or how to build a successful software
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a process that development teams use to produce high-quality software in a systematic and cost-effective way. All software companies, from small businesses to large organizations, use the SDLC methodology to develop software that meets all customer expectations and demands.
SDLC consists of several phases, depending on the company, and helps with the measurement and improvement of a development process which allows the analysis of software development each step of the way.
Let’s take a look at the roles of the SDLC:
providing a standardized framework that defines activities and deliverables
helping with project planning, estimating, and scheduling
making project tracking and control easier
increasing visibility and speed of the development process
minimizing project risks and the overall cost of production
However, just like any other software development approach, also the SDLC has some pitfalls that can impact the customer’s final decision. The probable disadvantages of the SDLC system can be:
unclear requirements and the lack of a detailed explanation
increased time and costs
high involvement of a customer
large quantity of documentation
After evaluating the pros and cons of the SDLC, it becomes clear that this approach can help you to set up an effective project. These qualities make the SDLC one of the most beneficial and effective models to successfully launch a software product.
There are several SDLC models, and as we have mentioned above, each company makes its own decision about the steps included and what works the best for them.
For example, here at Hristov Development we use an agile SDLC model that consists of ten steps.
We’ve reviewed many variations of software development lifecycle models and the following ten-phase framework seems to work the best for us.
Steps 1-5: These steps are all pre-contract which means we focus on identifying and understanding what we are going to do and we define the scope of the project with as much detail as possible to avoid errors and re-work. Before starting the development process, we want to make sure all pre-development steps are clearly understood.
Steps 6-9: In the development phase, we focus on the development process itself. Our development process also includes approval from our client before delivering the final product.
Step 10: The last step in our SDLC is the post-development step where we don’t simply deliver the project and let everything else on your shoulders but we support you all the way, we take care of maintenance and support.
1. Step: Requirements
In the first step of our software development life cycle we define all requirements of a software development project and decide upon the foundations of your software. This step is crucial for our development team as we communicate with customers their ideas on what the software should provide and which features to include.
2. Step: Analysis
In this step we analyze all the information to determine what will be feasible. Our analysis includes studying user personas, and agreeing on the product’s purpose. During this phase, our team will also discuss the opportunities and risks of pursuing the project.
3. Step: Estimation
The third step of our SDLC is dedicated to estimation. We create an accurate forecast of the project’s duration, costs and more. We calculate the time needed to successfully complete the work to meet the quality criteria set by our customer.
4. Step: Proposal to Client
After the estimation of the project, we prepare a project proposal and submit it to a business customer for acceptance. The proposal outlines everything necessary to initiate a project. It describes the problem that will be solved and explains as a result the benefits to the customer.
5. Step: Design/Prototype
All design specifications of the project are generated during this phase. This will help our development team get a clearer picture of the aims. Depending on the project, these details can include screen designs, databases, sketches, system interfaces, and prototypes. These details are used to make final product design choices. This is the last step of the pre-contract phase.
6. Step: Development
In the sixth step of our SDLC we dive into the software development process itself where our development team turns product specifications and business requirements into code that makes the product. This step can take some time. It’s important to set a timeline and milestones so you can keep track of the progress. In some cases, this step may merge with the next ‘testing’ step where certain tests ensure there are no critical bugs.
7. Step: Testing
Before we get the final software product out the door, we test it to make sure it is functioning properly and does what it is meant to do. The testing process can also help resolve any major user experience and security issues.
8. Step: Client Approval
Here we request approval from our clients before the final product is released. This is essential for both involved parties to make sure a service is delivered successfully and it meets all the requirements set at the beginning of the project. We want to ensure everyone is on the same page, and our clients don't get any surprises when the final product goes live. This step is often executed in parallel during the development to make sure we catch any discrepancies early and to make sure we keep on the right track.
9. Step: Delivery
After all issues and errors have been eliminated, the software is ready to be deployed.The goal of this step is to put the final software product into production for users to start using and consuming it.
10. Step: Maintenance & Support
In the last step of our SDLC we focus on support and maintenance of our customers. After delivering a product, users may find bugs and errors that were missed in the testing phase, so we fix them for better user experience and help to resolve other technical issues that may appear. In some cases, these can lead to going back to the earlier steps of the software development life cycle.
Implementing the pre-contract steps to our SDLC is very important for us as it reduces risks and helps us deliver a great product that meets our customers’ needs.
We put our methodical and detail-oriented work first which makes us proud to stand out from the others who just dive into the project without questioning or considering the risks and issues that can occur.
When deciding on what steps to implement in your software development life cycle it is important to consider the nature of your project. Not all projects need the same amount of steps or details. In some cases you need to be very specific, in others there is a lot of uncertainty - so make sure you partner with a trusted expert who can guide you through your specific case.