Are you a technology professional valuing creating high-grade software products, meeting tight deadlines, effective communication, and steady growth? If so, it’s essential to understand the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
The methodology is a thorough and intricate approach to traveling between points A and B. All the while mitigating any risks that may come along the way. This framework strategy addresses numerous critical phases of software development, encompassing but not limited to the following:
- Requirement analysis
- Software development
- And deployment
In this article, our professional team at ParallelStaff explores each phase of the SDLC and explains how it all works. Whether you are a software developer or project manager, this article will help you understand the essential concepts and benefits.
SDLC Keeps Development Teams Productive
Developing software requires a methodology providing a clear roadmap for development teams. This methodology guides developers and ensures they work cohesively and collaboratively toward a common goal.
However, the benefits of having a methodology extend beyond just guidance. It also helps manage resources, timelines, and budgets, which are crucial for the success of any project. Moreover, having a methodology provides a framework for mitigating risks and uncertainties that may arise.
When equipped with a robust methodology, development teams can significantly reduce the roadblocks, stress, and anxiety levels often accompanying the development process. It, in turn, helps to keep development teams motivated and focused on delivering successful projects.
What Is SDLC?
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a systematic approach developers use to design, create and deliver high-quality software based on customer requirements and needs.
The process aims to produce cost-efficient products by anticipating costly mistakes and eliminating redundant rework and after-the-fact fixes.
For those seeking security, the proposed S-SDLC introduces security as a crucial element in software development environments and simultaneously takes advantage of agile properties. The methodology revolves around three pillars, which serve as the basis of the 23 principles proposed.
These principles offer invaluable recommendations to guide achieving the project’s objectives. Strongly emphasizing the testing phase, they pave the way for a project outcome without room for error.
How Does SDLC Work?
The SDLC approach helps navigate the terrain of software development, avoiding common pitfalls and challenges. As a result, it reduces software development expenses while increasing quality and shortening the production period.
This procedure consists of a strategy establishing the means to create, maintain, and supersede the software.
The following concepts represent the ability to adapt to the changing needs of software development projects:
By following the SDLC process, you ensure code quality in every cycle.
Here are the different SDLC phases.
The 7 Phases of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)
Stage 1: Project Planning
Project planning is the initial stage of SDLC, where development teams estimate the cost and defines the requirements for the new software project.
Effective project planning can help development teams keep their productivity levels high while building high-quality software products while meeting deadlines. Additionally, it ensures clear communication and consistent growth.
Here are key takeaways for project planning in SDLC:
- Teams must first weigh the potential benefits against the costs associated with the endeavor.
- They must develop a detailed schedule and accurately estimate and allocate the necessary resources.
- Information is then compiled and presented in a Software Requirement Specification document outlining the project’s scope.
- Teams must also implement sub-plans addressing potential issues that may arise throughout the project’s lifecycle.
Stage 2: Gathering Requirements & Analysis
A clear picture of the product’s specifications and design is essential and attainable through effective communication with the client. After gathering all the necessary information, development teams can analyze the requirements.
- The team should keep the software’s code and design in mind and ensure they can seamlessly incorporate any proposed features into the system.
- It’s critical to ensure that everyone grasps even the most subtle aspects, from the hardware and operating systems to the intricacies of programming and security.
Stage 3: Design
Establishing a comprehensive secured design requires the implementation of well-organized plans. These plans are crucial in effectively devising, arranging, electing, and restraining access in high-risk scenarios.
The procedure should include an evaluation of potential risks, which empowers developers to detect looming threats to operations, assets, and individuals. With this understanding, they can choose the optimal design approach and the most fitting programming languages.
Taking a proactive approach to security is crucial, as failing to do so can lead to significant consequences.
However, a successful design approach relies on more than just technical considerations. Developers must:
- Incorporate input from stakeholders to ensure meeting their needs and avoid costly overruns.
- Document all decisions thoroughly.
- Authorized officials must approve and finalize decisions to maintain transparency and accountability.
Stage 4: Coding or Implementation
In this phase, developers translate the design into a computer language. Good practice includes breaking down the requirements into smaller coding tasks that they can accomplish daily to achieve the final product.
Other principles include code refactoring to improve error detection and software quality. Moreover, they should also consider attack scenarios and vulnerabilities that may impact the software and its usage context.
- Tasks are divided into modules or units and assigned to various developers, and guidelines are put in place for code style and practices to ensure appropriate implementation.
- Development teams then start building the project using the desired programming languages, with predefined coding guidelines and programming tools like interpreters, compilers, and debuggers.
The implementation phase is considered one of the longest in SDLC. And every developer must stick to the agreed blueprint to ensure organized and consistent code that’s easier to test during the next phase.
Stage 5: Testing
It’s crucial to conduct thorough testing to identify any defects or inadequacies and guarantee that the finalized product aligns with the user’s requirements.
- During this phase, it’s essential to consider prioritizing the implementation of security assessments, system evaluations, code analysis, and design appraisals before deployment.
- The developers must correct any defects or bugs detected and repeatedly test the software until it attains stability. And they may rely on automated solutions to check for bugs within the software.
Teams often execute development and testing phases simultaneously. And like with the design phase before the public deployment of the system, formal authorization is necessary.
Stage 6: Deployment
In the sixth phase, it’s time to release the product for customers. But, before the release, perform a small round of testing to catch any final mistakes, and users should then receive training or documentation to operate the software once deployed.
- The Deployment Plan (DP) should be well-defined and approved for changes. And the support team members should be ready to answer all sorts of questions.
- Teams need to decide whether to deploy the software to the production environment and should also create further Contingency Plans (CP).
- They should also finish preparing guideline documentation such as Installation, Administration, and User Guides.
Stage 7: Maintenance
During this phase, the crew proceeds to patch bugs, troubleshoot user concerns and regulate alterations in software. To help supervise the overall effectiveness of the system, its security, and the user’s experience, consider using Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools.
In light of the DevOps movement, there has been a transformation in SDLC, where developers are now accountable for more phases in the software development procedure. Therefore, it’s vital to remember to register in the plans any modifications made and examine their impact to ensure uninterrupted monitoring and prevent lapses.
- Continuous monitoring ensures that software meets the pre-established user and security conditions and that required modifications are incorporated.
- Systems evolve with changing environments; updates are necessary to match the new requirements.
Models of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)
Each stage in this SDLC model relies on the outcome of the previous phase following a sequential progression. It includes software architecture, interface representations, and implementations conducted through rigorous testing.
While this model imbues discipline in project management, making changes after each phase has concluded may pose a challenge, affecting delivery timelines, cost, and overall quality.
Thus, the waterfall model is best for smaller projects with predefined requirements and shorter durations.
This framework aims to attain user satisfaction and product adaptability through quick distribution. It emphasizes continuous assessment of the requirements, plans, and outcomes to react to modifications promptly.
The Agile framework is an iterative and incremental procedure, drawing in the clients and stakeholders throughout the progression’s lifespan to gather input. Development teams run through stages rapidly, providing minor, steady adjustments in each version.
However, a considerable dependency on customer input may deviate from the project’s progression trajectory.
This model revolves around the concept of repetition. Initially, teams define a limited set of prerequisites and gradually refine successive iterations until the final version of the software is ready for deployment.
This approach yields the best results when all the requisites of the system are clearly defined. However, if not carefully monitored, it can cause fast depletion of resources.
This model hinges upon verification in the prior stage and is better suited for small software projects. Each progression within the process has a well-defined result.
Its design is not strictly linear, differing from the Waterfall model, and is inflexible, possibly resulting in a costly adjustment.
However, this approach tests at every stage of development, leading to a higher likelihood of success than the Waterfall model. Still, it lacks an immediate resolution for problems encountered during the testing phase.
Big Bang Model
This high-risk approach focuses primarily on development. However, it is unsuitable for complex or object-oriented projects due to the forfeiting of the detailed requirements definition stage.
This model works best when you can take high risks and do not need to meet any deadline. While the model requires minimal planning, it comes with significant uncertainty, and misunderstood requirements could lead to the scrapping of the entire project.
The spiral model combines the Waterfall and Iterative models in a controlled and systematic way. Therefore, it is suitable for large and complex projects requiring frequent changes but expensive for smaller projects with limited scope.
The model emphasizes repetition and risk analysis, making it efficient for mission-critical projects. It is ideal when dealing with complex requirements and involving research or exploration.
Building prototypes at each phase ensures gradual release and improvement.
In conclusion, correctly implementing the SDLC can give you complete management control and documentation, resulting in higher-quality software. However, several pitfalls can make it a hindrance instead of a help.
To avoid failure, all parties must agree on the goal upfront, and developers should understand what they need to build and why. It’s also crucial to consider the needs of customers and all users and stakeholders to prevent misunderstandings and project failure.
In today’s evolving technology landscape, it’s becoming increasingly crucial for organizations to have a team with the appropriate skills and qualities to succeed. Achieving this goal requires a thorough approach covering several vital factors.
By practicing SDLC methodologies, CTOs, Vice Presidents, and other technology professionals can build successful software projects and gain valuable experience for future startup launches.
To experience the benefits of SDLC, consider outsourcing with ParallelStaff for improved application quality and performance monitoring of nearshore development teams.
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