Software Development Life Cycle, the practical guide

1 November 2021
Katarzyna Kubis
Katarzyna Kubis
Project Manager
Back to all blogposts


  • Intro

The Software Development Life Cycle is a process that software engineers go through to create new applications. Software development can be a tricky process, and it’s easy to make mistakes if you don’t know what you’re doing. This article will help you understand the Software Development Lifecycle and how it works so that your next project will have fewer problems and your product can sparkle with higher customer satisfaction.

What is the software development life cycle?

Software Development Life Cycle is a sequential model of time from initial planning to final delivery.

In the more advanced stages of software development, software professionals may use additional tools and techniques such as prototyping and design critiquing techniques to make improvements before final acceptance. It suits well in agile methodology

Why is SDLC important?

The software helps everyone from companies to individuals. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry. Software development life cycle is important because it helps mitigate the massive risks inherent in today’s software design and programming, and aims to reduce the time and cost of future work with development cycles.

The software has a powerful influence on its users, who often value it as much as physical goods or services which have been encountered only tangentially if at all. Systematic planning for upgrades also helps anticipate user needs so that new issues arising from upgrading do not require any manual modification of the code to correct them – which would be extremely costly for businesses dependent on their software systems to function properly at all times.

How does your company benefit from following an SDLC process 

This process helps your company save time and money. Software development life cycle is important because it ensures that everyone involved knows ahead of time what the project requires, so there are no surprises later on during production – which can cause lots of problems!

Another benefit of having an SDLC process is that it helps you make sure that future changes to your software don’t cause problems with the existing code. Software is constantly changing and evolving, so making a plan for how those updates will be made ensures they go smoothly!

How does following a software development life cycle help with quality assurance and product management?

Users typically desire software that is bug-free, easy to use, and reliable. Software development life cycle helps with quality assurance because it ensures a formalized process in which all parties involved know what they are supposed to do in each step of the project’s creation – this creates a set system for creating new products from start to finish that can be repeated and improved upon. Software development life cycle also ensures that any new software is tested properly and thoroughly before it is used by the general public, so as to avoid potential problems with its functionality or usability.

Who should know about Software Development Life Cycle?

Anyone who creates computer programs for a living will benefit from understanding how an SDLC works, especially if they want to improve the process of creating new software. Software development life cycle is important for managers and project leaders, so it’s a good idea to get all team members up-to-speed on what an SDLC entails and how it can help them create better products in less time.

What are the phases of the software development life cycle?

In the production environment, quite a few development stages need to be completed in order to create a full software development project. 

1. Planning

The planning design phase is where the software development team makes the decision of what features are needed in order to meet business requirements. As well as, determine what processes need to be used in order for the project to succeed. Such activities may include but are not limited to gathering client input by conducting focus group meetings or usability testing sessions with representative users and potential customers.

2. Development

In the development phase, a working version of the software is created. Software developers write code using programming languages and tools. If necessary, they may have to take existing components from other sources or create new ones themselves that can be reused later in order to expedite the process.

It’s important for team members who are involved in this stage should meet regularly to ensure that the requirements set out by the planning phase are met and any changes needed should be made.

3. Testing and verification + implementation

In the testing phase, the software is tested to ensure that it works as expected. Software developers who wrote the code should test their work and have other team members do so as well in order to find bugs or other issues with the product. Once these are fixed, a release candidate may be created for testing by a wider audience before going live or being released. This step is as important as customer feedback once the product or service is launched. You should go through acceptance testing, unit testing, integration testing, functional capabilities, but also software development cost estimates – even the most agile model can cost a lot if you don’t specify that at the very start. All for meeting user requirements, after all!

4. Deployment 

The deployment phase is where the developed software goes live, which means that it becomes available for use. The previous stage should completely prepare the software for launch. Software developers and project managers, as parts of a project team, may have to undertake activities such as configuring servers with settings and security features before making the product accessible to end-users or customers. 

After this development process stage has been completed successfully the project can be closed along with all necessary documentation being archived in the case that the product has to be maintained or enhanced at a later date. That is a very common step in the development life cycle methodologies. 

5. Maintenance 

The maintenance stage is often omitted in the process but should be a part of the development of any software project by all software teams. As software is used over time by end-users or customers, it may need to be changed or adapted in the software development process. Software developers make these changes and updates in the maintenance phase after deployment has been completed successfully. If necessary, they will go back to one of the previous stages such as the planning design phase if further research needs to be done before the changes are made. 

6. Disposal or retirement of the system (archiving)

This phase is where the application development life cycle ends. Software developers will archive all documentation and any other materials that were created during previous stages in order to keep them safe for future reference if needed or simply dispose of them depending on whether it’s required by law to do so.

As well, they may carry out activities such as removing security features to ensure that any confidential data stored within the system is not accessible by unauthorized individuals.

Software development life cycle
Software development life cycle phases

What are some examples of how the SDLC impacts project success rates

Projects that are not deemed successful may have been affected negatively during the planning stage in the production environment. Software development team members involved in these activities did not gather all of the information they needed to make decisions about what features were required, who would use them, and which processes should be used for example. As well as, if product requirements weren’t clearly defined or communicated to other team members, it’ll be difficult for the development life cycle model to succeed.

How can you determine if your company’s SDLC process is effective or not

It’s difficult to answer this question without knowing more about your company and what you’re trying to accomplish. No two companies are the same so it depends on what would make a process successful for you. What is the end goal? Having tangible deliverables such as completed user stories or an identified problem that has been fixed (through traceability) could be good indications of whether the SDLC process is effective. The trick is in documenting why items were resolved when they’re closed, and the steps necessary in the process at each phase in order to create a meaningful report and analysis of where potential weaknesses lie in terms of project management. You can also ask yourself: “were we able to build everything we needed using all available resources?”.

To determine if your company’s SDLC process is effective you first need to define the boundaries of its effectiveness. What metrics will you use to measure success in your iterative model? Once you have defined what needs to be accomplished or what problems need solving, you can review the processes and compare them with your expected results.

To further refine this answer, we would recommend determining how often each stage in the SDLC process is performed by viewing which tools our teams are using most. You want all stages of development happening on a regular basis depending on the team size and complexity of the project (e.g. your software product). If developers are spending too much time on tasks that should generally only happen during design (reviewing large pull requests full of binary, for example), they may not be able to complete the work needed for that iteration. If too much time is spent on the design process, code may not be reviewed until the end of the iteration when it will need to be merged right away – this can lead to “merge hell” and frustration among teammates who are waiting on other tasks before they can continue their own.

What tools can be used during each phase of a typical SDLC process

It’s difficult to pinpoint which tools should be used in each phase of development because there are multiple ways to complete the same task. Software developers may use a tool such as GitHub and its pull requests feature during code review or they might prefer JIRA for issue tracking when it comes down to QA testing software before pushing it into production. The Software Development Life Cycle is an iterative process that requires more than just one tool. Software development teams should consider asking themselves: “what tools do we use to get the job done?”. If they’re not already using any particular product, it may be worth looking into what their industry peers are using and having a discussion along with a detailed plan with stakeholders about how each could benefit the team. It can turn out that even small software requirements or programming tools delivered to a testing team can positively affect the design plan and the actual development.

What are the differences between SDLC and Agile Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Processes?

Agile Software Development is based on iterative processes which could also fall under the category of an SDLC process because they’re both considered development methods that include agile method iteration. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes. Software development teams need to consider each of their own goals and what they hope to achieve as a team in order to choose the most appropriate method. Software developers can’t just assume that one process will work for everyone on every project and that each programming language n the software industry will be perfect for each project life cycle and actual software development process.

Over to you

As this blog post comes to a close, you can see that Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes are an important part of Software Development, and we hope you learned a little bit about them today. If you need assistance in this matter, check out what our software development company has to offer!

Contact us and get a free project estimation!

Let’s talk

Read more articles