software product is developed using a waterfall methodology.
The iterative and prototype technique are both included in the Spiral Model. Spiral model stages are utilized in each iteration. The model contains loops to indicate the phases of the SDLC process.
The innermost loop is for requirement gathering and analysis after planning, risk analysis, development, and evaluation in the SDLC process. For subsequent loops, the strategy is to design and then implement and test.
Iterative and incremental model
The iterative, incremental model breaks the product down into manageable pieces. In iterations, you don’t need to do much planning. For example, the feature implemented in this iteration is determined and put into action. The phases of each iteration include Requirement Analysis, Designing, Coding, and Testing.
After an iteration ends, a product is checked and provided for evaluation and comment to the customer. The customer feedback is incorporated in the subsequent iteration and the new feature. As a result, the product’s characteristics are improved in each iteration, and when all iterations are completed, the final build has all of the product’s features.
Big Bang model
There is no defined procedure in the Big Bang Model. Money and effort are combined as inputs, whereas the solution emerges as a completed product, which may not be what the customer needs. The model does not require much preparation or scheduling. The developer analyzes the requirements and codes the product based on their knowledge.
Only small projects are done with this method. There is no testing team, and no significant testing is done, which might contribute to the project’s failure.
In Agile methodologies, a product is divided into small, successive increments. The iterative and incremental models are combined to form the Agile approach. This is a flexible approach to product development that emphasizes flexibility rather than need.
The next iteration is based on previously implemented technology. It isn’t created as a complete project in one shot. In terms of capabilities, each release improves.
In agile development, iterations are known as sprints. The product owner validates the product at the end of each sprint, and, after his approval, it is sent to the client. It takes two to four weeks for each sprint.
Customer feedback is considered, and their ideas and improvements are addressed in the following sprint. Each sprint is subjected to testing to reduce the danger of any errors.
Why is the software development life cycle important?
Why should you be using the standard software development lifecycle? The SDLC is a framework for tracking and measuring progress in your software development projects. Here’s how it adds value to your software development efforts:
- Faster time to market — The time it takes to complete the project and return to normal operations becomes significantly reduced
- High-quality software — Processes are typically conducted in a synchronous order, which allows for few bugs and anomalies
- Facilitates management control — The software development cycle model gives project management control to assist them to see and tracking development progress, regardless of how big or little the project is
- Coordinates the team’s activities— As a result of everyone on the team understanding the software development life cycle phases, they know what to anticipate and how to prepare for what’s next.
- Breaks the barriers among teams — The SDLC phases establish mutual communication between the development teams by linking them with a procedure requiring cooperation.
- A better view of responsibilities and tasks — Each phase of the software development cycle has a clear purpose. As a result, the teams are aware of their software development life cycle responsibilities.
Conclusion: How the SDLC approach improves your software development project
The software development process must produce a high-quality product that satisfies users’ demands. The SDLC approach can help you avoid flaws, delays, or project difficulties in the development process, regardless of how big or little the project is. This is a step-by-step guide to help you implement your product idea.
SDLC comprises five steps of software development, from planning and requirements gathering, design, development, testing and quality assurance, and release to maintenance. Each SDL stage aims for an end goal that serves as a stepping stone for future actions. Consider the SDLC phases as a never-ending quest to improve your product and make it stronger than or even exceed the competition.
The overall concept of the SDLC is to provide a standard procedure for a software development team to take. However, the chosen software development approach determines how a development team approaches these phases. The development efforts are more likely to fail if there is no well-defined path and a sense of direction.