In today’s digital age, it’s baffling how many software development initiatives are implemented in an ad-hoc manner, which almost always yields low-quality results. Creating a software product from scratch without any systematic framework is practically guaranteed to result in the project going over budget, being delivered late, or not meeting end-user/customer expectations. It might even cause an entire project to fail.
The Software Development Life Cycle (SLDC) offers a better solution. SLDC is a systematic process used by software development companies to build the highest quality software in the shortest time possible. The process typically follows one of several methodologies, such as:
There’s much evidence of its effectiveness in the software industry because it meets clients’ expectations and adheres to completion dates and costs within budget.
How the SDLC Works
The SDLC helps remove common problems and pitfalls associated with software development. Thus, it automatically shortens software developers’ time consumption, improving product quality while decreasing labor costs.
The SLDC process comprises well-defined steps required for the development of software. Here are seven main development phases:
In the beginning phase, the terms of the project are determined by project leaders. Everything is calculated here, from the creation of teams and structures to the final costs of the materials. Its purpose is to define the goals and objectives of the application clearly. Stakeholder feedback is also crucial in this phase.
2. Defining requirements
Phase two creates a clear vision of what the application should do and any compliance requirements it must meet. It also includes identifying the resources required to complete a project.
3. Designing the product
After the software specifications are made, it’s time to turn them into a design plan. Then, stakeholders can thoroughly review it and provide feedback. Phase three also defines the products’ architectural components as well as how they’re interconnected.
4. Building the Product
Here, the whole product development process starts, and the product is created. An organized and detailed design will ensure that the entire process occurs with minimal deviation. Thus, every developer should ensure that the proper guidelines are set up and then adhere to the plan.
5. Testing the Product
When running a software project, never underestimate the power of testing. It’s also important to note that this phase is included in all the other SDLC phases. Through testing, each function must be examined to make sure everything works properly. Here, defects are identified, analyzed, resolved, and retested until the product meets the defined quality standards.
By conducting tests using project management tools, you will lower the number of errors and issues before releasing the product to the market resulting in higher customer satisfaction and usage rates.
6. Software Deployment in the market
The product is released to the production environment at the deployment phase, so the application is now available to users. Most companies deploy their products through multiple domains and use automation for deployment. The automation can be as simple as downloading the application on a smartphone.
Software support/maintenance incorporates the following aspects:
- Bug fixing
- Performance enhancement
- Code optimization
- Support for the latest operation system versions
- Implementing extra features
- Most recent versions of third-party services support
The main point of this phase is to ensure that customer needs continue to be met and that the system continues to perform as per the specification established in the first phase.
SDLC gives structure to the phases involved in software development, and it doesn’t conclude until all steps have been successfully fulfilled. The most visible advantage of the SDLC process is that it provides control of the development process, ensuring that the software system complies with all the estimated requirements. It’s important to note that SDLC may not work well for software projects that include a lot of uncertainty or no chances of adding creative inputs. However, for nearly all other scenarios, if developers follow the requirements made by customers and adhere to the detailed plan, SDLC will prove to be an invaluable resource for building the highest quality software in the shortest time possible.