7 Stages Of SDLC: Guidelines to Success

April 30th, 2024

What is SDLC?

The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a systematic process used by development teams to create high-quality software in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Are you ready to get started in the world of software development? Understanding and effectively managing the SDLC is crucial for the success of any software project.

Defining SDLC

A systematic approach that generates a structure for the developer to design, create and deliver high-quality software based on customer requirements and needs. The primary goal of the SDLC process is to produce cost-efficient and high-quality products. The process comprises a detailed plan that describes how to develop, maintain, and replace the software.

The 7 phases Of SDLC (Software Development, Life Cycle)

Stage 1: Project Planning

A systematic approach that generates a structure for the developer to design, create and deliver high-quality software based on customer requirements and needs. The primary goal of the SDLC process is to produce cost-efficient and high-quality products. The process comprises a detailed plan that describes how to develop, maintain, and replace the software.

Stage 2: Gathering Requirements & Analysis

The second step of SDLC is gathering maximum information from the client requirements for the product. Discuss each detail and specification of the product with the customer. The development team will then analyze the requirements keeping the design and code of the software in mind. Further, investigating the validity and possibility of incorporating these requirements into the software system. The main goal of this stage is that everyone understands even the minute detail of the requirement. Hardware, operating systems, programming, and security are to name the few requirements.

Stage 3: Design

In the design phase (3rd step of SDLC), the program developer scrutinizes whether the prepared software suffices all the requirements of the end-user. Additionally, if the project is feasible for the customer technologically, practically, and financially. Once the developer decides on the best design approach, he then selects the program languages like Oracle, Java, etc., that will suit the software.

Once the design specification is prepared, all the stakeholders will review this plan and provide their feedback and suggestions. It is absolutely mandatory to collect and incorporate stakeholder’s input in the document, as a small mistake can lead to cost overrun.

Stage 4: Coding or Implementation

Time to code! It means translating the design to a computer-legible language. In this fourth stage of SDLC, the tasks are divided into modules or units and assigned to various developers. The developers will then start building the entire system by writing code using the programming languages they chose. This stage is considered to be one of the longest in SDLC. The developers need certain predefined coding guidelines, and programming tools like interpreters, compilers, debugger to implement the code.

The developers can show the work done to the business analysts in case if any modifications or enhancements required.

Stage 5: Testing

Once the developers build the software, then it is deployed in the testing environment. Then the testing team tests the functionality of the entire system. In this fifth phase of SDLC, the testing is done to ensure that the entire application works according to the customer requirements.

After testing, the QA and testing team might find some bugs or defects and communicate the same with the developers. The development team then fixes the bugs and send it to QA for a re-test. This process goes on until the software is stable, bug-free and working according to the business requirements of that system.

Stage 6: Deployment

The sixth phase of SDLC: Once the testing is done, and the product is ready for deployment, it is released for customers to use. The size of the project determines the complexity of the deployment. The users are then provided with the training or documentation that will help them to operate the software.  Again, a small round of testing is performed on production to ensure environmental issues or any impact of the new release.

Stage 7: Maintenance

The actual problem starts when the customer actually starts using the developed system and those needs to be solved from time to time. Maintenance is the seventh phase of SDLC where the developed product is taken care of. According to the changing user end environment or technology, the software is updated timely.

Predominant Models of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)

Waterfall Model: In this traditional sequential model, each phase (planning, analysis, design, implementation, testing, deployment, maintenance) is completed before moving on to the next. It’s linear and rigid, making it easy to understand and manage but less flexible to changes. 

Agile Model: Agile is an iterative and incremental approach to software development. It emphasizes collaboration, customer feedback, and the ability to adapt to changing requirements. Agile methodologies include Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and others. 

Iterative Model: Similar to Agile, the iterative model involves breaking down the development process into smaller cycles or iterations. Each iteration includes planning, analysis, design, implementation, and testing, with the product evolving with each iteration. 

V-Model (Verification and Validation Model): This model is an extension of the waterfall model, emphasizing the relationship between development phases and testing phases. Each phase of development is followed by its corresponding testing phase, forming a V-shaped process. 

Spiral Model: The spiral model combines elements of both waterfall and iterative development models. It involves repeating a set of development phases (planning, risk analysis, engineering, evaluation) in a spiral fashion, with each loop representing a cycle of development and refinement. 

DevOps Model: DevOps is a culture and set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery of high-quality software. 

Lean Software Development: Lean software development is inspired by lean manufacturing principles, focusing on maximizing customer value while minimizing waste. It emphasizes continuous improvement, delivering fast, and empowering teams. 

Wrapping-up SDLC

Smoothly navigating through the seven stages of the SDLC requires meticulous planning, continuous communication, and the right set of tools. By adopting these strategies, development teams can enhance efficiency, reduce risks, and deliver software that meets or exceeds expectations. Stay proactive and adaptive to changes, and your team will not only sustain but thrive throughout the development process. 

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Rodney Robinson

Internet entrepreneur, Information Technology Consultant, Blogger, Online Marketer, Day Trader, Disabled Veteran, Motivator and Family Man. I know I am here to “Help Other’s Help Themselves” by guiding others in achieving their goals.

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