The Software Development Life Cycle or the SDLC allows developers to approach software development more methodologically, allowing them to cover all critical aspects of running a successful software.
The software development process is crucial since it gives control to the developers and allows them to efficiently carry out the development and management process at a high level. It also reduces the possibility of project failure since developers can simultaneously correct their flaws through the process.
It is, therefore, vital that you understand every step of the SDLC and make it imperative to follow the life cycle every time you develop a software product. In this post, we are going to have an in-depth discussion about the six stages of the software development life cycle.
So, stay with us until the very end. Let’s get started!
Six Stages of Software Development
1. Planning and Requirements Gathering
You have got to have as much information you can gather about the project you are going to handle. Requirements gathering is a foundational step that will go on to decide how the product will look and perform at the final stage.
This stage is probably the one that will take a lot of time since there will be a lot of back and forth between the project manager, business analyst, and the customer. The customers must be subjected to open-ended questions to fetch the complete information they can provide. You will get ample opportunity to do the same during regular communication and business meetings.
When gathering information, you must focus on knowing the target audience and product purpose. Understanding the need for the software and its use will give you a better perspective on the project. Most importantly, you will need to know the problem the product is trying to solve.
2. Stage-Wise Performance Analysis
The next stage is performance analysis of the product or software for different functions. This analysis phase allows developers to identify issues and make necessary adjustments for the next stages of SDLC.
The primary purpose of this stage is to make sure the software functions the intended way. In other words, you are doing a software analysis that leads you to explore and implement the functional and non-functional requirements. To do this efficiently, you will need to draw effective project timelines and scope.
This is the stage that will allow developers to identify crucial software flaws and overcome every architectural and developmental weakness of the project. At the end of this stage, you will have a Software Requirement Specification (SRS) that will further allow you to design and develop the software as per the requirements.
3. Designing Software Foundation
Once you have the SRS, you can move to the next stage of the systems development life cycle. The third stage is the one dedicated to the architecture of the software. Since you have all the technical requirements, it will become easier for you to propose multiple design approaches to the client by documenting them into a DDS or Design Document Specification.
There are two main types of designs – high-level design and low-level design. As the name suggests, high-level design covers the overall system architecture and database. High-level design helps you understand the entire flow of the system architecture.
Low-level design, on the other hand, helps see you implement all the program specifications. Once you have finsihed creating a DDS, you pass it on to your customers to get their feedback. Thereafter, you choose the design approach accordingly.
4. Software Implementation
The next stage in the process is the implementation. Software implementation refers to the process of building (software development phase) , testing, and integrating the code, making it the longest phase of the entire 6 phases of SDLC.
The stage takes a lot of time to get over with since most of the software development part happens in this development phase. You can incorporate late amendments or additions into the design as part of Rapid application development.
To become more efficient in software implementation, developers usually break the development part into manageable pieces and accomplish the set goals step by step. The implementation, however, depends entirely on the development model that you have chosen for your project.
5. Software Testing
Software testing, as the name of the stage suggests, is for testing the software for bugs and errors. This is an important part of the SDLC since it is dedicated to the removal of unnecessary codes, bugs, and errors in your quest to create a ready-to-go software.
Software testers usually use four different types of testing, namely – unit testing, integration testing, acceptance testing, and system testing. As we mentioned earlier, developers usually divide the entire project into manageable modules.
Each module is then tested individually and passed through different testing stages to make sure the software is good to go live. This also involves running the software behind closed doors and testing to record performance data. It also allows developers to document the challenges encountered during the operation.
6. Deployment and Maintenance Checks
The last stage of this software development life cycle is software deployment. In this stage, the software is prepared for its release in the market. To make the deployment more efficient, the client is requested to provide feedback on the product and suggest changes if required.
The software is only released once all the requested changes are implemented and tested for functionality.
After the software starts running, developers have to regularly check for maintenance to ensure the smooth functioning of the software at the customers’ end. The project team keeps coming up with updates for the software, making sure the software manages to fulfil the market needs.
The software development life cycle is an ongoing process. Meaning, you will always have to take care of your product and invest resources to ensure its smooth functioning. It allows business owners and developers to weigh the pros and cons, different possibilities, timeframes, and charges to come up with a highly reliable solution.