The Life Cycle of Software Development
People work hard to create complex things so that our lives are much easier. These include smart homes, self-driving cars, household automated machines, and much more. To build such complex things, companies design powerful software. This software is the essence of complexity. On the other hand, it should be easy to maintain and enhance and flexible enough to get used to.
To achieve that, you need to plan each and every step of the software development process. This way, you can come up with a successful product. But before implementing the steps, you need to understand the concept, importance, and actual phases of the software development life cycle.
So let’s get started.
What The Software Development Life Cycle Means
Application development life-cycle or software development life cycle is a process by which you plan, create, test, and deploy a software system. With an SDLC framework, you can design and follow a sequence of activities. The software development life cycle consists of essential phases such as implementation, design, analysis, planning, etc. that developers can follow to create effective software.
Importance Of Software Development Life Cycle
Without a plan, carrying out a complex team effort, for example, software development is difficult. Each phase is crucial for the end result. There have been countless debates as to which method is suitable and the best overall, and how you can measure your success uring the development process. Despite the debates, all experts agree that it’s better to have a plan than having no plan.
Your software development team is devolving in a herd of cats if they do not have a structured plan. Without one, your developers don’t have a sense of direction as to what they are creating, and project managers won’t know how much progress they have made so far. When you do not have a plan, there’s no way to gauge completion according to the final product’s requirements. Here are a couple of reasons why a software development life cycle is important:
- Define the channels of communication between stakeholder and development teams.
- General vocabulary for every step.
- A proper way to determine if operations are following the plan.
- Defining inputs and outputs through a step to another.
- Clearing up responsibilities and roles between project managers, business analysts, designers, and developers.
Software Development Life Cycle Stages
With the following software development life cycle stages or phases, you can make sure that the process is running in a productive, efficient and smooth way:
Identify the Current Problems
You need to determine which problems you are currently facing. In the life cycle of software development, this stage requires that youget input from all stakeholders. This includes programmers, industry experts, salespeople, and customers. You should learn all the weaknesses and strengths of the system that is currently running. As of yet, improvement is the goal.
In this stage of the system development life cycle, the team will determine the resources and costs required to implement the analyzed requirements. It also involves detailing the sub-plans for tackling those risks.
In other words, this phase helps the team determine the feasibility of the project and the ways in which you can implement a successful project with minimum risk in mind.
In the design phase, you start by turning the specifications of the software into a design plan, which is called the Design Specification. Stakeholders then provide suggestions and give feedback after reviewing the plan. If you have a solid plan, you can collect and incorporate the stakeholder input into the document. If you fail at this stage, the project may collapse and result in cost overruns.
Actual development starts at this stage. It is essential that all developers work according to the blueprint. Furthermore, you need to ensure you have proper guidelines in accordance with the practices and styles of the application.
For instance, you can define the variables by naming the styles, such as camelCase, or you can define a nomenclature. This way, your team can produce a consistent and organized code that is easy to understand and test during the subsequent phases.
In this stage of the software development life cycle, we test deficiencies and defects. We continue fixing the issues until we align with the product’s original specifications. In short, we need to verify that the codes meet the defined requirements.
In this stage of the life cycle of software development, we need to deploy the application for the production environment so that users can use the product. But some organizations move the product through further phases such as testing or staging before deployment.
This way, stakeholders can safely play and experience the product before releasing the final version of the market. This way, they can find bugs and resolve them before releasing them.
The final phase of achieving what we want is software maintenance. As the world is consistently changing, we need to advance and update software. This is so that software meets peoples’ needs and is in accordance with the latest technology.
Software Development Life Cycle Models
There are various software development life cycle models. Some are rapid, spiral, prototyping, waterfall, and agile software development life cycle. A traditional SDLC contains a number of work phases clearly defined and distinct so that developers can plan to build, design, test, and deliver information systems.
For instance, the waterfall model focuses on correct and complete planning to guide large risks and projects for predictable and successful results. So people argue that the software development life cycle does not apply to models such as Agile computing anymore, but this term is still followed in many technology circles.
We can describe SDLC along with the spectrum of sequential to iterative to agile methodologies. Agile methodologies, such as that of SCRUM and XP, focus on highlighting rapid changes along the development cycle without even considering following the pattern of the software development life cycle approach.
Following a suitable life cycle of software development is very important if you want successful project completion. This way, you can manage the process easily. Various software development life cycle models have theirown advantages and disadvantages. You can determine the best model for your project by focusing on the system complexity, clear or unclear requirements, cost, size of the project, limitation of skill, etc. For instance, if the requirement is unclear, the best models to use are the Spiral and Agile software development life cycle as you can easily accommodate the required changes at any stage easily.