What are the Phases of Software Development? Detailed Introduction to Software Development Life Cycle and Why it Matters for Your Business
When discussing software development, professionals are often bandy about a particular phase. Regardless of the cause, these phases are a part of the software development life cycle (SDLC), a collection of sequential steps that software goes through when it’s being developed.
It has been adopted as the standard way to complete a software project, and it can provide helpful insight into what to expect when planning and developing your application. If a software development company guides your project, ensure everyone is on the same page before you start.
Table of contents:
- Why is it essential to understand the phases of software development
- What is the software development life cycle? – Importance and models
- What are the stages of the software development life cycle?
Example of why Understanding Phases of Software Development is Important for Your Business
You don’t have to know software development to build software for your company. That’s why you pay professionals to do it. However, it would help if you understood how things work while developing software.
That means you must fully convey your ideas and goals so that the software development team can understand what you want from the final product. So let’s make an example of why these phases of software development are essential to you as a business owner.
Let’s assume you are building software to help your company communicate with customers. A team is ready, and you don’t give specific requirements or instructions. Each person has a different approach to the same product, and the final product is the result of their ideas and who made a particular phase more critical than the other.
That could be a problem for the outcome of the software. It’s an okay working product, but you need something else to fulfill your company’s needs. Why? Because they needed to get the requirements right, they didn’t have the big picture you wanted, and the software now costs more to change.
Before the development began, the team could have accessed risks, costs, and everything related to the project. In addition, they could avoid such situations and build high-quality software that will cater to your business needs.
Before we jump into how many phases there are in the software development life cycle and what they mean for software, let’s define the process itself, its importance, and its models.
Software Development Lifecycle: What is it and Why It’s Important
Software development splits process tasks into smaller, sequential steps and sub-processes to better design and manage the entire project. This reduction of operations into chunks is called the software development life cycle (SDLC).
It is a systematic process for producing high-quality, moderate-cost software quickly. In addition, the SDLC is meant to create unique software that surpasses all client and consumer requirements and expectations.
The SDLC organizes the possible challenges while moving from the beginning to completing a software project without missing a beat. Experts use eight SDLC models based on software development methodologies to help them through their job.
V model is a process used to describe all the activities from requirements to maintenance. It is also the one model that implements testing in the early stages of the software life cycle. However, it is more commonly implemented during the coding phase.
Iterative Development Model
The iterative development model is based on breaking down each segment of complex applications. It starts with simplified implementation and changes progressively by the end of the project life cycle.
Rapid Application Development
Rapid application development, or RAD, is the process of adopting and developing software in a short time. The method commonly uses user feedback to redevelop project versions as the cycle continues.
Agile Development Model
Agile methodology is the most involved in the process. Not only does it include software developers but also stakeholders and cross-functional teams. During this method, none of the project iterations is taken lightly, and quality code is strongly reinforced.
The spiral model is driven by risk, rapid prototyping, contemporary design, and implementation of other methods, such as a waterfall. Its core goal is to evaluate and establish possible uncertainties and risk factors.
Big Bang Model
The big bang model is often used for small projects. This is because it’s simple to use and schedule. However, it usually focuses on resources and coding; more often, the release date or requirements still need to be discovered.
This model type starts with requirements, after which the software developer provides front-end design. It is also a model that uses user feedback for changes or alterations of the structure. In other words, it focuses on innovation and provides background and security.
The waterfall model is based on several phases and uses those downward. Each ending step acts as input for the next one.
5 Phases of Software Development and How They Relate to Your Project
Depending on whom you ask, there can be seven phases of software development instead of five. That is because they include more accurate phrases, such as the operations preceding and following after the end of the development process. These include gathering requirements, maintenance, prototyping, and updates. But in essence, the software development life cycle can be divided into five stages.
The first and most crucial phase of software development is planning. That means determining all the unknowns of the project and aligning them with the client’s requirements and, for example, assessing the project’s mission and its use and evaluating the resources needed to finish the project on time.
After assessing these factors, you should have enough knowledge at the end of the planning process to create a high-level scope of work, a plan that explains what’s being created, why, and how you envision it coming together.
Project leaders must also assess labor and material expenses, develop a timetable with specific goals, form project teams, and leadership structures, and seek stakeholder feedback during this phase.
In the design phase, we visualize the product and figure out how it should work. We’re talking about how it looks and how it functions. What actions will users perform? How will they interact with the software? Is this going to be a desktop app or a mobile app? How much information will they need to provide? This may sound like a pretty straightforward process—but it’s not!
The design phase can be tricky because you’re trying to think about how users will interact with your software, who they are, and what they need from it. You’ll also want to consider whether or not your client needs any features or capabilities that aren’t included.
In short: this is where you figure out if there’s anything special about your project that should be considered before moving forward into development! Either way, this phase lets us get valuable feedback from users before committing our ideas to code.
The next stage of the software development process is development. This phase begins after everyone has agreed on the planned functionality and design of the software; it is time to build it following the specifications.
This is the most challenging stage of software development. The goal is to stick to the plans, avoid scope creep, and build clean, efficient software, whichever methodology you use.
During this phase, your database administrator creates and imports necessary data. Requirements define programming languages used in this phase, and developers develop interfaces under coding guidelines and perform unit testing.
This phase requires a critical eye from both sides: if business analysts change their minds about anything during this phase, they must be open-minded and flexible.
The testing phase is self-explanatory: you test your product against the requirements outlined in the planning phase and then fix any bugs you find. However, this is another place where a lot can go wrong, so it’s essential to have a good test plan and an understanding of how to test software.
If you’re working with a team of developers or building something from scratch, you’ll most likely be correcting issues as your team develops the program. This testing stage validates whether or not the code meets its functional requirements by testing against requirements documents created during the planning and that there are no bugs or other issues with how it interacts with other parts of an application or system.
It is critical to avoid selling flawed software to real users. Once code is written, it must be tested before being deployed into production environments.
You’ve got your code written and tested, and now you’re ready to put it into production.
This is a huge milestone—and one that can be incredibly stressful. After all, once your code is out in the world, there’s no going back! This may entail installation, customization, testing, and possibly a lengthy evaluation time. In addition, the deployment phase can be time-consuming, especially if you’re working with a large-scale deployment or multiple environments.
In conclusion, it is essential to understand the software development life cycle phases. The phases help to manage the project activities effectively and also help to identify each step to manage them effectively.
The end goal of every software development project is to have a successful life on the market. However, the entire effort is meaningless if the software is not used or is inadequate. Hence, consult with a software development company or business analyst before starting your next software project. They can help guide your project in the right direction toward your goal.
Learn to streamline your software projects