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Software Development Life Cycle

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“SDLC is a process that produces software with the highest quality and lowest cost in the shortest time”

Overview the SDLC is split into six different parts, each being crucial to the development and success of the product. First planned, then the requirements are defined, the architecture is developed, the software itself is developed, then tested, and finally released into the market with occasional maintenance or fixes. The SDLC allows for a clean and well defined plan of action for the development of the software, also allowing for the best quality for the time put in.

Stage 1: Planning and requirement analysis

This is the most vital stage of the process, mainly done by the highest-ranking members of the company along with input from customers and other parts of the company (E.g. Sales department, experts in the field, etc.). This stage consists of: Assessing all possible risks and trying to plan the approach to reduce the amount of risks; consider and record all requirements; and finally, plan the basic approach/immediate course of action. All of this will generally be done over a meeting or several and all data, decisions and actions are recorded or noted.

Stage 2: Defining requirements

Once the first stage is completed the team moves on to precisely define the requirements needed to produce the desired product. These requirements could be along the lines of:

  • Money or assets What are the financial costs and requirements of pursuing this product? What assets will be needed?
  • Skills or workforce What size workforce will be need, and what skills amongst the workforce will be needed?
  • Time frame What is the estimated length of time the project will take to develop and what is the desired time frame to work with?

Stage 3: Designing the product architecture

In this stage, the design architects attempt to come up the best architecture for the product to be developed. Often times several different architectures will be proposed and documented in a DDS (Design Document Specification). The DDS is later reviewed by all the major stakeholders in the company who decide (based on several factors such as; cost, potential risks, realism, time frame etc.) which one works best and is the most viable.

Stage 4: Building or developing the product

Once all the previous stages are complete the process moves on the actual development of the product. The code is produced following the DDS and if organised and performed efficiently this can be done fairly easily. All developers are required to follow the programming guidelines set out by the organisation, meaning specific software, tools, applications and programming languages are used as to have minimal confusion and a wide understanding of the development amongst the team. All programming languages and tools are chosen based on the product being built, often several advanced programming languages are used in development at once.

Stage 5: Testing the product

Although testing is a standard throughout the whole Software Development Life Cycle this stage is specific to the testing only phase where all bugs, errors and defects are reported, fixed, and tested once again. This stage repeats until the organisation is content with the quality of the product. This stage is often completed by both employees and outsourced testers to provide a wide the best results.

Stage 6: Deployment in the market and maintenance

In this final stage the product is released into the market, sometimes only to a specific and smaller market than the target one for further testing and feedback. Once the organization is happy with the product it may then be released into the full market. All maintenance is done according to the existing customer base.

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