Is there such a thing as a perfectly organized team that will build an ideal software? The answer may be debatable. However, it’s still something all tech companies aspire to accomplish. So, what will you choose, which methodology will work best, and how will you handle the whole drill? We offer you this comprehensive guide through all phases of the software development life cycle.
Start by knowing the tremendous importance of structured processes & tested patterns. So pay close attention to each stage and make sure to dedicate enough time and effort to complete them correctly.
What is meant by the software development life cycle?
In short, SDLC stands for a whole process used to develop a software product. It starts with a planning stage and follows a certain path toward operation and maintenance. There are seven stages that should be followed and realized correctly. Its main aims are to improve the entire development process, boost teamwork, and enhance the quality of the software.
What is the purpose of the software development life cycle?
The key purpose of SDLC is to identify the tasks that should be completed in order for the software to be designed, built, and delivered. These particular assignments and duties form a clear structure for the developers and other team members to work within. In the most simple terms – the phases of the software development life cycle provide a roadmap for the whole crew and allow them to pursue the desired results. Here are other key factors that make SDLC essential:
- Tracking the growth and costs of the system is simple,
- Monitoring and handling complex projects are more manageable,
- Having comprehensive steps and obtaining detailed documentation,
- Estimating and scheduling deliverables rightly,
- Making development more efficient and reaching the goals faster.
Sounds good? It sure does, and it unquestionably drives amazing results when done properly.
What are the phases of software development life cycle?
Regardless of whether you’re insourcing or outsourcing dev roles, some rules and proven patterns should be followed. SDLC provides a specified view of the whole system, resources, time frames, and aims. Here are the basic steps of the software development life cycle:
- Design and Prototyping
- Software Development
- Software Deployment
- Operations and Maintenance
If the entire SDLC is completed (in the best possible way and by following the top-notch practices), it grants the successful production of a high-quality solution. Get ready; we’ll start from the top and elaborate on the importance of each phase you should take care of and wrap up nicely.
So what is the first step in the software development life cycle?
Planning is the beginning phase of every SDLC. First, you should determine whether you need a new system to promote business procedures and methods throughout this stage. As soon as the need has been established or the problem spotted, solutions should be found.
Insights and resources are collected through this phase to support the need for a new system or change and enhancement to an already existing one. Then, based on the information confirming the requirement, solutions are being found, assessed, and submitted for approval.
The best way to start an SDLC is to look over the current web development industry trends. That way, you will have the freshest information and new resources to satisfy your key business needs.
What are the key aims & elements of this phase?
First of all, we should cover the basic ground that’s entailed in this phase of SDLC. These are the main steps your dev team should take:
- An intro to the system for development
- Workability evaluation
- Making of the clear project plan
Moreover, at this point, you will also measure the options and see whether starting the development is worth it to the investors or the firm itself. Finally, it also represents an ideal moment to estimate the company’s business and software capacities. Knowing your actual strengths and weaknesses, as well as the potential and finances at your disposal, can help you draw the right moves. For instance, it can help you figure out whether to outsource certain tasks to get the best results (more quickly and with lower costs).
Get ready for the second phase: Requirements & analysis
The second one on the list of phases of the software development life cycle is where the proposed solutions are examined thoroughly. This stage goes on until the one is found. That precise solution should match perfectly the overall plan, approach, and goals of the whole company. Actually, this phase is also about planning. It is still being in the spotlight, but now it has been shifted to a much deeper interpretive level.
How to make this stage successful?
This is where the whole team has a turn to shine. Everyone’s knowledge and tech skills (+ business-oriented insightfulness) is the engine that runs this phase. In short, architects, developers, and product or project managers work side by side to document the processes that require software automation. The potential problems and associated systems are examined to discover and carefully define the functional requirements for the project. These requirements must be met to eliminate the issue and get aligned with the main strategy.
The third phase of SDLC: System design & prototyping
The third phase of SDLC is when the new software should be designed. AT this point, the parameters should be set and discussed with stakeholders. Aside from that, the discussion should cover the tech stack that will be used, project constraints, time, and resources. After reviewing and comparing the suggestions and plans carefully, the best design approach will be chosen. It will need to satisfy the requirements defined throughout the second phase.
Key elements of the fourth stage: Development
Now, get ready to get things done – for real! The fourth phase, software development, is where actual work begins. This is when the new system or software is being built. Usually, a programmer, network engineer, or database developer, or any mixture of these roles and tech skills will start writing source code. This step is huge and predetermines the success (or failure) of the entire project. So it’s essential to have the best tech talents by your side, regardless of whether you choose an in-house team or decide to outsource software development. In the second scenario, it’s paramount to find & hire the most reliable BPO company.
So, in the most simple words, here’s a brief overview of the phase:
First, developers will begin to construct the entire framework using the programming language chosen for a specific mission. Then, their tasks will be divided into units or modules in the coding process and allocated to the particular devs. It starts as a prototype and then gets tested and enhanced non-stop until the desired results are reached.
Stage five: Going for an integrated & tested solution
Even the most experienced software engineers & full-stack developers can miss out on a few bugs, problems, or glitches. That’s when testers take over. The fifth chapter of the SDLC is reserved for double-checking and securing quality. So, the specialist dedicated to this field will start to test the software against the requirements. Their quest is to detect any defects and notify the squad. There are two ways to conduct the tests. First, some are proficient with the test scripts that automatically run a series of prearranged tests. That way, they save a lot of time and do some amazing work – by letting the script take charge of things that would take any human a whole eternity and more. The other popular method is to use exploratory testing, which is more experience-based. This way isn’t as quick, but it has some noteworthy advantages.
Time for phase no. six: Implementation
Yup, you guessed it correctly. The sixth stage is just what it sounds like. It’s time for the new system to be implemented. So, the ultimate goal is to deploy the software to the manufacturing environment. That way, the customers can start using the product. Still, many companies will rather push their product across various delivery environments like a testing or staging area first. In this case, they literally play around with security and strive to spot any issues that are left to be fixed before the wide masses commence using the software. Another layer of protection can be added by conducting this stage during the non-peak hours. If the errors pop out during the busiest time, it could cost a company and impact its performance.
The final phase: Maintenance
Once all the other phases of the software development life cycle have been completed, it’s time to focus on the future. Maintenance and regular updates are a necessity. Fine-tuning the whole system will make it work like magic, which ultimately results in satisfied users and/or clients, better outcomes, more revenue – and everything nice. Once again, you can find a suitable outsourcing company and let them handle this final point.
Bonus tip: Software maintenance outsourcing
Many companies use outsourcing to boost their business. In fact, studies show that more than 300.000 positions are outsourced every year. In the US alone, the number of businesses that rely on BPO providers has increased by 5.7% in 2021.
- Explore the market meticulously and shortlist the providers that seem fitting,
- Contact them and negotiate your way in,
- Make sure to interview at least three BPO companies before making the final decision,
- Read the reviews and testimonials, and look for references,
- Ask for their portfolio and have a look at the work they’ve done in the past.
Lastly, be very careful when reading the agreement. Go through every line and never settle for less than solid trust.
Pay close attention to each of the 7 phases of software development life cycle
The last piece of advice is to stay fully focused. Once you have the right people by your side, whether it’s an in-house dev crew or a reputable outsourcing company, you’re all set for the initial phase. Plan it correctly and walk into the second stage with a clear agenda and set of goals. Then, just keep up the good work. And when you conquer the market, keep giving your users what they need. Maintain the product and refine it whenever possible.
Need a highly-skilled accomplice with awesome references? Look no further. Let’s chat!